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In November 2016, Ashley Miles joined Chandlers as our first Graduate Management Trainee. Ashley graduated from Sport Science at the University of Kent in 2011 and was looking for a new challenge when he applied for our Graduate Management Training Programme.
Below, you can read about Ashley's experience at Chandlers to get a flavour of what the Management Programme offers.
Since I have been with Chandlers, I have worked in many different departments across three branches. I started off in the Yard at Ringmer and am now on a longer-term placement based in the Brighton branch.
Chandlers have been very supportive and friendly throughout the process, which for me, started off at the assessment day and the subsequent interview. Whilst these can be very stressful and daunting days for potential applicants, the staff did a fantastic job at putting all the candidates at ease.
As mentioned my first placement was working in the Yard at Ringmer. It was a great place to start as it gives you the opportunity to get to know some of the products the branch sells. You also get your first experience of the customers that the company look to serve and begin to develop an understanding of what their needs are. Within a week of working for the company, I had secured my forklift license and felt like I was contributing to the team, whilst learning a great deal.
I then moved to work in internal and counter sales at the Petworth branch. These roles really help to further your product knowledge, whilst helping you to develop your customer service and negotiation skills. You also start to become aware of the importance of the transport section as many of your orders are reliant on the branches delivery service to be fulfilled.
I then moved on to work with the Transport Co-ordinator based in the Brighton branch. As well as spending time with him planning the deliveries and problem solving any issues, I also got to go out with the various delivery drivers. This was a great experience as it gave me a really good understanding of the issues they face on a daily basis, especially in a busy city environment such as Brighton. It was also great to meet lots of satisfied customers with their goods.
I have also spent time with the two different BDE's, the Product Managers for the company, the Operations Team and the Accounts Department.
Finally, I would say that the scheme has been exactly as they originally advertised it to be. All the staff have been very welcoming and helpful in my development and I look forward to the further challenges and placements that the company have in store for me.