ALEX Thomas knows age is no barrier when it comes to climbing the ranks at Coles.
At the age of 22 and having worked with Coles for eight years, Alex has earned himself the title of Coles' youngest store manager in Australia and now leads a team of more than 100 at the Rockhampton North supermarket.
Alex started as a casual deli team member when he was 14 and after completing the Coles Retail Leaders 1 Program, he was appointed fresh produce manager at 16.
By age 21 Alex had gained rural experience as a store support manager in Mount Isa and went on to complete the Retail Leaders 3 Program.
"Coles offers a great opportunity for young talent and if you have an interest in retail, the training and support the business gives you allows you to succeed if you've got that passion," Alex said.
"You don't need a university degree to become a store manager because the programs and job training we have in-house are fantastic."
Alex says customers will sometimes turn to take a second glance when they realise he is in fact the manager.
"I haven't let comments about my age affect me. I overcame this at 16 when I was a managing the fresh produce department, plus you get to know local customers quickly. I'm proud of what I've achieved so far and hope it shows people that it doesn't matter how old you are - if you're passionate and committed you can achieve your goals," he said.
Alex says he's focused on being the best store manager he can be, and is also looking forward to new opportunities and developing his career at Coles.
"I love being on the shop floor interacting with our customers and I'm excited for the future. My goal is to work my way to regional manager in the next couple of years."
In addition to the Retail Leaders Program, Coles offers a unique two-year accelerated Operations Graduate Program, designed to develop the next generation of store managers and operations managers.
The program attracts graduates from across Australia and offers them the opportunity to broaden their experience and perspective, while building skills for a retail career.
For information about the Coles Graduate Program and other opportunities visit www.colescareers.com .au.
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