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Discover what you love

As one of the world’s fastest growing retailers, we’ve always got great career opportunities available across all of our Coles Brands (Supermarkets, Liquor & Coles Express). The generalist program enables you to rotate through many different teams across Coles, discovering what you really love.

If you haven’t already, make sure you check out more info About the program, the Real stories from our graduates and of course our Events, Key Dates & FAQ page! 

Learn more
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Buying and Trading

How do you implement and analyse the right range of products for sale in-store? How do you ensure customers are getting the best quality and value offering in the market? How do you work cross-functionally with a supply chain, marketing, and store operations team to deliver competitive pricing, customer-centric campaigns, and an enjoyable shopping experience?

As a Buying and Trading Graduate you are responsible for your category’s performance. This includes negotiating with suppliers to determine what products should be sold, setting the best value offering for customers, working with store teams to eliminate costs, and ultimately meeting your profit targets. You will join a talented and diverse team who specialise in supplier relationship management, data analysis, and customer centric decision making.

Let's hear from Carly, one of our Buying and Trading Graduates....

  Carly - B&T Graduate 

 What do you love about Buying and Trading?

Every day is different and challenging - I don’t have a set schedule, I’m never stuck behind a desk all day, and I get to talk to dozens of different stakeholders across the business. You will become a passionate expert of the products in your Merchandise category, and you have to carefully balance a variety of priorities and opinions in your everyday decision making. There is a combination of reactive work and forward-planning to manage – you will never get bored!

What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?

As a graduate in the Dairy Milk category I got to visit a local farmer in Adelaide to watch the cows’ milking schedule and see a cow get artificially inseminated. It made me realise how important the local agricultural supply chain is in Australia – the more milk I can sell, the more these farmers and their communities will benefit.

Why Coles?

The office is constantly buzzing with energy, excitement and ideas – it is an inspiring place to work and you are surrounded by some of the most intelligent retail minds from around the world. I worked in supermarket retail throughout school and university and enjoy the fast-pace, high-pressure nature of the industry. Coles has customer satisfaction at the epicentre of every decision, and it is rewarding to see your work benefiting the community.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice before starting in the Graduate program, what would it be?

Ask lots of questions. The first few months in any new job can be daunting, so bite little bits off at a time and master something new each week. Set up regular catch ups with your line manager to show them your achievements – at the end of the program your actions will speak for themselves and give you the best chance of landing a full-time role.

Key skills of a Buying and Trading Graduate:
  • To manage workload in a fast paced environment

  • Ability to prioritise and manage a combination of reactive and future focussed tasks

  • Strong analytical skills

  • Put people and customers at the heart of what you do 

Example rotations:
  • Range and Space
  • Category Management Grocery
  • Category Management Fresh
  • Category Management Non-Food
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Central Operations

How do we effectively communicate between our Store Support Centre and our stores? How do we manage the many product offerings within our stores? How do we effectively land projects and trials in our stores? How do we inspire and develop a store team to work efficiently and effectively to deliver the best shopping experience for our customers?

As a Central Operations graduate, you get to touch every aspect of the business and work with many teams cross-functionally. You are given real responsibility and will be an important link between our back-of-house operations and our stores.

Let's hear from Candice, one of our Central Operations Graduates....

Candice - Central Ops 

What do you love about Central Operations?

I love that Central Operations is so close to supporting stores. Our stores are the heart of our business and being able to support them through trade drivers, simpler processes and training is extremely rewarding. It is also great to work with team members cross-functionally to ensure that every project or initiative is fit to land in stores. I’m a very curious person so Central Operations is perfect as it gives you a little taste of everything that is happening in the business.

What type of degree do you need to work in Central Operations?

Central Operations is so broad that it doesn’t matter what you studied, as long as you are willing to learn and are able to adapt to the flexible and dynamic environment, you will be a great fit.

What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?

I have had the opportunity to film training videos in our stores and with our suppliers at our production facilities which is a lot of fun. The opportunity to film in stores is my favourite part of my role – our store team members are so enthusiastic, customer-focused and although a camera lens could never capture the level pride they take in their work, it’s always a pleasure to witness. It’s also inspiring to meet our suppliers and it gives you goose bumps to hear the passion they have for what they do.

Why Coles?

Every day Coles gives me a new reason to be proud to be a team member, whether it is incredible partnerships with Redkite, community fundraisers, sustainable initiatives or a simple smile and hello at the checkouts, Coles is really an incredible place to work. The culture is collaborative, dynamic and fast-paced and we have a lot of fun along the way!      

Describe a Coles Graduate in 3 words

Driven, Team-player, Adaptable 

Key skills of a Central Operations Graduate:
  • Be able to build strong relationships

  • Flexible and able to quickly adapt to change

  • A practical problem solver

  • Have strong commercial awareness

Example rotations:
  • Store Communications
  • Operations Merchandise Support
  • Customer Checkout and Systems
  • Change Management Office
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Coles Express

Who and what fuels the engine that is Coles Express?

The generalist structure of the Coles Express Graduate Program produces Graduates with a broad wealth of knowledge across the end-to-end operations of the business. Over your two year journey you will be exposed to multiple areas of the Express business through 4 rotations in each of the Marketing, Buying and Trading, and Supply Chain areas. You will be challenged with real responsibility, real accountability and the opportunity to make a real difference. If you join Coles Express as a Graduate you will have the opportunity to work with a passionate and innovative team who are constantly seeking out the next opportunity in convenience and petrol retailing!

Let's hear from Georgie, one of our Coles Express Graduates....

Georgie - Coles Express 

What do you love about Coles Express?

Coles Express is a great place to work as it has the scale of a big business with a small business feel. As a Graduate, I have had the opportunity to work cross-functionally with all different areas of the business and have been exposed to the end to end operations of the company. This has allowed me to expand my network, as well give me an insight into areas of the business I would not otherwise have had exposure to. Coles Express empowers their Graduates and gives them real responsibility. In my first rotation (in merchandise) I was accountable for all aspects of the range review process, from reporting sales figures at trade meetings, to ensuring the sites could order and receive the products. Having accountability allows you to really make an impact and add value to the organisation, which as a Graduate is very satisfying.

What's been your biggest takeaway from the Graduate program so far?

The Graduate program has been a great learning experience for me. To get the most out of this program, I have learnt it is vital to really throw yourself into the action and get involved. Taking initiative, looking for opportunities and volunteering yourself for exciting projects will mean that you can be a valued and respected member of the team.  As a Coles Graduate, you have the opportunity to really make a difference- you just need to put yourself out there!

What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?

Innovation is a key focus for Coles Express and I was lucky enough to be involved in the development and execution of the three concept Coles Express stores that were launched in 2016. This involved working as part of a cross-functional team to deliver a unique and exciting proposition in the petrol and convenience industry. I was able to be involved in many aspects of the project, including researching best practice in market, reviewing and updating ranges, developing a new customer communication strategy and completely redesigning store formats. The best part was being able to experience the changes first hand and see all my hard work come to life in store.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice before starting in the Graduate program, what would it be?

My advice would be to utilise the position in the Graduate program to make opportunities for yourself. Coles Express places a strong emphasis on Graduate development, and the team is incredibly willing to help out graduates. Graduates need to make the most of these opportunities to learn about different parts of the business and make cross-functional connections. For example, whilst in my marketing rotation I was keen to understand what the process was for filming a TV commercial but as Coles Express did not have any that I was able to attend I took the initiative and visited  a supermarket campaign shoot. Every day there are opportunities to meet people and work in different areas – You need to take them!

Does the generalist nature of the Coles Express Grad Program, make it hard to pursue a career in a specific function following the completion of the program?

In actual fact the generalist nature of the program has the opposite impact! The program gives Graduates a complete understanding of the entire business and how it works from a variety of perspectives, which is invaluable to any area. Working cross-functionally also allows you to connect with people in a variety of roles and therefore grow your network across an entire business. The opportunity to try 4 different rotations is unique to the Coles Express Graduate program and allows you to bring a wealth of knowledge to a specific function at the completion of the program.

 Key skills of a Coles Express Graduate:
  • Ability to embrace change, adapt and innovate

  • Analytical mindset and interest in broad business operations

  • Strong networker

  • A team player with a positive can do attitude 

Example rotations:
  • Buying and Trading (Merchandise)
  • Marketing
  • Supply Chain
  • Operations
  • Business Transformation
  • Property
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Corporate Affairs

How do you communicate a corporate strategy to more than 102,000 team members? How do you shape customer and shareholders perception of Coles? How do you engage constructively with Federal, State and Local Governments? How do you ensure that we fulfil Coles’ responsibility to our customers, our suppliers, the community and the environment? How do you raise funds and awareness for our charity partners?

Corporate Affairs at Coles is diverse, challenging and strategic, with a finger always on the pulse. The small specialised team is at the frontline of corporate communications, working directly with stakeholders, journalists and our team to ensure that Coles is known around Australia as a responsible trustworthy brand. Crisis and issues management, managing policy and regulations with state and federal governments, fostering community and charitable partnerships, creating publicity for our great range of products, stores and services, working with industry bodies and sharing our strategy with our team members—Corporate Affairs does it all!

 Let's hear from Laura, one of our Corporate Affairs Graduates....

Laura - Corporate Affairs 

What do you love about Corporate Affairs?

Working in Corporate Affairs allows you to take a high-level view of Coles, which is a perspective unique to this function. You also engage with the media on both proactive and reactive issues and work with government on complex content which I find incredibly engaging.

What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?

Working on the Coles section of the Wesfarmers Sustainability Report was really special. To work for a company that is able to measure its social and environmental impact is really important to me, so being able to help pull together data on things like how much water we use and the amount of emissions we produce was awesome!

What's been your biggest takeaway from the Graduate program so far?

There is nothing like hands-on experience, in Corporate Affairs you gain a deeper understanding of how business, government and the media interconnect.

Why Coles?

Because I believe that Coles has a positive and meaningful impact on Australian’s lives – in the form of long-term supplier contracts, community and charity partnerships, as an employer of more than 100,000 people or providing quality affordable groceries. There is so much opportunity at Coles to make a difference!

Describe a Coles Graduate in 3 words

Questioning, thorough and proactive.

Key skills of a Corporate Affairs Graduate:

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills

  • An understanding of the environment in which we operate

  • Ability to analyse and disseminate information succinctly

  • Great Stakeholder management

Example rotations:

  • Internal Communications
  • Community & Sustainability
  • Public Affairs
  • National Media
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Digital (IT, Coles Online & flybuys)

Do you go that extra mile to really understand what moments matter to customers and the overall customer journey? Do you want to be instrumental in changing the retail landscape for our customers and team members in stores? Do you want to understand how things work from end to end perspective?

 

Coles Digital is an exhilarating and fast-paced function focused on delivering positive business change and continuous innovation. Leveraging analytical capabilities to make the right business decisions faster, Coles Digital aims to inspire customers and team members with personalized services and solutions.

 

The heavily team-oriented environment provides all team members with plenty of networking opportunities to work on cross-functional and multi-platform projects in the digital space within IT, Coles Online and Flybuys.

 

Technical, business focused or creative; you’ll find endless career paths to explore!

 

Let's hear from Danielle, one of our Digital Graduates....

Danielle - Digital  

 

What do you love about Digital?

What I love most about Digital is the fact that it is so broad and provides so many different opportunities. As Digital includes IT, Coles Online and flybuys there are endless functions and teams to be a part of. This variety enables you to develop many skills and puts you in the position to really know what role you want in the future.

 

What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?

One of my favourite experience has been organising a technology booth at our strategy day to showcase the latest and greatest digital has to offer to everyone in the support centre (such as using VR for training in stores). I also think it’s cool that the Digital function holds ‘hack-a-thon’ events that I always try and take part in to come up with the next innovative idea that Coles can implement.

 

What’s been your biggest takeaway from the Graduate program so far?

My biggest takeaway so far would have to be that the more you put your hand up to be accountable for, or to be a part of, the more you will get out of the program!

 

Do you need extensive IT knowledge to succeed in Digital?

I would not say you need extensive IT knowledge to succeed in Digital as a many activities rely on soft skills rather than technical skills. Also there are many teams that do not require the typical ‘IT’ skillsets such as coding and database management, however I have found having some knowledge is always useful.

 

I have done a business information systems degree myself and I would say it has laid the foundations for me to understand core concepts and to tackle problems quickly as well as ask the right questions.

 

Why Coles?

I chose Coles (one of the largest retailers in Australia!) because I have always worked in retail and love the fast paced nature of it. I also chose to work here because I believe there are few companies that would provide more opportunities than Coles to work with such a wide variety of digital technologies as we have so many customer and team member touch points and offerings.

Key skills of a Digital Graduate:
  • An inquisitive nature

  • A passion for technology and business

  • Proactive and work well in a team environment

  • Focus on delivering the right outcomes for our customers

Example rotations:
  • Operations
  • Loyalty (flybuys)
  • Marketing / Digital Services
  • Infrastructure, Planning and Delivery
  • Multichannel
  • Point of Sale Systems
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Finance

How do you ensure reliable and accurate financial reporting to the wider business? How do you determine the best course of action to drive sales and profit? How do you ensure that the business sets the right financial targets, and has the correct measures in place to achieve these?

A role in Finance will provide you with the opportunity to work in a diverse and talented team to support all areas of the business, providing you with a breadth of experience across all functions and brands.

Over your three year journey, you will be challenged to provide reliable forecasting, budgeting and planning to ensure our teams are set up for long-term success. All this, whilst becoming CA or CPA qualified!

Let's hear from Chris, one of our Finance Graduates:

Chris - Finance 

What do you love about Finance?

I love that Finance offers variety, exposure and opportunity. As a Graduate within Finance, I have had the chance to work in a number of teams on a range of exciting projects. As a result, Finance has provided me with the opportunity to develop a range of different skills and to understand how various parts of the business function and interact with each other.

What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?

The coolest experience I have had is working on a Total Loss project within the Business Assurance (Audit) Team. This involved travelling across Australia over a two month period to liaise with, and investigate a number of sites to understand the causes of loss and the effectiveness of current processes.

What's been your biggest takeaway from the Graduate program so far?

My biggest takeaway has been the realisation that whilst Coles is extremely fast paced and dynamic, it is important to stop, think, and understand why you are doing something in Finance. Knowing why we do something is imperative to delivering great results as well as simplifying or developing better processes.

Why Coles?

I choose Coles for the people and the culture. Since day one of the program, I have found that other team members have always been willing to take time out of their day to answer my questions, assist me, and devote their time into helping me develop and progress within the business.

And specifically, I chose the Finance Graduate scheme because I get the opportunity to complete 4 rotations in a range of roles across the business!

The first two rotations of the program involve working in financial control, where Graduates develop core accounting principles which provides a strong foundation for a career in Finance.

The second two rotations are when we get to really partner with the business! We support key stakeholders through providing them with insightful financial analysis.

And no matter what rotation you’re completing – you always feel like you’re supporting our Coles customers across Australia!

Describe a Coles Graduate in 3 words

Passionate, Adaptable, Bold.

Key skills of a Finance Graduate:
  • Strong analytical skills and an inquisitive mindset

  • A talent for influencing people

  • Recognise risk and demonstrate conceptual thinking

  • Confidence to work with senior leaders across a range of functions

  • Ability to present complex information clearly and simply

  • A practical problem solver

  • Details conscious and accurate 

Example rotations:
  • Financial Accounting
  • Commercial Finance
  • Commercial and Strategic Business Partnering
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Legal

Our Legal stream is new for 2017!!

How do you deliver high quality legal services in a fast-paced, multifunctional organisation? Do you want to support the implementation of new or changing legislation? How can you effectively negotiate cutting edge and complex agreements? 

 

As a Legal Graduate, you will develop skills across a broad array of contractual platforms, work in a multifaceted regulatory environment and turn strategy into concrete deals, as well as get exposure to the broader world of law! 

 

Did you know: if you choose the dedicated Legal stream, you will gain experience which could count towards your admission during the program!

 

*our Legal stream is only recruiting for our February 2018 cohort

 

Example rotations:
  • Risk and Compliance
  • Legal Team (including Merchandise hub)
  • Property development
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Liquor

With 8,000 Team Members and over 850 Liquor Sites nationally, as a Liquor Graduate you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself over two years working across our four brands, Liquorland, Vintage Cellars, First Choice Liquor and the newly introduced Liquor Market.

Coles Liquor provides you with an inspiring and invaluable opportunity to be a part of a passionate team who places its customers at the forefront of its decisions, with a vision to be Australia’s favourite Liquor stores. With a diverse range of functions to choose from, whether it’s Buying & Trading, Marketing, Supply Chain or our project focussed Transformation Team, you will be exposed to all facets of the business.

You will develop key skills such as negotiating, sourcing new and improved products and learning to challenge the ideas of your fellow team members. So whether your drink of choice involves a buttery Margaret River Chardonnay or perhaps a cold crafty beer, the Liquor Graduate program is waiting for you!

Let's hear from Hugo, one of our Liquor Graduates....

Hugo - Liquor

What do you love about Liquor?                                 

Given its (relatively!) small size, I love arriving into the office each morning and being able to put a name to so many Liquor faces. This provides for such a friendly and supportive working environment where team members can learn a great deal from one another.

What is the coolest experience you have had in Liquor so far?

I was lucky enough to be involved in organising a Liquor fundraiser event for a charity very close to Coles’ heart. I was overwhelmed with the support I received and it was a proud moment seeing so many Liquor team members coming together for such a great cause.

Why Coles?

Why not! There certainly aren’t many organisations these days that offer a world renowned Graduate program over a two year period that provide Graduates with the opportunity to gain exposure in 17 different functions. From Central Operations to Strategy, not to mention the endless special guests, social events and great discount offers, the program really does offer something for everyone!

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice before starting the Graduate program, what would it be?

To try to have an opinion for everything would be what I would have given myself. Whilst it may seem daunting to speak up around experienced colleagues, it’s one of the best ways to learn. Not least, it gives your fellow team members a chance to find out a little about your and where your interests lie.

What gets me up in the morning?

It’s another day and another opportunity to put forward bold ideas in the hope of making things even easier for our stores and customers to shop with Coles Liquor.

Key skills of a Liquor Graduate:
  • Ability to embrace change, adapt and innovate
  • Analytical mindset and interest in broad business operations
  • Strong networker
  • A team player with a positive can do attitude
Example rotations:
  • Buying and Trading (merchandise)
  • Marketing
  • Supply Chain
  • Liquor Direct Online Business
  • Operations
  • Business Transformation
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Marketing

What new ideas and initiatives can improve customer satisfaction and save customers money? How do you use customer feedback, trends and behaviours to develop strategies to ensure Coles remains competitive? How do you choose the best brand ambassadors?

From communicating with millions of Australians every week, analysing trends in customer behaviour or developing a powerful TV commercial, as a Marketing Graduate you'll help drive one of the biggest brands in Australia in an innovative team at the cutting edge of retail marketing.

Let's hear from Claire, one of our Marketing Graduates....

Claire - Marketing 

What do you love about Marketing?

Marketing is a fast-paced, exciting and creative team to work in. Every day I have the opportunity to communicate with millions of customers helping to define how people interact with our stores and shaping the perception of Coles around Australia. Working in Marketing at Coles allows me to engage and work with a raft of different teams from digital marketing, flybuys to advertising and design and other verticals, giving me a broad understanding of the different marketing levers we use to help drive sales growth for the business.

What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?

I had the opportunity to be a part of a project that shaped the future of Coles’ stores. The projects aspiration is to generate a cultural change, transforming the way our teams work and engage with their local community and our customers. This project will deliver a step change in how Coles’ stores operate and will give our customers the best food shopping experience in Australia; it doesn’t get more inspiring than that!

What's been your biggest takeaway from the Graduate program so far?

I learnt very quickly the importance of truly understanding our customers and embracing their feedback on how we can improve and what matters most to them. This approach will help ensure that when your work lands in stores it supports our team to deliver a better customer experience and has a positive impact on the people they serve.

Why Coles?

I have always had a passion for retail and I believe Coles provides me with the opportunity to work for a world class retailer right here in Australia. Our business isn’t afraid to take bold risks; we are continuously looking for new and innovative ways to improve the shopping experience for our customers. This bold culture combined with the sheer size of Coles means as a Graduate I am given the opportunity to shape and make a positive difference for millions of Australians.

Describe a Coles Graduate in 3 words

Inspiring, diverse, energetic

Key skills of a Marketing Graduate:
  • Good organisational and planning skills

  • A customer centric approach and understanding of our customers and what matters to them

  • Curiosity and confidence to challenge the way we do things

  • Being able to meet tight deadlines with a positive can do attitude

Example rotations
  • Customer Insights
  • Digital Marketing
  • Campaign Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Store Development
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Network Planning

How does Coles decide where, when and how big new stores should be? How are decisions made about which stores should be extended, replaced or refurbished? Which supermarkets should be co-located with Liquorland or Coles Express?

The Network Planning team are at the heart of this decision making process. The team holds a rich variety of data on our own stores, our competitors and on catchment demographic data which with sophisticated forecasting models enables us to make smart decisions about the locations and attributes of our stores.

Network Planning Graduates have the opportunity to work with Property, Strategy, Finance, Marketing, Liquor, Coles Express, Customer Insights, and many other teams across the business to provide insight and set out the best strategy for new and existing stores!  

Let's hear from Rebecca, one of our Network Planning Graduates....

Rebecca - network planning 

What do you love about Network Planning?

My favourite part of Network Planning is the variety of work I get to do. Working across Supermarkets, Liquor and Coles Express means that there’s always something new and interesting happening. I love that I get to work with a range of different people across the business, from Property to Customer Insights, which gives me a good understanding of how Coles works. Also – I get to do site visits to existing and proposed new stores which is always fun.

What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?

I’ve been lucky enough to travel interstate to go on site visits. I’ve been given real responsibility to head out to a site and give my advice on if we should proceed with a proposed new site. It’s been really great getting out to see different parts of Australia, and to help decide where the best locations for Coles are.

What's been your biggest takeaway from the Graduate program so far?

I didn’t know it was possible to have so much fun while working for a big company! The people that you work with make a huge difference and I’ve loved working with my team and other grads. You can really feel the ‘one team’ culture at Coles.

What do I need to have studied to be a Network Planner?

The team is full of people from all different backgrounds – Geography, Economics, Urban Planning, Finance, Spatial Science, Commerce, Property Economics and more!

Describe a Coles Graduate in 3 words

Enthusiastic, passionate, driven

Key skills of a Network Planning Graduate:

  • The ability to engage and influence different types of people

  • Ability to present complex information clearly and simply

  • A practical problem solver

  • Details conscious and accurate

Example rotations

  • Supermarket sales forecasting
  • Fuel, Liquor and Coles Online forecasting
  • Sales model development
  • Competitor Intelligence
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People and Culture

What does it take for 100,000 unique team members to deliver a great customer experience to millions of Australians, every day? How do you ensure team members have the right skills and tools to meet the needs of those customers? How do you deliver flexible working environments for thousands of people to help them build great careers?

From developing our diverse team, recruiting top talent or enabling flexible work environments, there’s plenty of opportunities for our People and Culture Graduates to influence the future of Coles. It’s all about creating the best place to work for our team and the best place to shop for our customers.

Let's hear from Erin, one of our People and Culture Graduates....

 HR Graduate - Erin 

What do you love about People and Culture?

It’s so much bigger than I thought it was! People and Culture is dynamic, diverse, and of course fast paced – it has to be to keep up with our business! No matter what rotation you’re in, no two days are ever the same. I love knowing that the work I’m doing is providing our team members with the tools they need to not only develop their own careers, but to provide our customers with exceptional service every day.   

What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?

One of the coolest experiences I’ve had was when I got to MC the induction week for our new Graduates as part of my rotation in the Emerging Talent team – after only having been in role for 6 months! The induction week brought together over 100 of our new SSC Grads and Ops Grads, and I loved being a part of their first week with Coles and sharing some of my insights with them. It was great public speaking practice too!

Why Coles?

You’re given real responsibility from the get-go. I’ve had the opportunity to own several pieces of work end-to-end and it’s amazing to see your hard work come to life in such real, tangible ways. I’ve already developed so much professionally and personally throughout the program and it’s really exciting thinking about what’s next.

What kind of rotations will I be doing in People and Culture?

There are a lot of different rotations in People and Culture! You could be in a generalist rotation which would be business partnering with one of our Store Support Centre functions– for example People and Culture for Finance or People and Culture for our Supermarket Operations Team. Or you could be in a specialist rotation, for example Advisory - which is where you’ll be providing advice to Managers across the country around employee relation issues – or Learning and Development. You’ll have an opportunity to try both generalist and specialist rotations, so you’ll really get to see it all.

Describe a Coles Graduate in 3 words

Driven, Creative, Humble

Key skills of a People and Culture Graduate:
  • Interest in business / Commercial mindset
  • Ability to build relationships with a variety of individuals
  • Influencing and negotiation skills
  • Courage to offer creative insights and execute change
 
Example rotations:
  • Recruitment
  • Employee Relations
  • HR Business Partner
  • Learning and Development
  • Organisational Development
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Procurement

Have you ever wondered how a multi-million dollar deal is negotiated and settled with our Logistics, Marketing, Capital and I.T suppliers?  Have you considered a career driven by strong commercial acumen and long-term strategic planning?

The Coles Procurement team oversee $3B worth of spend per annum. We are responsible for the sourcing of all goods and services that are ‘not for re-sale’, ranging from the equipment in-stores to the acquisition of Coles trailers you see on the roads, agency partnerships for TV/radio advertisements and even the future of technology such as big data analytics!

Let's hear from Amy, one of our Procurement Graduates....

Amy - Procurement 

What do you love about Procurement?

I work with a diversely skilled team on a day to day basis and play a part in a range of projects that touch on multiple areas of the business. No day is ever the same as I am given the opportunity to liaise with stakeholders such as financial professionals, in-house legal counsel and national operation managers. Because of Coles’ large profile in Australia, I am also constantly engaging with suppliers who are industry leaders, learning about ‘the next big thing’. I know that the work I am partaking in has direct results on the organisation.

What projects are you enjoying working on?

I am engaged in multiple projects that will have a range of outcomes. Working with category managers on taking our requirements to potential suppliers has been challenging and exciting. It involves developing structured contracts, facilitating communication between stakeholders, ensuring timelines are developed and adhered to and finally organising the evaluation of tender responses. It’s exciting to see a piece of work come together! 

Some other key tasks I've worked on are:

  • Complete market scans for potential suppliers
  • Complete market research on products and suppliers
  • Score commercial tender responses and assess market pricing standards

What's been your biggest takeaway from the Graduate program so far?

The Graduate program enables you to get a taste for functions that you may not have considered previously. University prepared me for one area of business, but being part Procurement has allowed me to take those skills, grow them and turn them into real-world applicable actions.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice before starting in the Graduate program, what would it be?

Understanding an acronym can put a whole conversation into perspective. Functions have lots of jargon, processes and tools that you will need to learn, so never be afraid to ask questions or call out when you don’t understand.

What question are you often asked in Procurement?

The procurement profession is not known by many university students and I encourage everyone who is looking to challenge their creativity and long-term strategic thinking to consider a rotation in Procurement. Being a Procurement Graduate, you always have to be prepared to take on responsibility and handle large projects – there’s no flying under the radar! There is real opportunity to showcase personal skills within the Procurement team. 

 Key skills of a Procurement Graduate:

  • Put people and customers at the heart of what you do

  • Excellent analytical thinking with a drive for getting things done

  • Exceptional stakeholder management and negotiation skills

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Example rotations

  • Procurement Transformation
  • Store Operations and Capital
  • Supply Chain
  • Marketing and Corporate Services
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Product Development

Are you passionate about food and product innovation? Are you passionate about working with suppliers to design and develop products that meet the needs of everyday shoppers? Do you long to see a product you've worked to develop on your local supermarket shelf? How would you like the opportunity to be part of one of Australia’s biggest brands?

In the Coles Brand team at Coles, we spend our time immersed in products- eating them, designing and developing them, problem solving with their quality and  making sure they are grown and/or made in a responsible way. No two days will be the same, and as a Graduate part of the Coles Brand team, you will learn how to develop innovative and world class products. 

Let's hear from Jasmine, one of our Product Development Graduates....

Jasmine-Product Dev 

What do you love about Product Development?

I love that I get to eat for my job! It’s great that I get to share my passion for food with customers and make a difference with putting affordable, good quality, tasty products on shelf. As there so many facets involved in bringing a product through to launch, being a Product Development Graduate has given me fantastic exposure to so many different parts of the business – whether it is marketing, design, merchandise, supply chain, or quality…it is amazing seeing how much goes into launching a product.

 What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?

During my first rotation in Fresh Produce, I went on a field trip to a farm and learnt about all the different types of plant species such as broccoli, cauliflower and a variety of salad leaves. The day ended with a salad workshop with their chef who showcased different salad ideas, and demonstrated which ingredients complement particular salad leaves.

I’ve also experienced some really cool initiatives from Coles Brand such as ‘Try It Taste It Rate It’ where you blind taste a Coles Brand product against a leading brand…most of the time people couldn’t taste the difference, and sometimes even thought ours was better!

Why Coles?

Coles is full of opportunity. You get exposure to some of the biggest suppliers and FMCG’s in Australia, and as it is a flat structure you also get the opportunity to interact with senior leaders within the company. You have an expansive support network as a Graduate and you always feel supported every step of the way. You are also given real responsibility and encouraged to take lead of your own projects. Most importantly for me, Coles has a great culture – it is people-centric, supportive, community-minded and most of all, fun!

Describe a Coles Graduate in 3 words

Eager-to-learn, adaptive, team-player.

Key skills of a Product Development Graduate:

  • Be a ‘foodie’ with a strong passion for food and food trends

  • Able to demonstrate creativity and have a flair for taste

  • Have a strong customer focus

  • Demonstrate strong influencing skills

  • Possess commercial acumen

  • Ability to develop good relationships with internal stakeholders and external suppliers

Example rotations:

  • Product Development  Grocery
  • Product Development  Fresh
  • Product Development  Non-Food
  • Packaging
  • Quality Testing
  • Coles Brand Events 
 
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Product Technology

Are you passionate about food? Do you feel a desire to make sure all the foods sold are not only safe but great quality? Would it excite you to see the Coles Brand product that you have been instrumental in delivering land on your local Coles shelf? Would you love working within a diverse cross functional team? 

In the Coles Brand Product Technology team here at Coles we spend our time immersed in products - eating them, checking they meet specification, visiting the factories and farms in which they are made or grown, solving problems with their shelf life or quality and making sure they are grown or made in a responsible way. No two days will be the same and you will learn more about food manufacturing and farming than you could have ever imagined. 

Because this is a specialized stream, it's likely you'll stay in the same stream for the full two years of your program.

Let's hear from Rebecca, one of our Product Technology Graduates....

 

What do you love about Product Technology?

As a Product Technology Graduate, I am able to develop strong and meaningful relationships with our suppliers. In my first year as a Product Technology Graduate, I have travelled all across Australia to meet with suppliers, visit their supply base and provide them with the support to deliver safe and delicious food to our customers!

What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?

Definitely the travel to meet face to face with suppliers, working within Product Technology has also led me to my first experience inside a factory/processing facility!

Describe a Coles Graduate in 3 words

Passionate, dedicated (&flexible!), team player

Do you need specific skills to join Product Technology?

I didn’t have a formal background in Product Technology at the commencement of the program- I am actually trained as a Dietitian! I would say that a background in science, microbiology and a strong interest in food are essential. Following this, you can develop your Product Technology skill set as you progress through the program!

Key skills of a Product Technology Graduate:
  • Practical problem solver

  • Excellent project and time management skills

  • Outstanding attention to detail and analytical skills

  • Willingness to travel (potentially interstate) to engage with suppliers

Example rotations:
  • Product Technology – Grocery
  • Responsible Sourcing and Agriculture
  • Quality Management
  • Supplier Placement
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Property

How do you determine the best locations and sites for supermarkets, liquor and convenience stores? What goes into acquiring and developing a new site? How do we deliver the best customer experience through the physical aspects of property?

Being an end to end property function, the Coles property team provides a full range of property services to each of the Coles retail businesses, covering everything from site identification, lease negotiations and acquisitions through to development, construction and asset management. As a Coles Property graduate you will gain experience in each phase of the property lifecycle and build the foundations for a successful career in property.

Let's hear from Ricky, one of our Property Graduates....

Ricky - Property 

What do you love about Property?

One of the things I love about property is seeing tangible results in the work you do. Whether it be delivering new space via new stores or extensions, or seeing a newly refurbished store, you feel some pride when you head out to a store and see the end product of something that you helped deliver.

What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?

For me it was probably the opportunity to be involved in the divestment of our flagship Coburg North store. Seeing the wide variety of things that need to be considered when undertaking a sale and lease back deal was an invaluable experience that I will draw lessons from for years to come.

Why Coles?

A great part of working at Coles is that you have the unique opportunity of positively impacting the lives of millions of Australians. For me in the property team, this comes in the form of making grocery shopping as convenient and enjoyable for customers as possible.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice before starting in the Graduate program, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. One of the Coles values is to ‘be bold’ and the business really encourages graduates to live this value. Part of that is putting yourself out there and taking every opportunity that comes your way. It is inevitable that you will make some mistakes by stepping out of your comfort zone but the lessons learnt will help set you up for a successful career.

Describe a Coles Graduate in 3 words

Passionate, motivated, fun.

Key skills of a Property Graduate:
  • The ability to engage and influence different types of people

  • Ability to present complex information clearly and simply

  • A practical problem solver

  • Details conscious and accurate

Example rotations
  • Retail Leasing
  • Lease Management
  • Acquisitions
  • Development
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Strategy

What is the future of retail and how do we stay ahead of our competition? How do we keep up to date with evolving trends and use them to enhance our customer proposition? Which are the big opportunities we should focus on?

The Strategy & Delivery team gives you the unique opportunity to work on key business strategies and high visibility projects. You will develop strong analytical skills, personal communication skills, commercial acumen and project delivery foundations.

Let's hear from Nathan, one of our Strategy Graduates....

 Nathan - strategy

What do you love about Strategy and Delivery?

There is a lot that I love about being part of the Strategy and Delivery team. The team ensures that everyone is given equal opportunity to develop key skills, take ownership of projects from end-to-end and build an extensive network.

What type of projects do the team work on?

There are various projects the team have involvement with including:

  • International competitor analysis

  • Liquor transformation

  • Harm minimisation

  • Corporate planning process

  • E2E supply chain projects

What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?

My coolest experience in the function so far would have to be the weekly team huddles. It presents a great opportunity to understand the interesting projects the team is working on across the whole Coles business whilst enjoying some early morning sweets. I mean who doesn’t love cake on a Monday morning, am I right!?

Why Coles?

Personally I chose Coles because I had previously worked within the company and knew that Coles is forever changing and each and every day would present something different and challenging. To me it sounded like a perfect opportunity to develop skills in a friendly working environment whilst ensuring we helped our customers at the same time.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice before starting in the Graduate program, what would it be?

If I could give myself some advice prior to the program it would be that each day will present a different challenge and to take the challenge and run with it. Use the network that you have around you to develop key skills over the course of the program.

What skills will I develop and what are the areas of the business will I get to see?

The skills you will develop include but are not limited to:

  • Excel
  • Powerpoint

  • Commercial acumen

  • Analytics and problem solving; and

  • Stakeholder management

Working with Strategy gives you a holistic approach of the business. You have the opportunity of working with multiple teams including:

  • Liquor

  • Central Operations

  • Merchandise

  • Competitor analysis

  • Finance

 Key skills of a Strategy Graduate:

  • Strong commercial awareness and analytical thinking

  • Practical problem solver

  • Ability to engage and influence different types of people

  • Ability to present complex information clearly and simply

 Example rotations:

  • Fresh Food & Innovation
  • Liquor Transformation 
  • Expansion into New Channels & Services 
  • Simplify Supply Chain & Store Operations
  • Create Trusted Value
  • Deliver a Better Store Network
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Supply Chain

How do you manage the delivery of products to 2,200 sites across Australia? How do you get the right products and quantity on time to stores? How do you improve processes in- store to keep shelves full and products available to customers?

From improving product availability, reducing loss and waste and developing effective supply chain processes and systems, there’s plenty of opportunity for change and innovation for a Supply Chain Graduate.

Let's hear from Sophie, one of our Supply Chain Graduates....

What do you love about Supply Chain?

The diversity of rotations in Supply Chain is sensational; after completing four rotations I feel that I have a sound understanding of the end-to-end Supply Chain at Coles.

I started my first rotation in Logistics, where I learnt about our DC network and supported the development of the RPC (returnable plastic crates) business. I then moved into Supply Planning where I learnt about how we get stock to stores, followed by a rotation in the New Store Team where I supported the opening of New Stores, setting up ordering systems and coaching great process. I finished my program in the Inbound Planning Team, where I was responsible for managing our inbound volumes by day into DC.

 In all of my rotations I’ve had amazing managers and teams surrounding me who have supported me and helped me to develop both my soft and technical skills.  We are given a level of ownership and responsibility that allows us to develop at a rapid pace.

What is the coolest experience you’ve had in this function so far?

I’ve had a couple of amazing experiences whilst working at Coles, in my more operational roles it was the fist pump moments of success that occurred on a daily basis, and seeing results in real time. 

However in my more long term project roles, there are two key moments;

Firstly, Park Ridge opening day – this was the store I supported with system setup and forecasting while I was in the New Store it was an amazing experience seeing all the hard work the store team and supporting teams has put in, pay off. 

And Secondly, in my first rotation as Business Development Graduate in the Returnable Assets team, I started work on moving broccoli from polystyrene into returnable crates, the day we were able to move most of our broccoli across from polystyrene packaging to our returnable crate packaging was one of my favourite days in the program!!

Why Coles?

Every day is different, and we get to see real time impacts on the work that we do.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice before starting in the Graduate program, what would it be?

Get involved in every opportunity that comes your way, if the right opportunity doesn’t present itself, create it.

Key skills of a Supply Chain Graduate:
  • Possess strong analytical and problem solving skills

  • Demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills

  • Be keen to develop strong commercial acumen

  • Possess the ability to manage multiple stakeholders and understand the importance of integration, collaboration and joint decision making 

Example rotations:
  • Transport
  • Logistics
  • Replenishment
  • Procurement

Let us help you find a career you will love!


Not quite what you’re after?
Why not check out our Operations Graduate program?