The blended leadership programme is great at giving you a wide variety of experiences. On the scheme it is clear that operations, commercial and consultancy all overlap and knowledge of each one helps you in the other spheres. For example, knowledge of the operation will help you when selling Unipart’s products and services in a commercial and consultancy environment. If like many you’re not certain of your future career direction the blended leadership programme is perfect for giving you a fantastic variety of skills and help you better understand career options.
I have a real interest in client relationship management and business growth – with a focus on new business development, which is why I found the Blended Leadership Programme so appealing.
I’ve had the opportunity to work in a number of wide and varied roles across the business. These opportunities have really challenged and developed me, and have led to the accelerated career path that I find myself on today.
I started out as an Outbound Team Leader within a major UK retailer high value outbound operation. I was responsible for managing and running the performance of high value outbound operation against daily volume targets including; people and process management and development.
I then moved into a Relationship Support Manager role. I was working on the Sky repair and operations contract focusing on the development of internal governance, contract measures, operational reviews and service enhancements.
After six months, I moved into a Business Transformation Manager role as part of a small team that was responsible for the complete end-to-end supply chain diagnostic for a major UK home improvements retailer. We were responsible for the delivery of a programme to drive improvements in the customer journey and net contribution through effective and efficient people, process, systems and communication, across the end to end showroom process.
I was then given the opportunity to shadow our MD for three months. This allowed me to; gain a good understanding of the roles and responsibilities of executive level roles and understand the key behaviours needed to succeed as a MD.
My final role on the graduate programme was as a UEP Practitioner. This role required me to support a high profile strategic project. I was responsible for working with key stakeholders across the organisation to ensure successful delivery.
Since completing the programme, I have now moved into a Practice Development role within our consulting business. This role has allowed me to really focus on the commercial elements of business that I enjoy so much.
Supporting with the lead of a major retailer’s supply chain transformation.
Having accountability for diagnostic, design and implementation within a client environment provided a unique platform to harness and develop my commercial and consultancy skills.
With a business that is as broad as Unipart, the biggest challenge was trying to ensure you do not get pigeon holed into one specific business unit.
Once you have a placement with one business unit it is very easy to get attached to their style and approach. Having the opportunity to have a placement in two of the business units was very valuable,
Pre starting with Unipart: You don’t need to know exactly which business unit or area you wish to specialise in. The approach the graduate scheme takes allows you to experience different environments and find the area that plays to your strengths.
Unipart are looking for driven, motivated individuals who want to, and can make an impact. They are a people focused organisation, with development and growth at the heart of what they do, therefore as long as you have the drive and motivation to be a leader then they will provide you with the technical skills to support
Once on the graduate scheme: Ensure you mix your placements up and move across business units.
Make the placement your own – it’s very easy to go into a placement thinking ‘this isn’t really for me’ or that it isn’t challenging you enough – my advice would be to make it challenging. Push yourself and the placement to get the most out of it. Two years seems like a long time, however it really isn’t, so you should make every placement count.