Zara - Commerce Graduate, 2022

What did you study at university?

I studied a Bachelor of Management Studies (Hons) Majoring in Strategic Management and International Languages and Cultures with a specialisation in Spanish.

What motivated you to apply for the graduate programme at KiwiRail?

I was actually fortunate enough to have previously worked with KiwiRail so, I knew what an amazing place the organization was to work for. The work culture here is so inviting and everyone is lovely to work with. Prior to my job with KiwiRail, I knew I wanted a graduate role because, I wanted to experience different areas of a business not just stick with one. As soon as I saw this opportunity to work for KiwiRail as a graduate, I jumped at it.

How did you find the transitioning coming from university into the working world?

It is always a challenge to take what you have learnt and apply it to the real world and this was no different. Although this was difficult, the transition was made easier through the kindness and understanding of those who work with KiwiRail as well as the helpfulness and support from my mentor and managers.

What would a day at KiwiRail look like for you in the graduate programme?

At the moment, I wake up at 8:30 and make the lengthy transition from my bed to my desk where I work from home haha. I normally spend 40-50% of my day on calls and the rest with projects I have been tasked with. I truly appreciate the flexibility that KiwiRail provides me with and I can rearrange my days to suit whatever I need, which is amazing!

What is your favorite part about KiwiRail/ the graduate programme?

The people. So far, I have been a part of two different teams and both of them are made up of the most amazing people. I never hesitate to ask questions or raise my hand if something confuses me (especially when it comes to all of the acronyms haha) and I am always treated with respect when someone gives me the answer.

What have you learned during the graduate programme so far?

Just get stuck in. Give everything a go and if you have something to say, just say it. The culture that KiwiRail provides is super accommodating and nothing, ok, maybe the majority of things you say won’t get laughed at. I love this because I am a very anxious person, I tend to overthink a little too much and learning to let go is very hard.

How would you describe being a graduate at KiwiRail?

Full on! But in a good way. Being a graduate at KiwiRail means you get exposed to the most amazing opportunities. Sometimes those ‘crap’ projects that have been on the back burners for a long time, turn out to be the most fun to explore! As of right now, I haven’t gone a single day without learning something new and I don’t imagine this will stop anytime soon.

How will the graduate programme help you in your professional and career progression?

I think that the flexibility of the graduate position will help me truly understand what I actually enjoy. Studying something is often very different to working in that respective area. Having this graduate position won’t only help me figure out what I enjoy but also where I can help add value to an organization.

What advice can you give to university students/ potential applicants?

Apply! I can promise you that you won’t regret it. If you’re not 100% certain on what you want to do after you graduate, a position like this is perfect. You’ll meet the best people, create a strong network within the logistics industry and most importantly, you’ll enjoy the time you spend with KiwiRail and the projects you become a part of.

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