Case study

Emma Niland — Early talent team

emma niland

Emma Niland, from Gist’s early talent team, talks about the motivation and flexibility you’ll need to forge a successful career in the highly-competitive and demanding world of logistics

What do you look for in an employee?

Logistics is an extremely fast-paced world, with high demands and round-the-clock operations. Every day is different and our people find this ever-evolving environment, and the challenges that come with it, really exciting.

What makes you great, what motivates you and how you deal with people are much more important to us than what subject you study at university and the grades you’ve achieved – so we accept applications from all degree disciplines.

To be successful with Gist, flexibility is vital. You could be based at any of our UK sites, so you need to be fully mobile to travel and happy to relocate if necessary. You’ll also need to hold a full UK driving licence by the scheme’s start date.

What makes a graduate stand out?

Our graduate and industrial placement schemes are designed to create future business leaders who thrive on taking real responsibility, delivering a high level of service for all customers and ensuring our people reach their full potential.

We look for highly motivated individuals who are ambitious, resilient, a leader, innovative, adaptable and engaging.

How is the graduate programme at Gist structured?

We offer two graduate schemes, in logistics management and project management, which offer fast-track routes into key management roles across our business.

Our two-year logistics management scheme consists of two 12-month placements, each at a different site across our network, spanning both our warehouse and transport departments.

From day one, you’ll have real responsibility. You’ll join us as a team manager where you’ll be running a shift or managing teams of up to 30 people and, together with your team, you will be responsible for ensuring our customers receive their deliveries at the right quality and on time, while providing the best possible service.

As a project management graduate, you’ll complete a three-year scheme based within the IT projects team at our Basingstoke head office. From the outset, you’ll assist in the delivery of a range of projects, both at our head office and at our operational sites. Over the course of the scheme, you’ll take on more responsibility and will develop towards becoming an IT project manager, leading your own projects and delivering solutions to the Gist operations.

For both schemes, our supportive and experienced team will guide you through hands-on training, central management workshops and a tailored development plan. In your first year, you’ll also have the opportunity to undertake a paid charity placement to help us give back to our community.

What advice would you give to graduates interested in Gist’s graduate programmes?

If you’re intrigued and excited by what we’ve talked about so far, then a career in logistics with Gist could be for you.

Every year, we receive over a thousand applications for 15-20 places on our graduate schemes. Those that stand out from the crowd genuinely understand what they’re getting into. We expect you to demonstrate that you’re truly motivated and serious about progressing rapidly.

Be yourself, whether that’s in your online application or when meeting you at our assessment centre. We’re a people business and we want to see the real you.

How can graduates find out more about Gist?

From our website at or at one of the events we attend in the autumn.