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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 would you like to join a team the impacts the lives of 22 million Australians every day? At Coles our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and as a Buying and Trading Graduate you can have a direct impact to our customer’s shopping experience.

You will join a talented and diverse team who defines the product offering to Coles’ customers. Some of the aspects of the role involve commercial management of a P&L, supplier relationship management, innovation, and customer centric decision making. Negotiating and working with our suppliers will be fundamental to your success in landing your category strategy. To support you in this you will work with a dynamic cross-functional team that spans the whole organisation from marketing and supply chain to own brand and store operations. These teams will be the enablers that will ensure you deliver the best market offering to our customers.

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?

In my first rotation as a Fruit graduate, I was able to independently action some real life changes to the national range and selling points of the Tropical Fruit category. Through spending time with suppliers, talking to customers, and analysing insights information, I developed and implemented a strategy that addressed what customers were asking for. Although challenging at times, it was a pretty cool experience to have impacted the lives of so many customers across Australia. 

Why Coles?

The support and opportunities at Coles are absolutely endless. From day one, you are partnered with great minds from different parts of the business to assist in maximising your potential and experience. You’re constantly encouraged to try new things, and have the ability to change career pathways from something as different as Finance to Marketing, earning a wealth of knowledge along the way. 

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, especially at the start. It might feel like you’re annoying, however it’s better to learn as much as you can at the beginning, which will allow you to build a better understanding of the category and your responsibilities. Line managers are often crazy busy, so it’s a good idea to collate several questions and ask them at once.

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

Don’t let what others say effect you. Every experience and function is different within the graduate program, and it is easy to let what others say influence you. Instead keep an open mind, be your genuine self, and give everything your best shot. There is no point in overthinking because, at the end of the day, your actions speak for themselves. 

Describe a Coles Graduate in 3 words

Dynamic, passionate, fun

Key skills of a Buying and Trading Graduate:
  • Put people and customers at the heart of what you do

  • To manager workload in a fast paced environment

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

  • Analytical skills

  • Problem solving skills, to address arising issues that occur in the dynamic space of merchandise

  • Negotiation skills, to ensure we are able to secure the best value for customers 

Example rotations:
  • Range and Space
  • Category Management Grocery
  • Category Management Fresh
  • Category Management Non-Food
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Store Commercial (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 Store Commercial (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 Store Commercial Graduates....

Candice - Central Ops 

What do you love about Store Commercial?

I love that Store Commercial 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 Store Commercial 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 Store Commercial?

Store Commercial 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 Store Commercial 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.

Why Coles?

I chose Coles because I wanted to work for a company that gave me the opportunity to make a difference on a large scale. Coles is inbuilt into the everyday life of Australians, and impacts so many customers on a daily basis. The size of the organisation means that there are so many opportunities to progress your career across a range of business disciplines. They have a strong focus on developing graduates and view their graduate cohort as the future leaders of the business.

Describe a Coles Express Graduate in 3 words

Passionate, hardworking and tenacious

 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.

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 this report 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.

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

Be curious. This is a vast business; invest the time to understand it.

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 want to transform the customer and team member experience at Coles through leading edge technology? Do you want to understand how things work from end-to-end perspective and how technology can make a difference in changing the retail landscape?

 

Coles Digital is an exhilarating and fast-paced function focused on delivering positive business change and continuous innovation. Leveraging analytical, technical and human-centred design  capabilities to make the right business decisions faster, Coles Digital aims to inspire customers and team members with easy to use services and personalized 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 across Technology, Coles Financial Services and flybuys.

 

Whether you’re technical, business-focused and/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 Technology, 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 experiences has been organising a technology booth at our strategy day to showcase the latest and greatest Digital has to offer to everyone in the store 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 other companies that would provide as much opportunity as Coles to work with such a wide variety of digital technologies as we have so many customer & team member touch points and offerings.

 

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 one piece of advice that I would give to myself would be to not worry too much about taking chances and that you should always give something a go, speak up or ask questions when the opportunities arise.

 

Describe a Coles Graduate in 3 words:

Proactive, energetic and kind

Key skills of a Digital Graduate:
  • An inquisitive nature and willingness to learn

  • A passion for technology and applying this within a business context

  • Proactive team player

  • Focus on delivering the right outcomes for our customers and team members

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

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 platforms, work in a multifaceted regulatory environment and turn strategy into concrete deals, as well as get exposure to the broader world of law!

You will need to have completed a law degree to apply for this stream.

Did you know: if you choose the dedicated legal stream, we will support you through the Practical Legal Training program so that you qualify for admission as a lawyer during the program.

Let's hear from Anne, one of our Legal Graduates…

  

 

What do you love about working with the Coles Legal team?

Being a Legal Graduate at Coles has given me incredible exposure to the business, meaning I’ve developed invaluable commercial acumen alongside my technical legal skills. Being a part of the business helps the legal team to intimately understand the values and goals of a business, enabling the legal team to be trusted advisers and give practical and commercial advice. I love the variety of work I’ve been able to do at Coles-In one year in the Legal Graduate Program I’ve done everything from drafting supplier contracts, preparing senior leaders to appear at a government enquiry, managing the trademark portfolio and investigating and responding to regulators on Discrimination and Fair Trading complaints. The variety of work means every day is interesting and offers new challenges, helping me develop a range of soft skills and technical skills across a variety of legal areas.

 

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

One of the great opportunities I’ve been given is appearing in VCAT (Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal) in a matter for a Fair Trading claim. I investigated the claim, communicated with the customer to try to resolve their concerns and ultimately appeared in VCAT, which was a great experience in dispute resolution.

 

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

Graduates are really valued at Coles, and have some incredible opportunities to not just learn, but really contribute to Coles. The nature of Legal means I get to work with team members across a variety of functions, as well as external regulators and law firms, meaning I’ve had the opportunity to learn from an incredible range of professionals. My biggest takeaway is that everyone you work with has something different to offer and you should embrace the opportunity to learn from all of them-I’ve adapted things I’ve learnt from everyone from fellow Graduates all the way to Directors. Part of this learning really comes from being willing to speak up and offer ideas and solutions even when you’re the most junior person in the room - and this is encouraged at Coles.

 

Why Coles?

Coles is an incredibly dynamic and exciting place to work. As soon as you walk in the doors at the Store Support Centre, you realise that everyone here takes their work seriously, but not themselves.

Most of all, I love the ‘BBQ Factor’ of working at Coles – when someone you meet asks where you work, you always have something fantastic to talk about-whether it’s the great new products from Coles Brand or Coles’ incredible work helping Australians through charities such as Second Bite and Red Kite. Seeing things I’ve worked on in our stores means the work always feels interesting and relevant, and keeps grocery shopping exciting!

Key skills of a Legal Graduate

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent influencing and negotiation skills
  • An ability to deliver commercial solutions
  • Proactive and work well in a team environment 
  • Confidence to work with a broad range of stakeholders

Example rotations

  • Risk and Compliance
  • Legal: Corporate (Merchandise, Procurement, and Marketing, Stores & Customers)
  • Property Legal
  • Employee Relations
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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! Coles Liquor is like a business within a business. We have all the same functions as our larger sibling in supermarkets including buying and trading, marketing, supply chain but on a smaller scale. Though don’t be misled, Liquor is still huge in its own right. Its slightly smaller size gives me flexibility to stay in one function or try something different all whilst staying in the Liquor family. Not to mention the endless special guests, social events, great discount offers and the odd tasting, 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 and voice an opinion on topics amongst my colleagues. Whilst it may seem daunting to speak up around experienced colleagues, it's one of the best ways to learn. Not least because, it gives your fellow team members a chance to find out a little about you. And from experience, they are always supportive and never judgemental of my ideas when I do raise them.

What gets me up in the morning?

It’s another day and another opportunity to put forward bold ideas in the hope of making a difference to our customers and for our wonderful store team members who serve them every day.

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 are three key things I love most about the Strategy & Delivery team. Firstly, you work with a wide variety of driven and intelligent people on a daily basis – our team members have worked in management consulting, investment banking, FMCG, retail and non-profits across Europe, North and South America and Asia. Secondly, you have opportunities to learn and develop on varied and frequently changing projects across multiple functional areas. This allows you to see what you like most, and means that no two projects you work on are ever the same. Thirdly, as an in-house “consulting” team, we are uniquely positioned to not only make strategic recommendations, but to also trial and roll those recommendations out at pace.

What type of projects do the team work on?

The Strategy team works on the most difficult problems at the core of our business. From redesigning in-store experiences to simplifying how our teams work, you will work on a wide range of projects from strategy through to execution, tied together by a common need to move quickly and focus on our customers. Some examples of projects our team has recently worked on include:

  • Corporate strategy

  • Mergers & acquisitions

  • International competitor insights

  • Store network and formats analysis

  • Business transformation and delivery

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

The coolest experience I’ve had in the team so far would be working on a meat processing project that required us to go out to one of Coles’ processing facilities. Whilst I was studying at university, I never imagined that my career would lead me to learn about, see first-hand and analyse best-practice meat processing.

Why Coles?

I chose to work at Coles because I wanted to work in an industry that plays a part in the lives of every Australian. Working at Coles introduces you to perspectives beyond your own, your friends and your family and introduces you to the realities of consumer behaviour. Beyond this, it also gives you exposure to marketing, merchandising, logistics, inventory management and many other challenges.

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

The advice I would give myself is to focus on making an impact immediately. Starting on day one, be prepared to learn as much as possible and start developing your skillset so that you can contribute to bigger and better projects faster!

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:

  • Problem solving and analytics

  • Written and oral communication, including presentation and facilitation skills

  • Project management and team leadership, from project planning to delivery

  • Stakeholder relationship skills

 

In the Strategy & Delivery team, you will be exposed to every function in the business depending on the project you are assigned to. Typically, we work with multiple teams including:

  • Buying and Trading

  • Central Operations

  • Digital (IT, Coles Online & flybuys)

  • Finance

  • Procurement

  • Property

  • Supply Chain

  • Wesfarmers

 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....

Sophie - Coles Graduate Supply Chain 

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

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