A retail graduate program with $90,000 starting salary

Posted: 18th Feb

Budget supermarket giant Aldi is offering young graduates a starting salary of $90,000 — increasing to nearly $166,000 over five years.

Megan Tate switched from a law firm to an Aldi uniform — and she couldn’t be happier.

After six years studying and practising as a solicitor, the Victoria woman found herself looking for a career change.

“It was a huge decision, but I began to feel that what I was doing was starting to get repetitive,” she said.

“I needed a new challenge — and a role where every day is different.”

Ms Tate did a lot of research on graduate and traineeship programs at a number of large companies but found the German supermarket chain’s “stood out to me”.

“I actually didn’t end up applying for any other programs, so I was lucky enough to be offered the Aldi area manager role,” she said.

Every year Aldi’s popular 14-month graduate training program attracts more than 9000 applicants for just a handful of roles.

It’s not hard to see why, with a starting salary of $90,700 — increasing to $165,900 over five years — a company car, iPhone and five weeks’ annual leave.

Ms Tate now runs four busy Victorian stores, managing more than 100 staff.

She says she was mainly attracted by the responsibility and flexibility of the role.

“Coming from a law background, graduate and junior lawyers aren’t often given much responsibility in their day-to-day role,” she said.

“Aldi puts a lot of responsibility and trust in their graduates from the get-go, and while the expectations are high, it is extremely rewarding.”

Ms Tate’s friends and family were taken aback.

“Everyone was surprised,” she said.

“They all thought that I was making a mistake having worked so hard to get where I was. My family thought that I would go back to law within the first six months, but two years later I’m still with Aldi and wouldn’t go back.”

For the first two weeks of the graduate program new recruits shadow another area manager to learn the ropes.

“The biggest shock was after those two weeks when you put on the Aldi uniform and work 20 weeks managing Aldi stores across Victoria,” Ms Tate said.

Surprisingly, Ms Tate says she was lucky having no previous retail experience because she started “not having any preconceived ideas about what the role would be like”.

“I vividly remember one of my days in store when I had worked a 10-hour day during the busy Easter rush,” she said.

“I finally got home and had an early night, only to be woken up by a call from our security company advising that an alarm was going off at one of the stores, so I had to drive back to store, back home, then back to store again for a 6am start. Welcome to retail life.”

Applications for Aldi’s 2021 graduate program close on March 9.

“To be eligible you must have completed either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree no more than two years prior to the start of the program,” Aldi says.

“You must have also demonstrated academic excellence and provide transcripts to reflect that. Graduates must be flexible enough to relocate throughout the state during the training and placement period.”

Source: News.com.au - https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/careers/aldis-2021-graduate-program-comes-with-90000-starting-salary/news-story/f994c8306424f2847858f4c737e44b69