Steven Eden – ASDA

Driver

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Steven Eden – ASDA

Driver

As a veteran and someone coming back from a serious accident, Steven’s used logistics as a means to turn his life around. It’s meant completing a big learning curve and becoming a fully qualified class 1 driver:

“They made me feel comfortable, so that I was learning all the time. No question is stupid – it’s just a matter of speaking to those around you.”

Steven credits the job, and the new career direction, with giving him a major boost.

“I’ve never been happier, truthfully. It’s made me a better person. To anyone who’s been down and depressed like me, I’d just tell them not to give up and to embrace opportunities you may get.”

Georgia Llewellyn – Univar Solutions

Sustainability Coordinator

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Georgia Llewellyn – Univar Solutions

Sustainability Coordinator

Georgia entered logistics as a graduate, having studied for a degree and masters in Sustainability and Business and worked as a civil servant. With the specific knowledge from her degree and project management experience from her previous role, she had an ideal CV for her role as Sustainability Coordinator.

“Distribution seemed like an interesting area to be involved in. I saw that the role would lead to positive changes for business and planet, and I was actively looking for a role more related to corporate sustainability.”

Despite having plenty of relevant and transferable experience and knowledge Georgia was still very much on a learning curve when she took the position.

“Chemical distribution requires more specialist knowledge than I had initially thought. I had no understanding of how complicated logistics can be. When it comes to sustainability I’ve learnt that there is a long way to go and it’s important to remain active and positive.”

In the course of the role, Georgia says her career highlight has been launching a Sustainability Champions Network to engage employees at all levels, and then supporting participants to deliver on their projects.

Gemma Treadwell – Maersk

UK and Ireland Cluster Manager

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Gemma Treadwell – Maersk

UK and Ireland Cluster Manager

Gemma has been working in logistics for over 16 years, having started with Maersk after completing her A-Levels. As she progressed, her role and expertise rapidly developed.

“I’ve had a number of roles in customer service, sales and business change. I’ve been lucky to live and work abroad, with a range of stakeholders and functions.”

For a period, Gemma’s work took her to India, but wherever she’s been located, and whatever role she’s done, she’s found her core skills of teamwork, leadership and collaboration have been crucial.

“There are so many different channels, elements and roles that provide so many exciting opportunities. I am still learning so much. Paired with the opportunity to be part of such an integral industry to world trade, I find it incredibly interesting.”

Alongside her current role, Gemma is also part of the Area Senior Leadership Team, making her a superb example of the personal development and progression that such a key part of the sector’s workplace culture.

Samual Morris-Nicholls – Kinaxia

Apprentice Mechanic

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Samual Morris-Nicholls – Kinaxia

Role: Apprentice Mechanic

Samuel got his first car when he was 15, and the process of fixing it up with his dad during the lockdown, led him to consider a career as a mechanic.

“I really got into, and when I left school, that was what I decided to do”

He came in to do an interview with Kinaxia, was offered the position, and the rest is history.

“On my first day the Managing Director gave me a full tour, walked me round the workshop and warehouses and talked me through everything. I love the people I work with and the whole working environment.”

Sasha Kinsey – Stobart

Customer Service Lead Controller

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Sasha Kinsey – Stobart

Role: Customer Service Lead Controller

Sasha started with Eddie Stobart when she was 17 years old.

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I was attending college 2 days a week but wanted to earn some money and gain some formal qualifications. I had no relevant experience and didn’t know much about transport!”

She began as an apprentice in customer service, helping people solve problems on the driverline team. But within nine months she’d progressed to order processing and customer enquiries within the same department.

“I’m now a lead controller in customer services, something I couldn’t foresee when I started my journey three years ago.”

Furthermore, Sasha is actively helping develop the next generation of talent, training and mentoring new interns through their placements.

“I’m hopeful my skills and experience will continue to grow, and I see myself as a team leader and manager of the future.

Raymond Sherry – Malcolm Logistics

Customer Support Manager

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Raymond Sherry – Malcolm Logistics

Role: Customer Support Manager

Initially, Raymond went to university to study quantity surveying. But although he was grateful for the experience, ultimately he knew it wasn’t for him.

“I realised I needed something different, and applied for a Modern Apprenticeship with Malcolm Logistics. It led me to being a stock controller, and then all sorts of other roles as I progressed.”

Having found his career, he rapidly worked his way up to becoming a traffic planner within the traffic department before taking the decision to relocate to Australia, where he continued to work in the industry. However, by 2016 he was ready to return to the UK, and indeed to Malcolm Logistics, where, having initially returned to his role as a traffic planner, he became a customer support Manager.

“This sector has enabled me to do so many things. If you’re willing to work hard I really think you can do anything in logistics.”

Christina Kouridi – InstaDeep

AI Research Engineer

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Christina Kouridi – InstaDeep

Role: AI Research Engineer

Christina graduated from university with a masters degree and took her first step into logistics as a supply chain manager and consultant. But then she became interested in AI, and what machine learning could bring to the sector.

“I’ve always been drawn to hard problems. And bin packing is one of the hardest ‘unsolvable’ problems in computer science.’

Bin packing is an organisational problem, crucial to logistics, which focuses on how to fit goods of different sizes into the minimal possible amounts of containers.

“It’s theoretically an unsolvable problem, however, by applying re-enforceable learning we were able to get to solutions that humans would otherwise never be able to achieve.”

Christina finds these solutions through specialised software known as DeepPack:

“It’s AI powered, and helps to optimise loads, so we can best pack a set of items in a container. The algorithm behind the software is unique. Firstly because it’s the first to use machine learning to address the problem, and secondly because it applies reinforcement learning on a really large scale.

“It’s the first of its kind.”

Adriana Thompson – Wincanton

Graduate Scheme

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Adriana Thompson – Wincanton

Role: Graduate Scheme

Before getting stuck into the Wincanton Graduate Scheme, Adriana thought she knew what she wanted to do in logistics:

“My sole and main interest career wise was to become a project manager. But since starting the programme I’ve been introduced to a wide variety of intriguing roles in an ever-changing industry. Most importantly I’ve discovered a passion for working in operations and people management.”

Adriana’s journey has included stints in Darlington, Stockton and Lichfield working with brands such as Magnet, Morrisons and Screwfix. She’s been impressed by how well she and her fellow graduates have been developed in the workplace.

“I’ve seen how invested and dedicated the company is in regards to integrating new talent and graduates into the world of logistics, whatever your academic background. We’ve all been supported and encouraged to go for courses that’ll benefit our future within the company.”

And if Adriana had to share one bit of advice to someone considering a career in logistics?

“Get outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself!”

Orrett Kennedy – Tesco

Distribution Centre Manager

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Orrett Kennedy – Tesco

Role: Distribution Centre Manager

Working at the Dagenham depot, Orrett credits his Mum’s work ethic growing up for giving him the drive and motivation in his own career:

“Coming from a single-parent background, it’s really motivated me to work hard and strive to be the best that I can be.”

For Orrett, delivering on that is all about the way he manages and works with people on a day-to-day basis.

“I just want to be a really good depot manager, treat people right, help people climb the ranks like I did and generally look after them.’

He says that his career has benefitted from the opportunities that working at Tesco has given him, and helped him develop on the job, from initial position to current role.

“Tesco has provided me with numerous opportunities, from training to exposure to coaching. I was a warehouse operative, but now I’m a depot manager. All of that is due to Tesco.”

Simona Demcakova – ASDA

Department Manager

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Simona Demcakova – ASDA

Role: Department Manager

Originally from Slovakia, Simona began in the Birchwood store but was keen to experience the distribution site and so transferred to Warrington, where she began work as a step-up colleague. She was quickly promoted to a department manager role.

“I’m only 22, but nobody has ever told me I’m too young to do anything here, which I really enjoy. I also enjoy the opportunity to mentor other apprentices and give them the confidence to know that here, everything is possible, no matter who you are or where you come from.”

Despite her rapid progress, Simona hopes it’s just the beginning.

“I want to go higher and climb the ladder. I’ve now got experience in both retail and distribution, so what’s really attractive to me is the prospect of working at ASDA House.”

With that in mind, Simona next step is likely a data analyst apprenticeship at ASDA House.

Tyrone Moulton – DHL

Warehouse Manager

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Tyrone Moulton – DHL

Role: Warehouse Manager

Tyrone saw logistics as a sector that could offer him not just a job but a career – with prospects and opportunities for the future.

As a Warehouse Manager at DHL his ambitions have been stoked and he’s been able to target further professional progression.

‘Since I’ve been at DHL I’ve been on a steady incline in terms of roles, working my way through various development checkpoints.”

In line with his professional development, he’s already targeting future roles to work towards.

“I want to progress and develop further into roles like senior operations manager, or site leader, or similar, and increase my influence and impact at the company.”

Tyrone’s current role isn’t just a stepping stone though; he’s passionate about what he does and the people he works with:

“When I come to work I care about my job, and I care about what I do, and I love that the people around me also care about what they are here to achieve and the successes we may have.

We win together and we lose together.”

Hannah Myles – HOYER

Regional Resource Manager

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Hannah Myles – HOYER

Job Role: Regional Resource Manager

After graduating with a degree in International Business and French, Hannah joined Hoyer in April 2016 as a Fuels Planner.

‘As my degree wasn’t directly linked to logistics I was delighted to be offered the Planner role and get my foot in the door with such a reputable company. Just over a year later I was successful in gaining a place on the company’s Employee Development Programme; I was given a Company mentor and structured development plan to help me to achieve my career goals. After only 2 years in the planning team I was offered the role of Planning Supervisor for one of the Bitumen contracts, an opportunity I grabbed with both hands, I viewed this is a great stepping stone towards progressing further into management in the future’

Following a company restructure in 2020, the responsibility for Resource Planning moved from the field locations to Head Office and Hannah was appointed as a Regional Resource Manager.

‘My current role in the business poses challenges that must be solved in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. I am faced with new challenges to solve on a daily basis whether it be customer facing or through ensuring that I effectively manage my team of planners to ensure that the operation runs to its fullest potential. I have enjoyed being pushed out of my comfort zone during this time. Possessing strong communication and problem solving skills, and being able to manage your own time effectively, is a major plus for anyone coming into this type of working environment due to the ever changing nature of the job and the unpredictable situations that arise’

‘Hoyer offer excellent personal development opportunities for those with “can do, will do” attitude. I have learnt a lot and made some great friends over the last 4 years. I am very eager to progress further within HOYER and to broaden my experiences as far as I can, I look forward to further progressing my career within the company’