Mark Russell

Warehouse Team Manager – Industrial Placement

  • Business Management
  • Southampton, University of
  • Placement Year (10 Months+)
  • Gist Ltd

What was the interview process like?

The first stage involved filling out an online application, asking questions about Gist as a company as well as the role and what I thought my job would involve. After this was a telephone interview with a member of the Early Talent Team, which involved them getting to know me a bit better whilst also being an opportunity for me to ask any questions which I had. Following this I was invited to an Insight Day at Gist’s site in Coventry to see what kind of environment I would be working in. Also at the Insight Day there was a group exercise, followed by a presentation based on a scenario I was given. The final stage of the interview process took place at Head Office in Basingstoke, which involved a talk by a number of senior business leaders then ‘Speed Interviews’, where each interviewer asked only one question and I had 5 minutes to answer before moving onto the next interviewer.

How much responsibility do you have?

From my very first day at Gist I felt as though I had responsibility, but alongside the support of my colleagues as well as those more senior at my site. I have my own team of 6 employees who I am responsible for, ensuring their reviews are carried out as well as undertaking any disciplinary procedures.

What you do on a day to day basis?

My role is reasonably varied, from briefing the team and planning the following day’s activities, to overseeing the pick operation in the chill or ambient. I have also spent some time managing the intake of goods into depot, as well as the outload of picked product to store. During my year at Gist I have also been involved in other procedures such as return to works, accident investigations and grievances.

What advice would you give to students applying for your role?

Keep an open mind and don’t be too worried about knowing everything before you start, you’re here to learn! Make sure you know a little bit about Logistics and specifically what it is that Gist do. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even during the interview process, although it can be daunting at times, it is better to be fully informed.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

For me the best thing about my role is the constant problem-solving of which I need to do during my shift. There can be a lot of challenges which come up, some of which I may not have faced before, and being able to come up with the best solution fast is something which I am proud of. Another thing which I really enjoy about my role is the people I work with, not just the other Team Managers, but also those I manage every day. They are so friendly and willing to help me out if I need their knowledge and experience.

What has been your biggest challenge?

For me, I was worried about being new and trying to learn everything as fast as I could, and this became a challenge when I realised how much I needed to know! By realising that as long as I had a basic understanding of everything and knew where to look for extra information, I allowed myself to relax, and turned this challenge into a success.

What is the office atmosphere like?

The people in the office were all very welcoming to me and friendly, everyone helped me with learning about the systems and intricacies of my role. Gist is a fast paced and exciting place to work with fun colleagues.

What activities are there outside of work?

There are plenty of opportunities to interact with colleagues outside of work. Away from my site, there are also regular activities with the other Industrial Placement students as well as Graduates, where we can share experiences at different sites.

How promising are the graduate prospects?

The graduate prospects at Gist are very promising and will build on the foundations laid during my Placement. It will give me the opportunity to see another side to the business, whilst also building my managerial skills.

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