Countdown welcomes 2016 Graduate intake

16 February 2016: Eleven of New Zealand’s next generation of retail leaders have taken their first few steps into the retail world, with Countdown’s Graduate programme.

The graduates, who have degrees in Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Finance, Law, Business and Commerce, have recently begun a two-year programme with Countdown, which will help them learn how to run a business. 

University of Canterbury graduate Denver Morton, says the Countdown Graduate programme is allowing him to build a career that can have a positive effect on people right across New Zealand. 

“Countdown appealed to me as a place to build a career because of its large connection with New Zealand communities. The Countdown Graduate programme allows me to learn from senior business leaders across a range of specialties, giving me a level of insight that few graduate programmes can.

“All of parts of the business, whether it’s logistics, marketing or buying, have to work together seamlessly to deliver a great offer to customers. I have the opportunity to interact with people from completely different professions and develop a broad skill set,” says Morton.

Countdown’s Managing Director Dave Chambers says the programme is a great way to support future retail leaders to get a head start on their careers.

“We’re the second largest private employer in New Zealand, with more than 18,000 team members, 6,500 are under 25. We’re proud to provide opportunities for young New Zealanders, including unparalleled training and development in retail sector through the graduate programme and through our stores.”

“Those who have taken part in the programme in the past have gained invaluable experience. I’m excited to be welcoming our eleven new graduates into our business and supporting them as they learn from, and work with, our experienced team,” says Chambers.  

During orientation, Minister for Youth Affairs Nikki Kaye met with Countdown’s new graduates.

Minister Kaye said “It’s great to see Countdown offering this opportunity to young people. We all have a vested interest in helping our young people achieve to the best of their ability, from the Government to private businesses and charitable organisations. This initiative is a great example of supporting young people to grow and develop their potential.” 

The first year of the programme involves a rotation of in-store operations, commercial buying, and logistics. The second year of the programme sees the graduates select their own area of specialisation such as Marketing, Finance, Buying, IT and Logistics.

The graduates come from the Waikato Institute of Technology as well as Lincoln University, Victoria University of Wellington, Massey University, the University of Auckland, the University of Canterbury and the University of Waikato.   

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