I grew up in Western Sydney where I spent most of my childhood and younger schooling years. At the age of fourteen, I relocated to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland with my family and have been there ever since. I studied Law, Business, English, Mathematics and Information Technology in my final school years whilst completing a Certificate 2 and Certificate 3 in Retail Management through McDonald's.
I graduated from school and decided to take a management position at McDonald's. I also decided I wanted to study Law and got accepted into a law degree. Six weeks into the course, I realised it was definitely not for me! I changed my degree to a Bachelor of Business and chose two majors; one in Management and one in Human Resource Management. I spent the next two and a half years progressing through my degree and working part-time in management.
I applied for ALDI in my final year at the University of the Sunshine Coast and started my position as a Graduate Area Manager in February of 2018. I consider it to be one of the best decisions I have ever made and I have not looked back since.
I don’t think there is a typical day as such. The graduate program is very structured and exposes you to the broader business which means you learn a lot about different departments. You spend time in Store Operations, Property, Safety, Warehouse, Purchasing and with established Area Managers learning their role. I would say that in the role of Area Manager you spend most days visiting stores, having meaningful discussions with your teams, recruiting new employees, and enjoying tackling the day-to-day challenges that arise. Each day is just as enjoyable as the last, it also helps to have a good sense of humour and optimism.
Absolutely! There are so many different Area Managers and Area Manager Graduates that have unique backgrounds from Law to Engineering to Business and everything in-between. This job is about your ability in leadership and leading teams. You have to be people-focused too; without our people, we wouldn’t be successful and that’s the same in this business as it is in any business. If you are passionate, motivated, optimistic, have a strong work ethic, people-focused, and care about leadership then this career might just be the right one for you.
I love the challenge that the job brings. Throughout the program, seeing the varied roles across the business in different departments showcased the different challenges we all face every single day. It also illustrated the strength and resilience of each person in the business to find a solution and overcome those challenges. As you get exposed to more and more challenges, you refine your decision making and then get thrown something completely new you have never seen before and it’s your job to overcome it. As an Area Manager, you are surrounded by a strong culture that gives you support with even the most difficult situations. I am fortunate that I have excellent store teams, directors and colleagues that have helped me navigate some unique experiences and encounters in my time at ALDI and also challenge me to be a better version of myself every single day.
Being an Area Manager in a retail business means long hours, time pressures, late nights, early mornings and weekend work. If you have strong time management and are able to prioritise effectively, you will be able to manage, control, and work these limitations into your working week. The results though are definitely worth it and you can succeed in creating a positive and stable work-life balance.