Logistics profile: Keelan Whiteley

Supply Chain Graduate Keelan Whiteley in front of a docked cargo ship
Keelan at Immingham Bulk Terminal

Keelan Whiteley joined us in 2017 and now has achieved his first substantive role in our Logistics, Transport & Shipping Department. Read about his journey...

What’s your role and how long have you been in it?

In November 2018, I began my first substantive role as a Sourcing Lead within the Logistics, Transport & Shipping Department after joining the Supply Chain Graduate Scheme in September 2017. Within our department, we manage the complicated operation of moving millions of tonnes of steel every year, all across the globe.

The main part of my role includes sourcing and procuring logistics and transport contracts. This can include contracts for warehouses in mainland Europe, contracts for our rail operations – moving steel within the UK and into Europe, our road contracts – again, in UK and Europe, and more.

Part of the role that comes with this is the management of those logistics and transport contracts, assisting with the day-to-day requirements of the wider British Steel business with the main contracts that Logistics operate.

Why did you choose to work for British Steel?

The size, reach and reputation of British Steel were key factors in me initially choosing the company for my graduate scheme. I was excited about the potential of working for a company that could kickstart my career in a really positive way through the varying experiences and opportunities that would be available at a company of this size.

The assessment centre and interview with members of the Logistics team really helped cement my belief that there would be opportunities for me at British Steel. This has turned out to be true, with me starting a substantive role in November 2018, a great opportunity for me personally.

When I found out about the structure of the graduate scheme, this further convinced me that the opportunities and experience I could gain from the rotation element – 6-month placements in different roles / areas of your allocated business unit – would stand me in good stead for my career at British Steel as it really helps you understand key elements of the business and how they are all required to co-operate with one another.

How would you describe the culture of British Steel and how you fit into it?

The overwhelming sense you get from British Steel and its employees is that everyone wants the absolute best for the company. The emotional investment that everyone has in the company helps us drive the business to be the best that it possibly can be on a daily basis.

In addition, there is a real culture of health and safety at British Steel. It’s at the centre of everything we do. This is demonstrated in the dedication of the Health, Safety & Environment team and also in examples such as the regular company-wide WebEx sessions held by the executives for the employees; these always begin with an update on our safety performance.

How do you think your job at British Steel will help with your future career goals?

The responsibility I’ve assumed in my relatively short time in my substantive role shows the willingness of British Steel to allow younger, newer employees to assume important roles within the business, and allow us to make changes where necessary and possible. The role I now work in exposes me to experience that I know I wouldn’t be able to gain in any other job or any other company at this stage of my career.

This is invaluable for me personally, as it will allow me to enhance and improve my personal skills much faster than potentially possible in any other role, which will only ever be a positive for my future career prospects.

What is the best thing about working for British Steel?

Similar to my thoughts above, the best thing about working for British Steel is the exposure to industry, experience and responsibility that would be very difficult to come by in other workplaces. The chance for me to make a real impact on the business encourages me to keep working as hard as I can.

What do you find most challenging about working for British Steel?

The most challenging element remains coming to terms with the scale of the business. The most important part of my role is to make sure the contracts I procure serve the best interests of the wider business, not just the ‘bottom line’ of the Logistics department. Engaging all relevant stakeholders can be testing given the size of the company!

Keelan joined our Graduate Programme in September 2017 - watch his film from 2018...