Imogen is a Geography student from Sheffield Hallam University and has completed a DHL Work Placement scheme and the graduate scheme. We caught up with Imogen to learn how she secured her roles and how you can follow in her footsteps
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I’m Imogen, I grew up in the countryside of North Yorkshire. I went to Sheffield Hallam University and graduated with a 2.1 in Geography. I have gradually moved further south and have now settled in the Milton Keynes area. I have completed DHL Work Placement scheme and the graduate scheme.
What is your role and how long have you been at DHL?
I have totalled 3 years with DHL. I started in the North East for 12 months on a retail contract, I then moved to do a year on an automotive contract in the midlands and now I’m about to finish 12 months on a public sector contract near London. I work in business projects and development.
What first inspired you to apply for a role with DHL?
It is really cliché- but my Dad works in the transport industry and I always used to notice DHL Lorries on the road! I wanted to do a placement as part of my degree so when I saw DHL offered the work placements scheme I applied straightaway. It is a huge international company and the variety of job roles and people is endless so I wanted an opportunity to be part of that, especially when I was young and unsure of what direction I wanted to go in.
Tell us the top three skills you have learnt during your time at DHL?
People Management - To be able to manage people is an essential skill. You need to manage under performers but also recognise those that go over and above. Understanding your team, listening to their suggestions and recognising their strengths in order to excel is something I have learnt.
Project Management - I have been lucky enough to be part of a few project roll outs within DHL. It’s a great opportunity to learn PM skill’s, writing charters and mitigating risks and doing something outside the day job. You also work with people you’ve never met before to deliver an outcome, which can be a challenge but develops your network.
IT Skills - I am now an expert at pivot tables, spreadsheets, presentation formatting. You learn these along the way in different roles but the skills have helped me out on multiple occasions and make my work much more reliable and better presented.
What kind of training have you received? How has this helped your professional development?
I have received all sorts of training from Absence management, Presentation Skills, IT Online Courses, Disciplinary & Grievance training, Project Management, Mental health Awareness, Finance for leaders to name a few! I also have a mentor that I can ask for help with regard to my career development and I am someone’s buddy so I help people starting the graduate scheme by answering any questions they may have.
What excites you about the work you are doing?
I enjoy the work I do because it is so varied. One day I might be in a customer meeting talking about strategy for the contract and the next day I could be on a site carrying out an audit. The contracts I have worked on so far are all very different, learning about different customers’ needs and working with different people each time.
What do you find most interesting with the sector/industry you’re in?
There is a job role for everyone, it’s not just trucks and parcels there is so much more. I find niche customers and specialist contracts very interesting. You couldn’t list everything we do as there is so much and even after 3 years I’m still finding out divisions that I never knew existed!
What is the company culture like?
The company culture is great. There is a huge buzz around growing talent. The board we have are relatively new and they are very visible. We can see what they are up to and they regularly visit sites with their strategy and are all aligned. We have a company app and weekly UK&Ireland newsletter that highlight some of the stories around the business of what we’ve achieved, charity stories and information we need to know.
How has this role and the experiences you’ve gained set you up for future career progression and success?
I have a career plan and as I’ve moved job role or division I’ve made sure I’ve ‘ticked’ things off and moved role to further my career to learn new skills. It’s in my own hands to further my career but the experiences I’ve had will set me up to get to the next stage of my career.
Has anything surprised you since you started at DHL?
Some of the specialist contracts have surprised me for sure and the amount of work we do across the country.
Finally, any tips for members wanting to apply to DHL?
Apply if you are prepared to work hard and put the hours in to progress, it doesn’t happen overnight but if you are dedicated the company will look after you and the opportunities will be endless.
Looking to follow in Imogen's footsteps? Discover live graduate opportunities with DHL.