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Real stories

Applications have now closed


Don't take our word for it...

Some of our current and recent graduates have achieved some amazing things and they
share their experiences in a job they love!

If you haven’t already, make sure you check out more info About the program, the
Teams you could join and of course our Events, Key Dates & FAQ page!


Todd's graduate experience!

todd imageI've loved... getting generalist experience
Working in cross functional teams has been the highlight of my graduate experience – it’s helped me understand just how complex the retail business is from the inside – I’ll never walk into a store and look at it the same way again! The main thing that I think sets Coles apart is our people – getting to work alongside and learn from some of the brightest minds in the industry who possess great experiences from markets all around the world. There’s a culture throughout the business that no matter level you are at, people are more than happy to give up 5 minutes of their day to help you out (Find out more about the teams you could join here).

I've learned... skills that drive my career forward 

Merchandise Rotation: 
  • Developing supplier promotion plans, catalogue, off locations, ends
  • Learning how to trade items that are ranged in our stores – understand the levers that can be pulled to drive promotional activity, sales and profit
  • Understanding how to use seasonal events to drive sales – like the Cold & Flu season off-location bin and checkout unit 
  • Focusing on category growth and innovation through trial concept stores
  • Managing weekly financial performance and presenting this to business leaders
Strategy Rotation:
  • Managing projects
  • Developing communication and presentation skills
  • Leading cross functional teams
  • Change Management - identifying opportunities to grow business, develop solutions and engage stakeholders so that they come on the journey and embrace change
  • Long term thinking
  • Executing root cause analysis

Hannah's graduate experience

hannah imageI've loved... having real responsibility
A highlight for me was being responsible for organising the flybuys stand at our Annual Store Managers' Roadshow. This is a major event where our management team from across Australia gather to celebrate achievements and hear the plans and focuses for the coming year. This was a great opportunity for me to action the skills and learnings I had gained across my rotations, which provided me with a cross-functional view of the business as well as in depth knowledge of world class marketing activities.

I've learned... what it’s like working at one of the world's fastest growing retailers
The culture at Coles is collaborative, innovative and fast-paced. I love working alongside passionate people who have fantastic ideas and can bring them to life. The culture of the company motivates us to work hard, but have fun while we do it.


Abhishek's graduate experience

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I've loved... gaining experiences for a career
We get to work on some pretty amazing things. Recently I was working on opening a new channel for Coles Online, a new version of Click n Collect, in six stores across two states. All six stores went live on the same day and it was amazing to see how four months of work came to life in just one day. The exposure was simply amazing, working with cross-functional stakeholders and centre management and doing site visits as far as Bendigo and Shepparton in one day! Working in Coles online, the fastest growing part of our retail business gave me fantastic learning, networking and development opportunities.  

I've learned... how to have the confidence to tackle new challenges
I started off in H.R Workforce management systems, coordinating a roll out of new team member discount cards across all Wesfarmers businesses (that’s over 100,000 people!). This experience gave me the confidence to put my hand up to manage a small project for Coles Liquor. I also did some work in stores to understand our store operations (a completely different ball game to a corporate environment!). My experience in HR systems and Store Operations gave me the opportunity to be seconded into an Assisted Ordering initiative, rolling out a tablet solution in our Fresh Produce departments helping stores work smarter and simplifying their ordering process. I was coordinating timelines & dependencies for a $25 million project! My development journey as a graduate evolved with every rotation, equipping me with new skills to prepare for my next step. I’m now working for Coles Liquor and in the last two years have worked for two of our brands and in four different teams. There are so many career opportunities if you go after them!


Sarah's graduate experience

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I've loved... having a real customer impact
I've had the incredible opportunity to develop new products from ideation through to launch on shelf in-store and into our customers’ baskets! In doing so, I’ve worked with internal and external stakeholders such as our product development teams and suppliers to turn concepts into great value, high quality products for our customers.

I've learned... just how many opportunities there are at Coles
Coles is fast-paced, customer oriented and has a real focus on building great careers. There are always opportunities to be challenged and drive positive (and tangible) outcomes for our customers and business. Things move quickly, so there are always projects to get involved in and as a Grad, you will be given responsibility from the start. Learning and development is an important focus for Coles and therefore, there are formal and informal programs and support networks set up to help you throughout the Grad program.


Kieran's graduate experience

kieran imageI've loved... delivering a major project
The greatest highlight of my graduate experience was completing the major project. It presented unique opportunities to work with people across the business, across functions, stores and leadership levels. Of course, presenting our findings to the Coles Board of Directors and getting their feedback is a fantastic opportunity – truly rewarding. The best part about this is getting the opportunity to make real change in the business, which can impact 100,000 team members and millions of customers across Australia.
I've learned... how to interact with senior leaders
As a graduate you’re given senior leader support from the moment you step in the door (find out more about your support network here). The greatest interaction I’ve had with senior leaders however was as part of my ‘Trade Planning’ rotation. In this rotation part of my role was to organise and facilitate senior leadership meetings, both in Marketing and across other functions. I was in frequent contact with General Managers and Directors, and often attended their meetings. This not only gave me the opportunity to develop relationships, but gave me insight into how the business was run at a senior level.


Annie's graduate experience

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I loved... having real responsibility
During my time on the program I had the opportunity to own pieces of work end-to-end.  I felt that I was truly accountable to deliver significant pieces of work such as the launch and ongoing management of a talent program.  This was possible with support and guidance from Line Managers who also ensured that I was challenged by the work I was doing, to successfully develop my skills and capabilities.

I learned... how to make the most of my Support Network
I feel this list is endless, but a few highlights include:

  • The Accelerator Coach, who is a Senior Leader within the business. This support provided me with an opportunity to gain insight into the broader function and business, and helped me to determine opportunities for my development.
  • I also worked closely with a Huddle Group which provided me with a network and opportunity to reflect and learn from others across the business.
  • Finally, the other Graduates played a significant role in my support network. It's fantastic to share experiences and learning with others who are on a similar journey!

    Let us help you find a career you will love!

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