Melanie grad

Melanie Abdeen - Q & A

What do you like about working at Toll?

What I enjoy most about working at Toll is how truly different each day can be. In just a few months I have been exposed to different challenges, teams and projects and I have loved every moment of it. More than anything I enjoy the fact that the Toll graduate program is so flexible in the way that it is structured. The program is very much whatever I make of it, meaning that I am free to embrace new challenges, speak up and introduce new initiatives, work on new projects and create valuable networks as I wish. I was told in my interview process that logistics is a demanding and fast paced industry; no two days are the same. I have very much learnt this is incredibly accurate and this is what I have loved so much about working for Toll.

In addition to this, I have really enjoyed the fact I feel I am a part of a family. For me, working in a safe and supportive environment where I was encouraged to achieve my best was always important to me. I have very much found this to be the case at Toll where I have been warmly received. I have been encouraged to step out of my comfort zone and rise to new challenges whilst in a welcoming friendly and fun setting. I look forward to coming to work every morning, because I work with great people upholding great values every day.

What has been the most exciting thing you have do so far?

I am currently based at Vic Healthcare in Altona North where we warehouse medications. It is unique in its operations and challenges and I have found every aspect about it exciting. Some medications that we store here are temperature sensitive and so working with the warehouse crew to understand the operations to ensure these medications maintain the correct temperature range has been truly fascinating. In understanding these operations, I have especially gained a true insight into the importance of effective communication and teamwork, as a small error can be an incredibly costly one when it comes to pharmaceutical products!

Specifically, the most exciting part about working in healthcare is the unique quality challenges that arise. Any change to a process in our operations must also be approved by quality assurance and validation must be completed to ensure no risk to product will occur. I have recently initiated a new project and have been working closely with the quality assurance team as well as senior leaders within Healthcare nationwide.  I hope to introduce uniform packing procedures to Toll Healthcare across the country, thus helping to ensure our consignments consistently maintain correct temperature ranges. Making sense from an operational, commercial and quality standpoint, I have great hopes for the success of this project.

What has been the biggest learning curve /challenge for you so far?

I think one of the biggest lessons I have learnt so far is to manage my time effectively by prioritising and learning not to over commit. Though I think it is important to take on as many opportunities as possible, you need to do the right thing by the person allocating the task to you. Understand what the task requires of you and never underestimate a task. Always be transparent about the skills you may or may not have and show some humility.

An example of this was when I was required to step into commercial work to provide help on a budgeting task for the Healthcare business nationally. This required me to populate A LOT of data using Microsoft Excel; a program I was not overly confident with. I made the person allocating me the task aware of this but let them know I was eager to learn and improve my skills. They made me aware of the fact it was of high importance and was extremely urgent, thus my help was required.

Though there was a bit of panic at times, through this I learnt the importance of effectively managing my time and thankfully, had the task completed successfully.  

How have you connected your university degree to your role at Toll?

At university I studied management and marketing- not related to logistics at all. Coming from a marketing background, however, has instilled the importance of consistent branding and the importance of delighting the customer. In a service-based business, customer centricity is key and using my marketing skills and knowledge obtained at university, I have been able to present ideas that’ll help to better market Toll and its Healthcare service, going forward.

Having a management background has also taught me about the importance of employee motivation. Thus, I am always attempting to keep employee morale high at work by hosting special lunches and morning teas which often include fun games that everyone, from all levels of seniority, enjoys.

All in all, it is the soft skills that you learn during university such as how to work effectively with different kinds of people to achieve a common goal, that has truly helped me during my time working at Toll.