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Genevieve studied Bachelor of Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Materials Engineering (Honours) at Monash University
What's your job about?
My job involves working as part of the commercial team at Swire Cold Storage. Swire Cold Storage provides refrigerated warehouse solutions for a variety of customers, including refrigerated storage and handling services, or providing refrigerated warehouses for lease. I help manage the leased warehouses, invoicing and interacting with some of our major customers.
My daily work changes each day, depending on the needs of the business. It can involve generating invoices, calculating credit notes, determining new rates for customers through rise and fall calculations, or even walking around site to see how different services are performing.
I’m currently working on a few projects, including assisting with financial analysis of engineering services and service providers for a national procurement project, and determining the state and value of the materials handling equipment used at our sites across Australia. This involves communicating with people from a range of departments and backgrounds, and it’s always interesting to learn more about the different areas of the business.
What's your background?
I grew up in suburban Melbourne and had grandparents in the country, so also spent time visiting their farm, getting a feel for both city and regional lifestyles. The important stages of my life so far include birth (have to begin somewhere!), an early introduction to books - fostering a love of reading and seeking new knowledge, the opportunity to travel abroad in high school, and now entering in this new stage of a graduate position!
My first job was at 14 and 9 months (the age at which you could legally begin work) at a local café, and was motivated by my desire to have a mobile phone, that my parents didn’t think I needed. This turned out to be a great move, as it exposed me to a busy, fast paced customer service environment, taught me to value my efforts and income, and even resulted in my parents getting free coffees at the end of my shifts!
This helped shape my strong work ethic and sense of responsibility – which I took through high school and university. During my double degree, I worked on a scholarship at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, which was incredibly interesting. This gave me an opportunity to present at a number of conferences, and meet technical experts from all over the world. I studied abroad in Denmark for a semester, an experience I recommend. In January 2016 I joined Swire’s Management Trainee program, which has led me to my current position!
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes, I believe so. Many of the skills I have learnt on the job, so this is something someone from an alternative background could also do. As long as you have an open mind, aren’t afraid to ask questions, have some Microsoft Office skills and can communicate effectively, this role can be learnt on the job. Maths and logical reasoning experience will definitely help as well!
What's the coolest thing about your job?
I love the tasks that involve having to run around and interact with a variety of people to source required information, and find solutions to problems or issues that may arise. In a similar vein, I like being presented with a difficult question or task that needs solving. I know I’m doing the right thing when people come to me with queries and I’m able to give guidance and/or provide solutions.
What are the limitations of your job?
The biggest limitation for me is probably having to stay stationary most of the day (but I know that will be very different when I move I into my next rotation out in the field)! I’m quite an active person, so it’s been an adjustment to be at a desk all the time. If I get really involved in some spreadsheets/interesting work I don’t notice, but other times I feel a bit lethargic in staying seated. I combat this by going for lunch time walks, and going to discuss things with people in the office face-to-face, sending follow up emails/ extra information as needed.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
First of all – seek out opportunities for study abroad earlier at university, this was such a great experience for me that I would have loved to be able to do another exchange!
Second – join groups that fall out of your usual areas of interest! I was involved in the engineering and biomedical societies; however there are so many other groups from fire twirling to geological societies and I recommend trying new things at least once!
Thirdly – don’t be afraid to get to know your lecturers, these can be valuable sources of information whether it be career relate or for extra details on a topic!