You’ve probably stumbled across this page, wondering if you want to apply for the Toll Graduate Program. I’m not going to make any sweeping promises here, but if you’re someone who is hungry for challenges and is open to adapting on-the-go, then this might be for you. Let me give you a bit of a rundown of my experience and you can decide for yourself.
Before the Program
As with those formative university years, the Toll Graduate Program allowed me to continue the journey to discover my professional interests and find a niche where I could flourish at work. Initially I chose to study a Bachelor of Commerce for the range of career pathways and subject breadth that it offered. Through much exploration, I ended up enjoying my majors in Marketing and Management. After finishing university, I explored options in not-for-profit, education, retail and creative environments, but I was still intrigued by the corporate sector and sought a role that focused on professional development. By this point, I was fortunate enough to come across and, subsequently, apply to Toll’s first Graduate Program.
During the Program
Toll’s Graduate Program gave me plenty of exposure across the supply chain network, and some rotation highlights include:
- Gaining hands-on operational experience
- Applying continuous improvement frameworks to specific operational challenges
- Using safety frameworks to review existing processes and procedures
- Various opportunities to present findings & recommendations to senior managers
- Involvement in customer interactions through workshops, meetings and customer projects
But, of course, the best part of the Graduate Program is the support network you build with your cohort and future cohorts. One of my fondest memories from the first week is an embarrassing one, involving a networking workshop prior to meeting senior leaders. We rehearsed different introductions and conversation topics to help form a good first impression, and I was an awkward mess stumbling my way through. By the next day, I was very glad that we had done this exercise together because you could probably guess who got sandwiched between our Managing Director and First Executive Office on the third day. From day one, my cohort became the group I went to seek advice, compare notes, share stories and partner up with in our development workshops.
It was through these rotations, that I became very intrigued by the intersection between customer interactions, strategic thinking and operational efficiency and, in my final rotation, I was fortunate to be placed in a team that dealt with this dynamic. I found this team to be likeminded in the way they value efficiency, focus on meaningful objectives and embrace opportunities that challenge the status quo. So, after two years, I transitioned from ‘Graduate’ to ‘Account Management Coordinator’ within the Retail, Consumer and Healthcare team.
Advice for New Graduates
First up, congratulations for finishing your degree and applying for your first role! The transition from university to work can be daunting and, sometimes, the path to finding fulfilling work is not straightforward. I think we can all expect a mix of trial and tribulation; it’s okay if you don’t exactly know what you want as long, so long as you keep an open mind.
With hindsight, some of my challenges have become some of my greatest learnings and have even helped shaped my work ethos today. Looking back on my time as a graduate, I have a few tips for future graduates:
- Establish a voice earlier on and not be afraid to challenge the boundaries of your role
- Form career goals, stay focused and be aware of how your goals align with business goals
- Take responsibility of your learning by creating opportunities for yourself or starting conversations with people to help steer you in the right direction
- Stay curious and ask questions, even if they seem obvious
- Never be afraid to try something different and pick up new skills
- Take the time to review progress on a regular basis to see if you’re on the right track
- Keep track of any achievements, feedback and compliments you’ve received throughout your time in any role, as you’ll grow over time even if you don’t see it from one day to the next.
Good luck and hope to see you soon!