A day in the life of Tom Parkinson, Humber Port Management Graduate, Immingham

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ABP Property

Our property division brings together an unrivalled land bank spanning 21 multi-modal locations around the country, with 960 hectares of port-based development land.

ABPmer

Drawing on 60 years of experience, ABP Marine Environmental Research (ABPmer) provides specialist marine environmental research and consultancy services.

UK Dredging

UK Dredging (UKD) operates the largest British-owned dredging fleet and specialises in the provision of reliable and cost effective port maintenance dredging services.

ABP DevCo

ABP DevCo creates value from non-port-related development of underutilised land by working collaboratively with stakeholders.

Can you tell us more about what you did before you joined ABP?

I attended three fantastic years at Coventry University from 2015 – 2018, where I studied Business Management. I was an active and influential member of the university football society where I fulfilled roles such as social secretary and 5th team coach. My time at university gave me the knowledge, experience and confidence to strive for managerial roles.

After university I had the ambition to travel. I treated it like a project – I gave myself ‘goals’ e.g. countries to visit, activities to do, places to see. I worked out a budget and gave myself a time frame. This way I was able to put into practice principles learnt from my project management module and fulfil a lifelong dream.

To acquire the funds, I worked for a company called Capita who undertake army recruitment. This allowed me to build a budget and gave me my first office experience. It exposed me to a new side of Excel, the importance of team work and departmental cohesion as well as good and poor leadership within business. After 5 months, I had acquired the necessary funds and set off on my trip to South America, where I had the pleasure of visiting Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru.

On my return I was able to get my previous role at Capita back before coming across the ABP management graduate scheme and starting my career in the port industry.

What did you find most appealing about a Graduate role at ABP?

For me, the most appealing aspect of ABP’s Graduate Scheme was the entry into an extremely exciting industry with the biggest port operator in the UK, along with the prospect of working in different parts of the business.

With numerous placements around the business a wide and in-depth range of knowledge and experience can be gained. The scheme provides you with the foundations for a highly successful career in the port industry due to the vast experience on offer over the course of two years along with the full support of the ABP academy.

With exposure to and close relations with senior operative managers and the front-line staff, you quickly learn what makes each terminal tick. This is supported with plenty of chances to get on board with projects and inject a fresh input into the terminal and test your knowledge.

What does a typical day at work look like for you? Has the current Covid-19 pandemic impacted your activities in any way?

My current placement is at the Humber International Terminal (HIT) in Immingham. The HIT is the largest terminal in the world in terms of biomass storage.

My typical day consists of getting out on sight with the Assistant Operative Managers, giving me exposure to life on the front line and allowing me to gain a strong understanding of the ground work. Between getting out on sight I am sitting in on senior meetings, giving me a look into the managerial side of the terminal. This allows me to piece together a clear overall picture of the whole operation.

Moving forward I am going to be given 3 projects to work towards and deliver before the end of my placement. These will give me the chance to contribute and test my understanding before I move on.

If you could give some advice to young people interested in pursuing a similar career path, what would it be?

My advice for young graduates looking to pursue a career in the port industry is to do your research and know your facts. It goes a long way throughout the recruitment process and demonstrates you’re keen, knowledgeable and hard working.

Health and safety is at the forefront of everything we do. If you have the opportunity to get involved in health and safety through a society, club or the university itself it will reflect very positively and ignite a vital way of thinking, which is to work in the port industry.

Applications for ABP’s Graduate Training Scheme are open until Sunday, 28th March 2021. Find out more and apply here.