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Insights from DHL - Alumni Joe's story

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Alumni Joe tells us about his journey to becoming a General Manager and shares the top three skills he learnt through his time at DHL.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I’m Joe Maher. I completed a degree in International Politics before starting my role at DHL back in 2012. I’m an avid Leeds United fan and am eternally learning to play golf.

What’s your role and how long have you been at DHL?

I’ve now been at DHL for 9 years and am currently the General Manager of the M&S National Distribution Centre in West Thurrock which is part of the clothing and home network.

What first inspired you to apply for a role with DHL?

I was inspired to apply for a role with DHL as I had been working for another logistics company but could not see a clear path for progression. The DHL graduate scheme provided a unique opportunity to quickly progress within a global Supply Chain and logistics company.

Tell us the top three skills you have learnt during your time at DHL and why you need them in your role.

People skills – During my time with DHL, I have learnt just how important it is to be able to inspire others to give their all. Through challenging times, having the skills to motivate and influence people is key, particularly when working in a large site with colleagues who may not always realise how much their individual role contributes to the success of the operation. In difficult times a lot of people look to you for leadership, so knowing how to motivate, reassure or support others at the right time and in the right way is crucial.

Financial acumen – Since joining DHL, I recognised how important it is to understand the financial impact of any decision, and just how essential it is to get the basics right to improve any site’s financial performance. Given the scale of DHL’s operations, every small change to a process can have a much larger overall effect on operational costs, understanding these is key.

Teamwork – When I joined DHL, I felt that my career progression relied solely on what I could demonstrate I had single-handedly implemented or improved. However, I quickly learned that to be successful in any task it was critical to involve the wider team, especially in an organisation with such varied roles and customers. It’s impossible to know everything and this taught me the importance of teamwork early on in my career with DHL.

How has the graduate program and the experiences you’ve gained helped with your career progression and success?

The graduate program and experiences I’ve gained have helped give me a rounded experience of different business sectors, a variety of supply chains and an understanding of different roles/ functions within each site. I’ve worked with well-known brands, including British Airways, M&S, Carlsberg, United Airlines, Toshiba and Boots. I don’t know many other roles that allow you to work with such a range of customers.

Finally, any tips for Graduates looking to start their career with us at DHL?

My advice to any graduate looking to start their career with DHL would be to take the opportunity to join a business that really understands the importance of putting its people first, and that gives real accountability to graduates from day one.

Take a look at DHL’s profile to discover where a career with a leading logistics company could take you.