Countdown’s Graduate programme has kicked off, with eleven graduates in Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Finance, Law, Business and Commerce taking their first steps into the retail world. The two-year programme will help them learn how to run a business and build a career as NZ’s next generation of retail leaders.

“We’re the second largest employer in New Zealand, with more than 18,000 team members, 6,500 of which are under 25,” said Dave Chambers, managing director of Countdown. “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.”

During their first year, the participants will study in-store operations, commercial buying and logistics, whereas during the second year they will choose their own area of specialisation from marketing, finance, buying, IT or logistics.

“All 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,” said Denver Morton, a graduate of University of Canterbury.

Other graduates are Brier O'Shea (Lincoln University - Sales/Marketing), Callum Oliver (Victoria University - Accounting/Finance), Kirwan Attwell (Massey University - Business/Commerce), Nicole Schaef (Massey University Palmerston - North Sales/Marketing), Niloofar Rafati (University of Auckland - Business/Commerce), Nina Massonne (University of Waikato - Accounting/Finance), Rajnesh Singh (Victoria University of Wellington - Law), Robin Singh (Waikato Institute of Technology - Accounting/Finance), Xavier McCluskey (Lincoln University - Accounting/Finance) and Daniel Baxter (Lincoln University - LLB/BA Law).