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ALDI News|10 Mar 2022

Discover what it is like to be a future leader in retail as ALDI’s coveted Graduate Program opens for applications

ALDI Australia
By ALDI Australia

ALDI Australia is currently seeking applicants for its 2023 Graduate Program providing the opportunity for those straight out of university to fast track their career with a leading retail employer of choice.

ALDI Australia is currently seeking applicants for its 2023 Graduate Program providing the opportunity for those straight out of university to fast track their career with a leading retail employer of choice.

Participants will be provided with the right tools and training for success and are paired with a mentor who supports them throughout the duration of the two year program. The program focuses on all areas of leadership, with the aim to help develop graduates in the areas of business acumen, leading a team, the commercial requirements of ALDI’s operations and the logistics involved in providing essential goods to Australian shoppers. Moreover, they will learn about ALDI’s growth strategy, explore new markets with our property teams and understand the frontline of our Good Different store network.

Hayden Rydberg, ALDI’s Group Director of Human Resources and Projects, says the fast-paced program is very rewarding as graduates are given the opportunity to take ownership of their careers early on, learning skills that will benefit the entirety of their professional working life.

“It’s not just the industry leading remuneration, five weeks annual leave and fully expensed company car that makes the program lucrative for professionals just out of university and has graduates around the country applying for the hotly sought after positions. It’s an opportunity for ambitious future leaders to hit the ground running in a supportive environment where you will learn directly from industry leaders, all while accelerating your career with a rewarding and dynamic retail business,” said Rydberg.

Upon successful completion of the program, the grads take on the role of Executive Manager of Store Operations and have responsibility for three to five efficient and successful ALDI stores and mentor a team of up to 100 retail employees at all levels. There aren’t many Graduate Programs where after two years participants are ready to have such a large area of responsibility, a key reason why the program is desired by graduates who are studying an array of fields, from Accounting through to Law.

The future face of retail

Many of ALDI’s executives progressed through the business after participating in the challenging and comprehensive Graduate Program. One such leader, Peter Slaven, Executive Manager of Store Operations in NSW, credits the program for strengthening his ability to empathise, communicate and build rapport with a wide range of people.

Slaven was part of the 2021 cohort after completing his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Sydney, majoring in Finance and Business Information Systems. He said learning how to lead a store team during a pandemic that saw lockdowns and a plethora of supply chain issues was difficult but the rewards far out-weighed the challenges.

“I was prepared for a lot of observation and structured training however was pleasantly surprised with how hands-on ALDI’s Graduate Program is. During the program I worked in three cities and over 30 stores, building relationships with close to 500 people. No two days are the same and I learnt to adapt quickly to constant change and I am still learning new things every day,” says Slaven.

“More than anything the program helped me to grow as a leader, developing empathy and respect for those I worked with. It also developed my communication skills and I gained an understanding for how important this soft skill is when working in a team environment.”

Developing careers and supporting its people

ALDI was recognised as an Employer of Choice at the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Australian Business Awards. The retailer was also listed in the Top 100 of GradAustralia’s Graduate Employers and were a finalist in GradConnection’s Top 100 award.

Professional development and training is an area of emphasis for the business and, in addition to the Graduate Program, ALDI’s in-house training team, ALDI Academy, offers:

  • Store Future Leaders Program – a five month program developing high performing store employees
  • Logistics Future Leaders Program – developing high performing warehouse operators
  • The ALDI Management System Leadership Program – designed to help all newly appointed leaders to motivate, develop and engage their employees

Through the MyALDI Wellbeing program, employees are provided with a range of physical and mental health benefits including free flu vaccinations, discounted gym membership, health insurance, physiotherapy and confidential counselling or coaching sessions, in addition to nutrition, financial or legal advice sessions. Primary carers receive 12 weeks of paid parental leave as well as up to 52 weeks of superannuation contributions while on primary carers leave, and secondary carers are entitled to two weeks of paid leave.

Understanding and valuing the uniqueness of employees

ALDI employs professionals with a range of experiences and backgrounds and its Inclusion and Diversity Committee aims to foster diversity in all its forms promoting a work environment where everyone feels included and valued for who they are.

Before ALDI, Slaven worked as a Disability Support Worker and held leadership roles in rugby as a player and a coach. He says the Executive Manager Store Operations role is filled with people from all walks of life with different education and professional backgrounds.

“My advice to those unsure if their background or experience will fit the bill is to be authentic and confident in your own experiences. Building a team full of strong leaders with diverse experiences is part of what has made ALDI so successful, so back yourself!” said Slaven.

Rydberg agrees and highlights if a potential candidate has the right attitude the training, experience and mentorship the program provides will put them in good stead for success.

“A strong academic record and a passion for retail is a must, but more than that, we’re looking for natural leaders who are good with people and who can move beyond academic study to take on tough challenges,” finished Rydberg.

Applications to ALDI’s 2023 Graduate Program close Monday 28 March 2022 with offers out mid-year and the program commencing February 2023. To apply visit: https://www.aldicareers.com.au/Graduate-Program-Application-Process