Roberts’ experience is a little different than most young graduates. She started her bachelor of
business majoring in sustainability as a mature age student and mother of three.
“I did not want to go straight to full time education after completing school so I decided to work
instead,” she says.
“The first job I had was as a receptionist at a mortgage broking company, where I was
exposed to the financial advisory role.
“I had the opportunity to train for the role of a mortgage broker and ended up in that role for three
years. Then I went travelling overseas and put my university plans on the backburner. I then had my
first child, which prompted me to take up a job in childcare.”
Roberts then started her own business making edible bouquets, ironically using chocolates from
ALDI. It was on a very small scale when she was living in the northern highlands of Scotland. She knew she wanted to be in the corporate world when she finished her degree.
“I was older than most of the standard graduates so I had much more clarity about what I wanted to
do,” she says.
“I started the ALDI Graduate Program when I was 30 years old and already had three kids. I had
already worked and volunteered part-time and studied full time while raising my children, so I was
used to juggling a lot of priorities.”
When Roberts finishes the program in July she will be allocated her own area to manage.
“I have been with the business since last February and over time have worked in-store, with the
transport and logistics team, with the merchandising team and now have been shadowing an
existing area manager for the last six months to understand their day-to-day responsibilities,” she
“This has exposed me to very diverse responsibilities such as personnel management, hiring,
outsourcing, IT updates, solving in-store challenges, planning sales, roster planning and internal
Roberts says she was most interested in ALDI’s corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives because she majored in sustainability for her degree.
“I’ve been proactive in approaching our corporate responsibility department to get a better understanding of the department and to be involved in some of our reuse and recycling initiatives, for example,” she says.
Roberts says the program has allowed her to focus on her passions while at the same time upskill in
areas that she may not have had the opportunity to experience in other graduate programs.
“I put my hand up in stating I didn’t have any retail experience before taking up this position, and
would encourage anyone in a similar position to do the same,” she says.
“But also be clear about what you can bring to the table.”
ALDI human resources director Saffron Newton said to be eligible for the ALDI graduate program, applicants need to be in their final year of study or have recently completed a bachelor or
master’s degree in any discipline and have demonstrated academic excellence.
“We’re open to people from all kinds of backgrounds, degrees and skillsets. We believe if someone
has the right drive and initiative, we can teach them the retail skills that they’ll need for the job,” she says.
“Due to our lean operating model, we don’t hire graduates for specific work areas; we hire graduates from all backgrounds and skillsets, and put them through a comprehensive training program covering all aspects of retail operations.”
Successful graduates become area managers and run three to five stores as their own, giving them
a high level of autonomy only a few years out of university.
“We’ve had many of our area managers transfer the skillsets that they’ve learned through the graduate and/or area manager program to different departments within the business such as logistics, property, buying and finance,” Newton says.
Applications for the 2020 ALDI Graduate Program close on March 12 and the company is
looking for 16 graduates from across Australia.
To find out more information or to apply go to https://www.aldicareers.com.au/Jobs/2020-