Jack O’Donnell DHL Gradaute Image

Jack O’Donnell

University of Western Sydney
Operations Graduate
Jack studied Bachelor of Business and Commerce at University of Western Sydney

1) What's written on your business card?

My name is Jack O’Donnell and I am an Operations Graduate at DHL Supply Chain.

2) What's your job about?

Many things, however my area of responsibility is to bring new ideas to the table that will help the business continuously improve.

Currently, I am 3 days in to a new rotation. With many existing challenges present and many more in the foreseeable future, my daily work at this point will be to involve myself in the operation as much as possible to see the challenges our people are facing day to day. These challenges impact on our customer and their customers, which is why it is so important that our operation is as seamless as possible.

3) What's your background?

  • List the most important stages of your life 
  1. Finishing High School.
  2. Starting my first “important job” working for a small business.
  3. Starting University.
  4. Travelling throughout South America for 3 Months.
  5. Graduating from University.
  6. Joining DHL Supply Chain as part of the Graduate Program.
  • How did you get to your current job position and for how long have you being doing it already?

Getting to here was more or less a series of steps to reach an end goal. Achieve good results at University. Gain relevant industry experience by working in that environment, which I did for 4 years whilst studying. Prepared thoroughly for all the hoops I had to jump through to get to where I wanted to be, because nothing comes easy and without road blocks. I have now been working in this role for just over 12 months.

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

Yes absolutely. Because everyone brings a unique skill set that can influence the business in a positive way. Imagine if everyone came from the same background, there wouldn’t be much diverse thinking.

Despite all the run of the mill ones you hear like; Problem Solving etc. One skill/characteristic that is severely underestimated is courage. In this environment often change is needed, and in takes courage to instigate change where others want the status quo to remain.

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

The Graduate Program. It allows me to see different parts of the business, different operations, different customers and different products. I get exposure to different teams and people with diverse backgrounds and career experiences. All in all giving me the opportunity to discover what I enjoy most and where I can see myself in 2 years’ time. While rotating through, I have found it most enjoyable to work with people from all levels of the business, from the Vice President of a sector to a driver servicing our customers day to day.

6) What are the limitations of your job?

Of course, any role that you, firstly enjoy and secondly, take seriously comes with responsibility. I don’t find the work physically demanding (except for hand unloading pallets in North Sydney on Day 3 of my first rotation) and yes at times I have found myself working weekends. Not because I was asked to, not because I had something due on Monday morning, but because I wanted to. This is not work in the sense of spending 8 hours at your desk on a Sunday, but jumping on for an hour at home. In terms of limitations, I think exposure to this industry prior to joining the grad program was helpful for me but not essential. For someone who has not been exposed practically to the industry in some way will be limited for at least the first few months, again helpful not essential.

7) 3 pieces of advice for your teenage self...

  • Make sure you’re doing what you enjoy. Been in a career that you don’t enjoy won’t be good for your professional life or personal life.
  • If you have ambitions to travel, travel now.
  • Get whatever experience possible in the role and/or industry (‘s) you can see yourself working in. This might change your mind.