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Part1: Identifying and analysing job options
1.1 Successful Professional Profile
Having researched a multitude of companies and their employees, I came across Peter Byrne he works for Aldi Stores (Ireland) Limited, as an area manager. I was unsure of what kind of career I would like to pursue or what kind of organisation that I would like to work for, however after reading Peter's graduate profile (gradireland 2009) I have become greatly drawn to this type of a role within a company as experienced as the Aldi group. Peter graduated from UCD in 2006 with a bachelor of commerce degree; he spent a year gaining work experience whilst travelling, on his return to Ireland he then decided to attend the Michael Smurfit School of Business where he completed a masters in business studies. As a graduate joining the Aldi area management team Peter was provided with an individual training plan. The Aldi area manager graduate programme exposes the trainee to every aspect of their business from the position of a shop assistant through to a Shop manager. Peter also spent time learning and working in positions such as an operations director and trading director. Peter has said that the people he has worked with have been “more than helpful in guiding me through the programme”. Their formal training is extremely comprehensive and really gives the graduate a great understanding of the business as a whole. During the training it is common that graduates are given one store to manage before being given the responsibility of an area manager position. Aldi seem to provide a very encouraging and nurturing environment for a graduate to be in as it will allow them to develop their skills that they have learnt while learning to apply them in real world situations. Aldi are a global organisation with over 7,000 and they are continuing to “explore further international opportunities.” There are also great opportunities to progress to a senior management role within the company after working for five years in the area management position.
1.2 Skill Table
I would like to pursue a similar profession as Peter who I have previously identified as a successful professional within the business management discipline. With the nature of retail you are faced with constant challenges that are diversified and unique for each day. This means that you need to approach each day and learn to adapt and tailor your experiences and expertise for those distinctive needs. The idea of working with a leading retailer as experienced and as culturally diversified as the Aldi group really appeals to me because you have an opportunity to gain a greater insight to new cultures and learn what their core values are. Hence giving you as an individual, but also part of an organisation as you can pass on what you have learnt, a greater understanding of the customers needs and how to address them. I think that I could bring some of my already developed skills to an organisation and with the experience and encouragement of my colleagues' learn to use them in new ways. Below is a table outlining what I perceive to be six of my key attributes that would enable me to be deemed as a suitable candidate for an entry level role within the industry.
Example of an occasion when skill was demonstrated
I have had to come up with alternative solutions for problems in demanding situations. After a delivery van broke down I had to organise an alternative method for the transit of goods from one location to another while meeting time constraints.
Management of personnel resources
In my role as an assistant manager I have successfully identified the right people for the right job, and continued to motivate and support them in their roles.
Throughout my time in DCU I have shown that I am capable of meeting deadlines for my individual work as well as in a group situation.
I have needed to be acutely tuned to the needs, wants and desires of customers and attempt to meet them effectively to ensure that business sustained a competitive edge.
I have had to create develop and deploy effective processes to carry out day to day activities within a busy business environment.
I have been required to make presentations where I needed to express my information correctly to my targeted audience. I have also held a role of liaising between varying management teams where effective communication was of paramount importance.
1.3 Small to Medium size enterprise or large Multinational Organisation
I think that I would like to begin my career by working for a large multinational organisation. My reasons are that I believe that there is a broader spectrum of opportunities, greater work choices, and the opportunity to work abroad by working for a large multinational organisation. I also believe that you will be exposed to a variety of people from a range of different cultural backgrounds, thus enabling you to gain a greater insight of their cultures and how they conduct business. You also have a greater chance of gaining a larger professional network as the organisation should have many good and long established relations with a variety of clients to whom you would also have associations to through working alongside them. I also think that as an entry level employee that there will be a larger group of colleagues and management teams that can assist in developing your career. Where as in a smaller organisation you may feel that you are distracting these people and in a smaller organisation they may not delegate well to you by either over loading your plate or not giving you enough job related tasks for you to gain experience in your relevant field.
Part 2: What are my options?
I have prepared curriculum vitae from the perspective of my completion of my degree and designed the cover letter to support this.
2.3 Career Action Plan
Four objectives and how to achieve them;
1. Secure a work experience placement
2. Successfully complete my degree
3. Gain Employment
4. Senior management position
I hope to partake in the INTRA programme and secure a work experience placement next year. I would hope that from a placement that I would learn how to apply some of the new skills that I have learnt through my time in university. With hard work and dedication I hope to successfully complete my degree and accomplish a grade of a 2.1 or higher. On leaving university I would hope to gain employment in a middle management position within a large multinational organisation. In a position like this I would hope that it would demand proficiency evoke my creative, people and organisational skills. Hopefully from there and after a few years of hard I could gain a senior management position within that company or elsewhere. I am aware of my weaknesses which would include numeracy, use of IT packages, creative writing. However I believe that each of these areas has greatly improved from my time and experiences in university. I consider that my listening skills also need to improve and hope to accomplish this by consciously making an effort to actively listen. I will initially do this with my peers and hope that it will evolve and become a natural instinct to whatever situation I am in, be it professional or social.
Part 3: Reflection
On completing this Portfolio I have realised what my career goals are and how best to achieve them. I did not think that I would have wanted to work for a large international organisation. However after conducting research among professionals who have or are currently employed by small to medium sized enterprises or a large multinational organisation, I have gained a greater insight into the advantages of working in a large multinational organisation. I believe that to begin my career working in a large multinational organisation would provide me with the support network that is needed when embarking your professional career. I also think that the opportunities that you are exposed to when working in a multinational organisation are vast, thus affording you a greater scope to further your career. I was also very surprised with my choice of a successful professional and their career. I did not expect to be interested in gaining employment in the retail industry. However after reading about Peter and his experience to date with the Aldi group I have become very drawn to this job. The company have an excellent rapport with their employees and I really like their training programme, where they train prospective area managers in all areas of the company such as a general store assistant. I think it is vital for a manager to have worked in a position to truly understand how it works so in the future if a problem arises that the manager can draw on that experience and make a well informed decision by not only looking at the facts but also understanding them. The Aldi group have a team of professional people who have an unparalleled passion and enthusiasm about their career and a commitment to the company. Every day for an area manager within Aldi is different as one day you could be arranging the details of lease for a new building and the next day hiring staff for a store under your management. You are expected to work hard and give 100% all of the time hard but are rewarded well for your efforts. I now know where I would like to see myself in the next five years I hope to achieve this through studying hard and obtain my degree with a minimum grade of a 2.1. I would hope to successfully partake in the intra programme and gain work experience within a retail organisation so as I can start to work towards my goal of gaining employment with Aldi to join their graduate area manager training programme.
Books (corporate) -
gradireland 2010 19th edition pg 88 & 89
 gradireland 2009
 gradireland 2009