#GradStories, Rachael O'Connor, Area Manager, Aldi

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What are your main tasks in a normal week?

A huge portion of the role involves HR. The role varies between recruitment which involves the whole interviewing process for store staff, personnel updates, training supervision and the auditing side of things on the shop floor.

What skills do you need to be successful in your role?

The most important skills for an area manager are strong communication skills. We receive a lot of information on a day-to-day basis from various different people in the different departments in the company. We need to have a very good ability to adapt and manage new situations especially at the beginning.

Diligence is also important, you need to have a strong attention to detail. There is a large volume of tasks that need to be completed so we need to make sure that those are done effectively.

What do you love about your job?

My favourite part of the job would be the recruitment and training. It's really rewarding when you have recruited someone that has potential in the initial stages and you see them develop and grow throughout different positions in the business you know when you see a store manager work the whole way from a store assistant up through the different ranks.

What did you do as a student that helps your career?

Presentation skills is one of the most important skills that I learned in college that I may not have had before that and that really helped me when I started in my job. From the beginning of the recruitment process when I was doing the group assessment stage there was a presentation. It helped that I had experience presenting in front of people so I wasn't as nervous as I would have been.

What was your career break?

I studied commerce with German at UCC. It was a four-year degree and I lived in Germany for a year. I learned a lot about German culture in college. It allowed me to understand the very efficient model that's use in Aldi.

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