Being selected to take part in an international rotation at Toll City in Singapore was an incredible opportunity for me to gain exposure to our business on a global scale. I was also able to use this opportunity for personal growth by gaining new skills, knowledge and understanding of Toll’s international operations through the Singapore placement.
In Singapore I got to see at first hand the operations of Toll City. I was placed in both a healthcare and FMCG customer site. These rotations were both within Global Logistics, which was a big change for me as all my rotations in New Zealand were with Global Express.
My experiences of the operations in Singapore was an eye opener. The working culture between New Zealand and Singapore is very different and this took a bit of adjusting in the beginning. These differences allowed me to learn to adjust to different environments and to see the difference in cultures which impacted the working environment. Observing how leaders behaved and the difference in management styles between the countries also allowed me to broaden my perspective on leadership styles and gave me personal insight in to the leader I want to be in my career with Toll.
A huge takeaway was the difference between the actual operations; the FMCG rotation was very labour intensive with staff working a lot of overtime and longer hours and this operation was very fast paced. The Healthcare rotation showed us the more technological side of Toll City such as; the automated Very Narrow Aisles (VNA), Vertical Lift Module’s (VLM) and the RFID technology beginning to be implemented. We also got to spend some time in their cold room and with their Value Added Services team.
Being able to work alongside the Singapore Graduates was extremely helpful. I was able to get some insight into the project work they were doing for their respective rotations and they taught me about the culture, work-life and other insights into the operation. As well as our rotations, I was also able to see some of the other operations in Singapore during day tours. I was able to visit TOPS (an offshore petroleum site), Sitadel and the automotive warehouses.
Another great aspect of an international rotation is getting to see a new country. I was fortunate enough to get to travel around Singapore, try local dishes and interact with the wonderful people.
Singapore allowed me to grow a lot both professionally and personally. It was my first time being away from home for such a long period of time which was challenging at first. However, everyone was friendly, and I was lucky enough to settle in very quickly.
I would recommend this experience for anyone in the Graduate Program and am so thankful to Toll for allowing me to have an opportunity like this.