Do you need extensive marketing knowledge to succeed in your role?
Yes, I think it would be possible to be a marketing graduate without a marketing background. Even with marketing agency experience and a marketing degree, I have had to develop many new skills that I did not have previously. In marketing, being organised, being passionate and being open to new experiences will get you a very long way. There are many rotations within marketing with a more commercial focus, some with a financial focus and some more closely tied to operations. I believe as long as you are willing to develop and refine your skills, anyone can be a part of marketing at Coles.
What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?
My team worked closely on the FightMND campaign, allowing me to meet some incredible contacts internally and externally. My team partners with FightMND and Pork Australia to run 10c and 20c donations to the charity on pork products, to support the research to find a better treatment and improve the lives of those living with MND. Through this project, I was included in a Sunrise segment, I met AFL players and was lucky enough to go to the Big Freeze game. I was able to see firsthand how the community and charity partners interact with Coles and the incredible passion that goes into supporting these causes.
Does Coles support flexible working?
Coles certainly does support flexible working, allowing you to work however you perform best. I work from home on certain days, and because of a longer commute, I adjust my start and finish time to be able to drive around peak traffic times. I also am not from Victoria and have found it fantastic being able to work remotely from another state when visiting home. Your manager or leader will be more than happy to discuss how you work best and accommodate your preferences the best they can.
What support is given to you?
The People and Culture team will set you up with many contacts when you first start the program. Before your start date, you will be given a “buddy” who is a current or previous graduate who can help answer any questions about being a graduate and starting your career. You are also paired with an “accelerator coach” who is a senior leader in the business. Your accelerator coach is a mentor and is a great contact for career development. However, everyone at Coles treats grads with great respect and patience, you can reach out to anyone in the business whose role you may be interested in or who you would like to meet, and they always will make time to sit down and chat with you.
What’s been your biggest takeaway from the Graduate program so far?
My biggest takeaway from the Coles Graduate program is that grads are truly appreciated in the business. You have full autonomy, responsibility, and flexibility, with the opportunity to work in 4 different roles in different areas of the business. You are encouraged to explore whatever area of Coles that you are interested in or passionate about and encouraged to develop your skills and knowledge towards your own goals. Grads are taught to drive their careers, reach out to leaders in the business they would want to work with, build a strong network and take great pride in the work that they do.