'I have never stopped learning. I would give it your all from day one – you get out, what you put in!' We chatted with Reade Whiteman, Gist’s Industrial Placement Student based in Thatcham about his year with Gist and how it exceeded all expectations!
Industrial Placement: Thatcham
University: University of Brighton
Degree Subject: Business Management
Current Role: Team Manager
What was the application process like?
I found Gist and the position on an Industrial Placement Recruitment site, and from there I was directed through to the Gist Careers page. It was a fully online application which was quick and easy to complete. A few days later I had an email from the Early Talent team at Gist to arrange a telephone interview in which they made me feel incredibly welcomed, excited and engaged throughout.
What was the interview process like?
It was challenging, fun and really great for fully understanding the business and culture and to meet lots of people. After the telephone interview I was invited along to an insight day at the Thatcham Depot. There we met with Brian, the General Manager of the site along with other General Managers and Operations Managers from around the network. The day consisted of tours, presentations, group exercises, 1-2-1 interviews and a chance to network. I was over the moon to then find out that I had been invited along to the next stage, which was an assessment centre. This was at the Gist Head Office – it really was a one of a kind experience. It was my first assessment centre, I walked away feeling that it was a professional, organised, enjoyable and informative day.
What advice would you give to students applying for your role?
Tough one! Never stop asking questions! Even throughout my year with Gist, I have never stopped learning. I would give it your all from day 1 – you get out, what you put in.
How much responsibility do you have?
Very few companies offer the level of responsibility and opportunities provided during an Industrial Placement with Gist. Having just started my career, I am grateful to have received opportunities that others in my age group may not have experienced. My role sees me managing a team of up to 40 people daily. Being 20 years old I would say all of the responsibility has helped me to quickly and efficiently develop new skills, as well as help mould me into the confident manager I am today.
What do you most enjoy about your role?
I have grown so much in my industrial placement year, I am learning new skills daily whilst growing and developing my existing skills. I have learnt so much about managing people – I didn’t think as an industrial placement student that I would have such an impact in my depot – but I have been proved so wrong. From day one, you are given so many opportunities to take on additional tasks or have your say – you just have to put your hand up! For example, some of the additional projects I have worked on this year have included recruiting for our warehouse team during our peak periods and helping define our Employee Engagement Strategy at site, The Thatcham Employee Awards.
What is the office/ depot atmosphere like?
My role is in the thick of the operation. It isn’t your typical ‘office environment’. This role is on the “shop floor” in the warehouse managing a team of 40. It’s fun but challenging and gives you a real insight into this ‘hidden world’ of logistics. It’s been such a friendly and warm environment too – even in the fridge!
How has this experience exceeded your expectations?
The broad experience I have gained has surpassed my expectations and is something I have truly relished. It has opened doors for me and has meant I will be returning to university with a more structured view of my future.
Find out more about Gist here.