Nina Massonne is no stranger to the Countdown family. From age 17 she worked as a checkout operator and was soon promoted to supervisor, a position she held while she was still a student at high school. Massonne was always interested in business and initially set her sights on becoming an accountant. In her final year of university, a Bachelor of Business Analysis at the University of Waikato, she decided to apply for Countdowns Business Leadership Graduate Programme.

“The Graduate Programme is such a unique experience that opened up so many different career paths that interested me,” she said. “I also felt it was a great environment to work in to achieve my personal growth goals such as developing my leadership and people management skills.” The experience on the Graduate Programme, in which she rotated through merchandise, logistics and operations, helped her understand the flow-on effect of people and their actions within the company.

The fast-paced environment is exciting for Massonne, as it means she’s challenged with something new every day. The strong learning culture at Countdown helps her grow both personally and professionally. “One of the most important lessons I have had over the last couple years is to always be open to new opportunities when they arise,” she said. “It’s not always easy to jump into something that you haven’t done before but you can really surprise yourself and the experience is invaluable.”

Throughout her career she has interacted with employees from all different levels within the organisation who have inspired her, allowing her the opportunity to see what she was truly passionate about and gain an understanding of the type of leader that she would like to be. “The most rewarding aspect of my job is helping my team develop in their roles and seeing the change shine through in their personal confidence and results.” Massonne motivates her team by providing consistent feedback and helping them recognise the impact of their role, which enables them to understand how they contribute to the success of the team.

However, the customer is always first. “At Countdown our goal is to make Kiwis lives a little better every day and I make sure our customers are looked after by always keeping this at the front of my mind,” she said.

For now, Massonne’s goal is to succeed in the store manager’s role once she is placed. “There are so many incredible opportunities within Countdown so it is hard to say where I will be five or ten years down the track.”