Purchasing, Logistics and Supply Chain

  • Purchasing, Logistics and Supply Chain

Purchasing, Logistics and Supply Chain

Overview of the Sector

The Purchasing, Logistics and Supply Chain functions are vital to all businesses and success in these areas can hugely contribute to a company's profitability making this an interesting area of work for graduates to consider.  

Typical Jobs in purchasing, logistics and supply chain management

What do I need to gain graduate employment?


This sector is in general open to all disciplines although some employers may specify a relevant degree such as Business Management. There are also several relevant postgraduate qualifications available which will give you a distinct advantage and demonstrate your commitment to working in this field. Keep an eye out for courses accredited by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply or the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. Alternatively you can aim to secure a role in the sector and then pursue professional qualifications later which your employer may offer funding towards. As an undergraduate you should seek to acquire some experience in retail as this will give you a good grounding particularly if you are interested in buying or retail merchandising. Retail experience will also help you to demonstrate commercial awareness as will any enterprise-related activities.


Graduate Schemes and Internships

  • TK Maxx – Merchandising & Buying Graduate and Placement programmes and a Logistics graduate programme 
  • Marks & Spencer – offer a Buying Graduate Scheme, a Merchandising Graduate Scheme and a Supply Chain & Logistics Graduate Scheme. M&S also offer placements in Supply Chain & Logistics and shorter internships in Buying and Merchandising. 
  • Tesco – Graduate programmes in Distribution, Supply Chain and General Merchandise. Also offer internships in Supply Chain and General Merchandise.
  • DHL – Graduate and placement programmes in Supply Chain & Logistics  
  • Network Rail – Graduate Programme in Supply Chain Management
  • Royal Mail - offer a Graduate Programme in Logistics and Fleet Management
  • Nestle - offer a Supply Chain graduate scheme


Any typical student job in the retail sector which involves interacting with customers, generating sales, replenishing stock, maintaining the appearance of the store and undertaking stock-takes all provide a good grounding for a future career in this area of work.

The Person :

You need to be able to work under pressure as this can be quite a fast moving sector. Coupled with this you need to be able to react to problems and solve problems should they arise. You also need good communication and negotiation skills as you will be dealing with clients/customers/suppliers and staff within your own organisation from management through to employees on the shop floor. Commercial awareness is also very important as this sector is about procurement and transport solutions that minimise both cost and risk.

Key Employers

Key Employers– Northern Ireland: Bombardier Aerospace, Henderson Group, Musgrave, Moy Park, Translink, Dunbia

Key Employers– UK and Global: L’Oreal, Amazon, Arriva, First Group, Wincanton, Arcadia Group

Local / Northern Ireland Opportunities

On Campus resources: MyFuture– paid and voluntary positions advertised

Northern Ireland Specific:

Job search websites specific to Northern Ireland include:

Advertised roles: 

  • Check local job search websites
  • Check vacancy pages on professional association websites
  • Follow companies and organisations on Facebook and twitter and sign up for their newsletters

Unadvertised roles & networking:

  • Connect with groups on LinkedIn
  • Contact employers, industry associations and sector bodies to show interest


Oonagh McArdle Head

Oonagh McArdle
BA (Hons) Geography
Lead Supply Chain Improvement and Sustainability Specialist at Dow Chemical
Read the full profile‌

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UK and Global Opportunities

On Campus resources:

UK-based recruitment agencies and job search websites for the sector include:

For further information and jobs in this sector see:

Professional Legal Bodies and Organisations

Further Reading and Information

We have lots of really useful information resources in a variety of formats available in MyFuture and the Student Guidance Centre Hub which includes WI-FI, FREE TEA and COFFEE.

Prospects industry insights and Gradireland sector career guides will help you to search for employment in this employment sector.

Prospects Job Sectors

Gradireland Career Sector Guides

The Job Crowd


This information is obtained from a variety of sources, including the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), Association of Higher Education Careers Services (AHECS), Prospects, Gradireland and relevant professional organisations and other appropriate resources, as available.

We endeavour to ensure that our online resources are current and contain relevant information. However, we cannot accept responsibility for the contents of external websites.