Can you tell us more about what you did before you joined ABP?
The year before I applied to work with ABP, I was teaching mathematics as a trainee teacher. Teaching was challenging from a behavioural management perspective, but I enjoyed it because I wanted more of a personal and academic challenge. I first thought about living by open water or the sea during my time working as Men’s Development Coach at The University of Birmingham Boat Club. Prior to this I was Head Boy at my secondary school, where I delivered weekly assemblies to the entire cohort as well as hosting business breakfasts where local business leaders came to network and meet students.
What did you find most appealing about an Apprenticeship at ABP? How did you hear about the opportunities available?
For me, the graduate scheme had many attractive aspects. What stood out the most was that it would offer me the chance to experience many different fields within a sector I find interesting, allowing me to see where exactly my interest lies within the port environment: operational, commercial, engineering or business strategy. I was looking for a career in procurement, supply chain or logistics as I have a strong mathematical and analytical background and I love to plan things. I was searching for careers which aligned with my interests and also included greater levels of responsibility from an early stage. In all honesty, I didn’t know about ABP until I applied. Since being here I’ve learnt much more than I could have expected.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Typically, I start the day at Immingham Container Terminal and work on one of my projects, taking all opportunities to learn from those around me, through assimilation, sitting in on meetings and talking with the staff here. I often find myself attending meetings around the Humber so I may set off over lunch to visit a meeting in Hull. I use hot desks a lot, so I find myself integrating with more than just one group of people.
My daily tasks are never the same. This was initially quite disconcerting but I have learnt to adapt and have definitely become more flexibly because of it. I have had to practice great time management skills to ensure I’m in the right place at the right time; things change all the time, which can have massive knock on effects on the rest of my daily schedule.
What’s the most exciting project you are currently working on?
I am leading a project to centralise the billing and invoicing process between the two container terminals on the Humber. As part of this, I am also responsible for streamlining the recording of some Key Performance Indicators, such as crane usage and volume statistics. This project has seen me present monthly updates to terminal managers, and interact with operations, commercial, finance and the billing team. I relish these kinds of opportunities and look forward to more challenging projects further on in my career.
If you could give some advice to young people who would like to follow in your footsteps, what would it be?
I would recommend getting comfortable with change; you can do this by joining clubs for things which you’ve never done before. I advocate trying new things and breaking the gender norms people associate with certain activities. Since joining ABP, I’ve been to ballet classes, joined a climbing club and started street dance. You want to become comfortable speaking with people from all different background and walks of life, so joining clubs will really expose you to this.
From a practical standpoint, you will move around the country quite a lot during your 2 years. I would recommend asking locals about where you should rent. Think about traffic, local amenities and how close you live to the nearest park. Work-life balance is important and this is an easy step you can take to make your life at work that much better by being in the right frame of mind.
Applications are now open for our Graduate Training Programme, find out more by visiting: www.abpgradcareers.co.uk