Aine Mullarkey, Retail Graduate
The rotational component of the Applegreen Graduate Programme is what drew me to apply, along with many other opportunities and benefits such as programme duration, working on site and the chance to work abroad as part of the programme.
The rotational component of the Applegreen Graduate Programme is what drew me to apply, along with many other opportunities and benefits such as programme duration, working on site and the chance to work abroad as part of the programme. Coming out of college can be daunting and its hard to know what industry you want to go into or even what area of business, therefore the chance to work in different departments on a rotational basis at the start of your career in Applegreen was something that appealed to me very much.
Although your preferences are considered, you can be placed in a number of areas in the business. I was apprehensive about this however looking back, it was the best thing that’s happened me. You get out of your comfort zone and develop skills and competencies in areas you may never have seen yourself e.g. data analytics, finance, trading.
The transferable skills and relationships you forge from each rotation help so much in settling into your next one and the transition from one to the next was smooth and seamless thanks to the handovers from our managers and fellow graduates. There is a lot of cross-functional collaboration in Applegreen and I have found myself leaning on and still working with colleagues from my last rotation as you notice gaps where processes and tools your old team used could help and enhance efficiency on a new team.
There isn’t many opportunities to try your hand at different functions one after the other in a business therefore if this is something that sounds attractive and if you have a open-mind, a can-do attitude when working at a fast pace and are adaptable, I would really recommend considering Applegreen as a place to launch your career.
The exposure and trust
Something that has stood out to me about the Applegreen culture is the openness and collaborative culture amongst colleagues of all levels, seniority, and functions. Within the first few weeks of starting in September 2021, I was completing tasks for the Commercial and Managing Directors, something perhaps unheard of in other companies.
Being new in my career, the benefit of such exposure and being given such responsibility and trust, as well as building relationships with people with so much knowledge and wisdom is immeasurable.
The open-door policy that Applegreen speak of is well and truly real as popping into the office of the management team is commonplace and welcomed in Applegreen. All colleagues opinions, views and ideas are called upon and appreciated, with people often raising or mentioning initiatives, trends or fads we have seen on social media and in the market, which may be one of many reasons Applegreen lead the way in many categories over the years amongst our competitors e.g. sustainability.
There are things outside of just work
Although starting our career was shadowed by the global pandemic, the Applegreen HR and wider team have made great efforts to ensure we are supported, trained and mentored whilst we get to grips with hybrid working. We have had many training sessions in the first few months of the programme both in-person and virtually around skills such as Excel and PowerPoint as well as personal and professional development sessions in leadership, communication, and effectiveness.
As well as this we have went on a few trips, team building and a Retail Safari, all always accompanied by a lovely meal to end the day. This has made for the group of graduates to become friends as well as just colleagues as we support each other through the periods of uncertainty when starting anything new! There are charity initiatives we are all offered to join into, sporting events as well as things like Paint and Prosecco or lunch time talks from inspirational people.
Some graduates have got the chance to go to award shows, tasting, photoshoots or product development as well as get out on the road into our sites. I really think all of this adds to Applegreen’s culture being welcoming, one of warmth and support since the day I joined.