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Arsalan Ali - Woolworths Trainee Manager

Arsalan Ali, Woothworths Trainee Manager

"I never ran behind my dreams because my dreams are running behind me" Arslan Ali

Be inspired by his pursuit of success, working for one of Australia's largest corporations. 

Tell us a little more about the organisation you're working for?

I am working with the Woolworths petrol section at the moment. Woolworths Limited is a major Australian company with extensive retail interest throughout Australia and New Zealand. It is the second largest company in Australia by revenue, after Perth-based retail-focused conglomerate Wesfarmers, and the second largest in New Zealand. In addition, Woolworths Limited is the largest takeaway liquor retailer in Australia, the largest hotel and gaming poker machine operator in Australia, and was the 19th largest retailer in the world in 2008.

What did you study and what are the steps you took to be where you are today?

I studied at Kaplan Business School and have a background in Business, Accounting, Auditing, Management and Commerce. Study plays a vital role in developing all the necessary basics, but the most important thing is expanding your network by engaging with other professionals. 

What inspired this career path?

I believe nowadays that we confine ourselves to the field that we study. I never hide from any challenge and present myself for different tasks which might not relate to my studies, but I believe in one thing, all of those steps will lead me towards my goals or what I am looking for. So be bold while applying for jobs - believe me when you will fly you can see all colours of the sky. 

Explain what a typical day at work is like for you...

• Manage the training, coaching and performance of all fuel associates
• Execution of established safety, security, quality and store operations policies, procedures and practices
• Manage fuel operations at store-level including product handling, supplies ordering and pricing compliance
• Execution of all cash management activities, including accurate cash handling, credit card procedures and safety procedures
• Reconcile financial documentation and reports and update financial reports on daily basis
• Analyse fuel metrics, trends and prepare action plans to leverage the store’s fuel operations strengths, and address areas of opportunities

What was your first job and what did it teach you? 

I worked as a Steward at a local football club in London. That was an amazing experience! At that time that was an ordinary thing for me but that role showed me how to interact with bigger audience build my confidence among people and developed a sense of responsibility. 

What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you in your career?

The interesting fact is that I had never worked for fuel sector before but it’s an amazing thing that all the operations of all departments interlinked with each other and I am learning all the things not once, but step by step. Diversity in learning in simple words.

What’s the most important career tip someone has given you?

I met quite a few professionals and mentors and the best piece of advice is always “Believe in yourself” 

What qualities and skills should people have if they want to be a manager?

Ability to engage with people, good decision making, flexibility in your attitudes, always listen first, never think of yourself as superior, be straightforward and always strive for new things.

Give us a rundown of yourself outside the office

I moved here from the UK to pursue further studies and my career (shoutout to Kaplan Business School). I love to write poetry in my native tongue because I believe it is a way to express emotions and share words that hold so much meaning.  
I'm also in the process of developing my own clothing brand. 

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