Kuehne + NagelKuehne + Nagel
Over our 125 year history, Kuehne + Nagel has evolved from a traditional international freight forwarder to a leading global provider of innovative and fully integrated supply chain solutions, with a global team of over 70,000 people working in more than 120 countries.
If it needs transporting, we can take it. Safely, securely and on time. Whatever it is. Whoever it's for. Wherever and whenever they need it. To do that we use the best equipment, the latest systems and employ the most talented people. People like you.
- Name: David Callaghan
- Role: Overland Process Engineer
- Joined: 2015
- University: Lancaster University
I started my graduate scheme at Kuehne+Nagel (KN) the summer after graduating from university. The graduate scheme was broadly split into two sections; development workshops and rotational placements.
There were 4 workshops held with our entire group of 20 graduates, focussed on specific development areas; developing self & others, developing teamwork, focusing on the organisation, focusing on the future. Each of these workshops were 3 day intensive courses where we had the chance to bond as a group of graduates, as well as focus on personal development. The workshops were run by external facilitators, ensuring that we were receiving the best possible training with the most relevant and updated training packages. At the end of each of these workshops we had a structured review session with our future talent manager and the external facilitator to understand where we could improve, and what to focus on before the next workshop. Between workshops we were given a group project with 6 months to complete it for presentation and review at the next workshop. These projects were genuine business relevant projects, and the opportunity to work on these projects with senior management support ensured that we had a real impact on the business. A great thing about the workshops was that at each workshop a different ‘guest speaker’ would attend and hold and Q&A session. This was a different member of the UK board each time, which not only made the Q&A sessions worthwhile and interesting, it also gave each graduate a great chance to develop networking skills and interact with the people that could determine our future roles.
We also undertook 4 rotational placements within our business unit as part of the graduate scheme. My business unit is Overland, which is the movement of freight via road into, out of, and around Europe. My first placement was in one of our Overland sales branches. This gave me the opportunity to understand customer interaction and account management, whilst also learning the logistics business and what customer’s expect of a freight forwarder. I took the opportunity to go through the same sales training as our ‘Freight account managers’ do, and had the chance to put this into practise through telesales and visiting real potential customers. My second placement took me into our trailer operations team, based in Nottingham. This allowed me to work with operational colleagues who have been with the business for a long time, so I could really start to develop an in depth understanding of the product that we offer as KN. My third placement was in our central support team in Birmingham, and this is where I have moved back to work now. The central team has a wide variety of focus areas including; tenders, IT development, network governance, sales support, management reporting and customer implementations. I worked through each of the roles within the team before moving onto my focus area which was customer implementations. This took me through into my 4th placement, which was working with our specialised networks ‘Pharmachain’ team as the project manager to implement GSK into our Overland network. This placement really tested me as it was something I had not done before, and I had to use the learnings from each of my previous placements to ensure that we met and exceeded customer expectations in all areas. Something that was evident throughout this placement and the scheme as a whole is the willingness of senior management to support the graduates, whether it is on placement specific difficulties, or personal development areas. By my final placement I had also built close relationships with my graduate peer group, and there were many times that I leant on this network for support with project management tasks from those who had experienced it more.
Overall, both the workshops and rotational placements have led me to where I am today. I have recently finished the graduate programme, and now have a full time role within our Overland central support team focussing on customer implementations. I project manage implementations of our blue-chip customers, such as the MOD, Pearson, and more GSK projects. This is the perfect place for me to develop further as the projects involve all areas of the business such as; finance, HR, IT, operations and sales. This means that I get the chance to network and collaborate with senior managers from all over the business, and can start to focus on the key areas of my development into future roles. KN is the perfect company to work for as a graduate. There is a real buy in from the UK board and the senior management team to develop graduates into future leaders, meaning that advice and support is always on hand.
- Name: Eilish Clarke
- Role: Warehouse Supervisor
- Joined: 2015
- University: University of Liverpool
‘No two days are the same on the contract logistics graduate programme. My experience at KN has included managing teams of up-to 100 operatives, conducting customer meetings, supporting the introduction of new business, and presenting to the UK Management Team. The programme consists of four (6 month) rotations which are all tailored to each individual graduates’ needs, and objectives are set at the start of each placement to develop the graduates’ strengths and manage their weaknesses. In addition, the programme hosts four development modules aimed at developing the graduates’ understanding of self, teamwork and the business; and supports graduates to complete their CILT qualification.
KN is a business that is constantly changing and developing, and the graduate programme mirrors this. For example, my placement rotations have included: solutions, continuous improvement, new customer implementation and operational management. This broad range of functions has allowed me to gain an in-depth understanding of contract logistics, customer relations and KN, which has set me in good stead to successfully progress my career in the logistics industry.’
Training & Profiles
Kuehne & Nagel offer a Graduate programme based on building knowledge and skills to apply in-role. Graduates will have 4 placements, each 6 months long, in the parts of the business that are essential to build their knowledge base. These placements are structured, with clear objectives, and fully supported throughout. The placements are incredibly varied, but can include working in Import/Export environments, managing a shift including the operatives delivering vital services or working on business improvement projects, but this is just a flavour of what a Graduate with Kuehne + Nagel can expect. Alongside this, Graduates will attend a range of Development Workshops to explore management and leadership tools and techniques. They will work on talent development projects and will have lots of opportunity to network at the most senior level in the organisation. Professional Qualifications are also part of the programme, so depending on the route a Graduate follows that could be CILT, ACCA or CIPD qualifications to support professional development. Our Graduates have an individual Sponsor who will play an active role in ensuring the Graduate is given all of the experience and opportunity they need to fulfil their potential.
Kuehne + Nagel has a truly diverse business - the scale and scope of Kuehne + Nagel’s operations means that there is no such thing as a standard route on our Graduate programme, or a standard role for our Graduates to go into at the end of the programme. We encourage our Graduates to gain a wide range of experiences, as this helps them identify the right career path for them when they come to the end of the programme. Support does not end there, as we continue to support the ongoing career development of our Graduate talent, and look to this community for future leaders in our business.