Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? (Name:Joe Maher, Degree – International Politics, Year started at DHL - 2012, interests – football (Leeds United fan!) and eternally learning to play golf)
What is your role and how long have you been at DHL?
I am the General Manager of the M&S National Distribution Centre at West Thurrock which is part of the clothing and home network. I have been at DHL for 9 years.
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, whereas the DHL graduate scheme provided an 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. During challenging times, having the people skills to motivate and influence others is key, particularly when working in a large site with colleagues who may not always realise how much their individual role contributes to the overall 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 have learned how important it is to understand the financial impact of any decision that is made, and just how important it is to get the basics right in order 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, and 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 the experiences I have gained have helped to 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 have worked with well-known brands, including British Airways, M&S, Carlsberg, United Airlines, Toshiba and Boots. I do not know many other roles that allow you to work with such a variety of customers.
Finally, any tips for Graduates looking to start their career with us at DHL?
My advice to any graduates looking to start their career with DHL would be to take the opportunity to join a business which really understands the importance of putting it’s people first, and which also gives real accountability to graduates from day one.