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Dave Parkinson

Don't be afraid to apply for jobs you think you have no shot at getting. You will surprise yourself.

What's your job about?

My job is making sure all of Australia gets beer, on time and in full. Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) is a leading FMCG company with production facilities across Australia. I work at the main Queensland brewery based in Yatala, managing the transportation and storage of beer in and out the Warehouse. CUB prides itself on career development, diversity and inclusion. It was through this career development that my journey took me to the production site. My passion for logistics was identified during my Global Management Trainee graduate program and the People Team helped place me in my chosen function.

My day starts with a Level 1 meeting where I run my team through safety, production and actions for the day. I assign each team member to his or her daily task of loading product, managing the robotic forklift fleet, managing the keg fleet or operating the front desk. I then analyse the previous days results and run the daily reports which measure the warehouse teams KPIs against our performance.

The coolest part of my job is the scale at which we work. Over a year the brewery will produce and transport over one billion stubbies!

What's your background?

I grew up in Melbourne, footy (AFL) mad and finished my schooling and undergraduate degree here. Next I moved to the Sunshine State to study my Juris Doctor at Bond University. The Gold Coast was a great place to learn; it allowed me to surf and study law on a daily basis! During my time at Bond I travelled to Shanghai on exchange at Fudan University. In Shanghai I worked at an international investment advisory firm and took Chinese language classes (with limited success). I made some great friends playing AFL for the Shanghai Tigers and developed international networks throughout China by joining the Australian Chamber of Commerce Shanghai.

My journey at CUB began through the Global Management Trainee program. I would recommend this program to anyone interested in learning the fundamentals of every department in a leading FMCG company. I was immersed in real projects like tracking 500,000 kegs throughout the entire CUB network! The program challenges you from day one and I was dropped into brewing, sales, marketing and strategy teams and projects to only name a few.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes! The great thing about my job is that there is no perfect background to succeed. You need to be able to problem solve and manage a team with diverse backgrounds. The job of a warehouse manager requires an understanding of the warehouse and transport management systems, but also emotional intelligence to communicate with internal and external stakeholders.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The job is not dull. There are moving parts on top of moving parts. You need to balance managing a team with organising the warehouse requirements. This requires a short and long term lens. One minute you might be helping re-route a robotic forklift and the next you could be organising 20,000 kegs required for the weekly production. There is also great camaraderie with the other warehouse crews and we always try to set the other crews up for success. Working three days a week is also great for weekend adventures.

What are the limitations of your job?

The hardest part of the job is the shift work. One week you will be working 6AM to 6PM and the next week you will be working 6PM to 6AM. The benefit is you only work three days a week. You need to be disciplined with your eating and sleeping patterns to succeed. Also managing a team always presents challenges like coordinating team member’s strengths and weaknesses. Facing these challenges and succeeding is rewarding and makes the job absolutely worth it.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  1. Enjoy it, blink and you’re out of there.
  2. Talk to your tutors, they are there to help and answer questions much better than your friends do.
  3. Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs you think you have no shot at getting. You will surprise yourself.