Samantha Ngan Kee Caltex Graduate
A day in the life of…

Graduate – Convenience Development (Marketing) at Caltex

Samantha Ngan Kee studied a Bachelor of International and Global Studies (Hons) at University of Sydney, graduated in 2015 and is now Graduate – Convenience Development (Marketing) at Caltex

6.30am

BEEP, BEEP! My alarm goes off at 6.30am sharp. I hit snooze and enjoy the next seven minutes of pillow-time. I’ve got this down to an art – if I allow it to snooze for exactly seven minutes, I have just enough time to get ready, grab some breakfast to go and still catch my bus. Once I’m on the bus, I plug in my earphones and put on the BBC News podcast. It’s my daily ritual and makes me feel like I’ve caught up with the world a bit before I hit the office. 

7.15am

I walk into our office, in the heart of Sydney city, and chat to my workmate while waiting for the jug to boil for a cup of tea. The first thing I do is read through the daily Retail Food and Beverage Morning Wrap – it has a good recap of the previous day’s retail news and market announcements, which I find to be very useful to be across as we expand our retail capability through concept stores like The Foodary. Next, I’ll have a look at what has come in overnight, like some notes from my manager, questions from the Caltex Operations team around upcoming campaigns and colleagues who are getting back to me with information I’ve requested. I make notes on my to-do list. I like to get a head start to the day – I find it easier to tackle emails while there’s less people around, and I can start my day with a clean(ish) slate…

7.30

I have a conference call with a creative agency we’re working with on an exciting new project, which will drive an entirely new brand experience for both The Foodary and Caltex. We’re working to a pretty tight deadline, so for the next little while we have these twice-weekly touch-ins. Today we spend most of the call finalising budget details. The call wraps up at 8am and I try to wrap up some more emails before the next meeting.

8.30am

I head to another stand-up meeting with my manager and the designers in the Digital team, who we work closely with. We’re in the middle of a seasonal campaign launch so it’s all-go with getting new content out to stores. We give feedback on some content and decide to go live with a few key pieces. I make a note of these because I want to see them in person in stores later. It’s exciting to be part of the entire marketing process - all the way from initial brainstorming to being in store and in front of our customers.  

9am

I definitely need a coffee by this point in the morning! I am going out to one of our stores so I’ll grab one there. I order an Uber, promise to bring back some yummy lunch for my colleague, and head out. 

10am – 1pm

I arrive at our The Foodary store in Padstow. Our team has been working on a series of new concept stores that offers everything you’d expect from a convenience store but feels like your local café. I try get into sites as much as possible. We’re still testing and learning, so it helps to be on the ground! I grab a coffee and chat to the barista. There’s free Wi-Fi instore, so once I catch up with the team, I grab a seat at the eat-in bench and check on the digital marketing content. It looks good! I make a note mentally to pull some sales data once I’m back in the office. I like to look at what is happening in-store, particularly what my team has been working on over the last few months. I see the Shaker Salad campaign we worked on over the past few months. This campaign was all about driving customer penetration by emphasising the proposition of good value, fresh and healthy food. I reflect on the process of bringing that concept to life in store. Things can move so fast, it’s always great to take a moment or two to reflect on your work. I’m getting a bit hungry so before I head off I grab a couple of salads, before jumping in an Uber and heading back to the office.

1.30pm

I arrive back at the office and I’m starved! I grab a few friends from my team and we have lunch together in the breakroom. I’ve brought back some food from The Foodary to share. We chat about our favourite new show on Netflix and how the Socceroos are looking for the upcoming World Cup later this year. I crack open my Shaker Salad and devour it!

2pm – 2.30pm

I head into a meeting with one of our Category Managers who takes care of the in-store bakery. I’ve been running some analysis on the sales impact of one of the new pieces of marketing material we pushed in-store a few weeks ago, and I want her input on other contributing factors. We flesh out a few different ideas and I take some notes. We’ll present this to the team formally next week.

2.30pm – 5.30pm

I finally have a clear block of time without meetings! I grab a snack from the cupboard, sometimes we are lucky enough to have some stock to try out, my favourites are the Magnum ice creams, but today I go for a muesli bar. I open up the local area marketing brief I’ve been working on and add in the information from the regions before sending it through to the Communications team. I spend the rest of the afternoon reviewing a creative response from an agency (I grab my manager for this and have a chat through – having a second opinion always helps). I consolidate our feedback and send it back. Before I wrap up for the day, I refresh a report I built a few weeks ago, tracking sales of new seasonal products we launched. I like to keep on top of this as it helps inform our marketing strategy and how hard we should drive certain categories or products.  

5.30pm – 7.30pm

I pack up and head off. If I walk quickly, not only do I get some extra exercise in, I can make the 6.30pm gym class! I do a final check of my emails on the bus home – there’s nothing urgent so I call it a day.

8pm – 10pm

I get home at the same time as my flatmate. We make some dinner and sit down to debrief on our days. It’s become routine for us and always helps me unwind. After dinner we wash up, catch up on social media and possibly squeeze in some television before heading to bed. I set my alarm for 6:30am – and not a minute later!