Early Careers

CAREER INSIGHT

Meet Gabbi

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechatronics
 
Tell us about your Current role and a key project you have led or involved with that you're proud about. 
 

In my current role I spend most of my time evaluating manufacturing processes to see where there is opportunity to improve performance with new technology. My day to day activities rarely look the same and I’m continuously learning new skills such as valuating project ideas or coordinating technology trials at sites. The breadth of my role means that I’m involved in a range of projects. But the ones I’m most proud of are those that will reduce harm to the environment. These ones focus on reusing water, reducing CIP frequency, and reducing steam (therefore boiler) demand.

How did the Graduate programme set you up for success in your career? 
 

I’ve found this question hard to answer. I feel set for success from the range of knowledge I gained and from the number of experts I met and now work with. But really, I think a lot of the value for my future success has come from developing a broader understanding of the whole co-op.

The understanding of the co-op comes from meeting employees in a range of different business units and cultivating their diverse perspectives. I got to learn what each person values and more importantly what they don’t. This level of relatability/understanding across Fonterra is not something I would have been able to gain so soon without FGTP and is something that will be handy for the rest of my career.

"This level of relatability/understanding across Fonterra is not something I would have been able to gain so soon without FGTP and is something that will be handy for the rest of my career."

What surprised you about working at Fonterra?
 

I was surprised not by Fonterra’s efforts to lower their environmental footprint but instead by how much I could contribute so early on in my career. I feel a little less helpless to the whims of world leaders when I think about my contributions to projects that are working to reduce impacts on NZ’s environment.

I have also been surprised over and over again by how open and friendly everyone is. I’ve never felt the need to change who I am at work in order to fit in and the fact that everyone seems to feel the same way really reflects in their genuine interactions. I feel confident to give my opinion and ask for clarification as I know whatever I say will be met with patience and a willingness to teach. 

Where do you see yourself going from here at Fonterra?
 

Honestly who knows. I have a vague sense of what I enjoy and will see where that takes me. I don’t think I’ll stray too far from a numbers-based role but with all the opportunities in Fonterra I doubt this desire will confine me to any one business unit or location.