Zoe Garkinis Coles Graduate Image

Zoe Garkinis

RMIT University
Coles Marketing Graduate
Zoe studied a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (Applied) at RMIT University.

1) What's written on your business card?

Coles Marketing Graduate

2) What's your job about?

This question is one of the most important ones, therefore you can elaborate more here. Actually it consists of 2 questions that you can easily answer all at once. You're good! You can do it!

First of all, tell us in one sentence: What's your employer doing and what are your areas of responsibility?
What are YOU exactly doing? Tell us details about YOUR daily work and your specific tasks. Best is if you describe an exemplary day, a week or a project of yours.
Additional information? Does a teenager understand what you are doing? State any kind of interesting details!
We’re looking for a video answer no longer than 250 words.

My employer is one of the major players in the retail industry in Australia, namely supermarkets. We aim to be Australia’s best food retailer.

As part of the Marketing team, it’s our job to make sure we are in the hearts and minds of consumers to enable this. This entails understanding what customers want and need through undertaking research and insights, developing products along with our stores to accommodate this, and continuously innovating to surprise and delight. Further, working closely with our suppliers, and of course communicating all the things we do that make us distinctive through our core brand platforms, whether it be via our TV ads, our catalogue, print, outdoor advertising, Coles Magazine, sampling, flybuys, Coles Online, social media, in store signage, product packaging, or through events/sponsorships.

As a graduate, my role changes depending on the rotation I’m in which is great because you get exposed to so much of the business and always learn something new. For example, in my first role I worked in the Coles Brand Marketing team which revolves around our private label products. I had the opportunity to work on our new launch campaigns, on packaging re-brands, and managing the nomination and promotion of awards our products won. In this team I worked closely with our Product Developers and Product Technologists whereas in my current role – Category Marketing for Grocery products, I work on supplier marketing campaigns. This includes for their new launches and for our seasonal events like Easter. This is essentially a Trade Marketing role so I work closely with our Category Managers.

I am also involved in ‘extra-curricular’ activities outside my formal job like the Grad Social Club where we organise fun events to get to know each other outside of work and broaden our network.

3) Could someone with a different background do your job?

I am a firm believer in if someone puts their mind to something, they can do anything. So yes I think someone else could do it. Having studied Marketing definitely helps me understand and apply concepts more easily, but many things are learnt on the job anyway. Coles values diverse experience so it would certainly be an option. To be successful in my job I think it’s important to be resourceful, resilient, creative, results driven, a team player, and passionate.

4) What's the coolest thing about your job?

I love that I get real responsibility and am challenged. It’s rewarding to see things that you’ve worked on in public for all of Australia to see like a Magazine advertorial or Point Of Sale displays in store. It’s great to know the things you work on have a direct impact on customer experience and add value to the business. It’s nice getting good feedback from team members too! In general the company has a really fun and engaging culture and there’s always activities to participate in, or some free food to enjoy which is a bonus! It’s a great place to work because you know there is so much opportunity for you to develop your career and work with and learn from amazing people.

5) What are the limitations of your job?

Compared to other jobs, Coles tends to have an earlier start. In busy periods there can be long hours but that’s like anywhere. Retail is quite fast paced so you need to be able to deal with a high volume of work which can be stressful for some people. Given it is a large organisation, there’s often many stakeholders who need to be engaged. This can also be a challenge at times when something needs to happen quickly or just knowing who to contact.

6) 3 pieces of advice for your teenage self...

  • It’s cliché but don’t grow up too quickly! Enjoy your teenage care free years, you have plenty of time to be grown up. This is something that sadly I think people need to learn for themselves, as I heard this from adults when I was younger too, but didn’t appreciate fully until now.
  • In saying this, balance having fun but also study hard. If you have a goal you need to be disciplined and work towards creating the life for yourself that you want, it won’t be handed to you.
  • Thirdly, be open to all opportunities and experiences, you never know what you’ll learn. This extends to all facets of life - travelling, work, volunteering and even trying new food!