Shadowing a Leader at Foodstuffs North Island

07 Jul Shadowing a Leader at Foodstuffs North Island

Shadow a Leader is an opportunity given to Auckland secondary school students and AUT Business, Economics, and Law students, that allows the chance to follow a major business leader for a day to further understand what it takes to succeed in the leader’s field, along with what their jobs are typically like. 

The leaders that students follow all vary and depend on one’s field of interest. Based on CV and preferences, you are then assigned a leader who AUT believes best fits your preferences. The leaders chosen are all major business leaders who have extensive experience within their fields of interest and are known to be successful.

This year, I was given the opportunity to shadow Cindy Chaimowitz who is the General Manager of Wholesale and Customer Service for Foodstuffs North Island. 

I went on Thursday 30 June 2022 to Foodstuffs North Island where I shadowed Cindy throughout the entire day, following what a typical day would look like for her. The day was filled with meeting after meeting where different problems arose and I’d watch as Cindy would handle them. I was also given a run down on what Foodstuffs is, how they function internally, and future projects they have in mind. 

Personally, I was able to gain experience on what being a General Manager is like (which is a lot of delegating work and attending important meetings) along with what the work environment is like for someone going into business. 

However, I do have a few highlights of the day. The first meeting I attended, I was able to meet CEO of Foodstuffs North Island, Steve Anderson, and CEO of Foodstuffs South Island, Mary Devine, which I hear is a very rare occurrence for both CEOs to be in the same place. Another highlight was being able to see one of their recent DCs (Distribution Centers) where some of their items are held. The actual warehouse looked small on the outside but was humongous on the inside. They even have to get custom made forklifts because regular ones aren’t big enough for their warehouse! 

Overall, I’m very grateful to have been chosen for Shadow a Leader as I’ve now made connections with people I’d never thought was possible before.  If I could, I’d do this event again in a heartbeat. 

Ainsley Fernandes – Year 13

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