I went to the University of Huddersfield and studied Logistics and supply chain management. I was part of the Novus Scheme which is what got me interested in DHL who are one of the sponsors of Novus. I am originally from Kenya and came to the UK when I was 15 years old.
What is your role and how long have you been at DHL?
My current role is Shift Operations Manager which is predominantly operational however, I have been given opportunities to be part of or come up with change projects. I started working for DHL as a placement student and came back to DHL as part of the graduate program.
What first inspired you to apply for a role with DHL?
DHL is one of the biggest logistics company in the world. Therefore, being part of such a big firm with endless opportunities and network of people would only lead to my development as a person and as a manager.
Tell us the top three skills you have learnt during your time at DHL and why you need them in your role?
People management – People are the most important aspect of any business. Understanding the different stakeholders and what they bring to the table gives me the ability to know which strategic approach I need to take with each stakeholder and how to deal with or manage them.
Project management – Coming up with ways to change or develop new processes and methods in order to improve efficiency or performance is fulfilling, especially when it goes to plan. In most cases you can visually see the impact of the change and whether it was a positive or a negative change, each has its own learning curve.
Time management - I have struggled with focusing on priorities in the past as I had a tendency to try and complete all my tasks by myself. By putting pressure on myself I realised I was not working to my potential. However, in recent times I have learnt to trust others and delegate my tasks to those more suitable. By overseeing everything and focusing on the tasks that have the highest priority, has made me a better manager. When you have a whole team at your disposal, it is a good idea to make use of their skills, which empowers them and provides me with the desired outcome in a timely manner.
What kind of training have you received? How has this helped your professional development? (Think about training, support, coaching and the experts you work with internally and at clients)
As a graduate working for DHL, the amount of extensive training I have received has hugely contributed to my development. For example, ACT and PM101 were some of the most valuable training I received. The knowledge I obtained from these methods and the tools provided has only accelerated my ways of planning and achieving change projects. Whenever I am part of projects now, or any sort of change, I have a different perspective than I did before. Additionally, HR trainings such as investigations, managing disciplinary and grievance issues, absence management have made me more confident when tackling HR cases.]
What excites you about the work you are doing? (Is it the scale of activities you carry out, the global nature of the company, the impact you make on your team etc.?
What excites me the most about the work I do is the people. Different characters, people from different countries with distinct cultures all on one team brings out the best in everyone involved. I enjoy working more with people who are focused on what needs to be done but have fun doing it. In addition, being in a position to be able to also give development opportunities to others and seeing the right people succeed has given me a feeling of accomplishment in my life, which I will continue to do so.
What do you find most interesting with the sector/industry you’re in?
I am currently in the Aviation and Travel Sector and it is very fast paced with unpredictable challenges, for example, a weather disruption or a drone witnessed near an airport. These kind of disruptions alone create challenges and a domino effect which could last for weeks as well as affect the bottom line if not dealt with correctly. I find it very interesting in trying to find ways to still achieve our objectives given such interferences.
What is the company culture like?
The culture is great especially since I work at a site where several of the senior managers are former graduates. It makes it really easy as the people in the right places understand the challenges and the mentality of a graduate. The support and opportunities they offer are specific to my development. I enjoy working with everyone as everyone has something to offer and something worthy to learn from. They are also a great laugh!
How has this role and the experiences you’ve gained set you up for future career progression and success?
By being part of the Future Leaders Program, I feel like I am on the right track to exponentially progress my career. My current role has taught me to be patient and use my mind to see things from a wider scope. Rather than just focusing on achieving my targets today and reacting to problems, I learnt that I need to be more proactive in finding smart ways to eradicate inefficiencies.
Has anything surprised you since you started at DHL?
The vast amount of different DHL customers has surprised me. So many sectors that provide a huge range of services, there is always a place for people who are willing to learn and succeed.
Finally, any tips for members wanting to apply to DHL?
DHL is such a huge organisation with a great culture that values ambitious and hardworking people along with rewarding them with opportunities of growth.