Jessica Cole is a Commercial Manager at DSI Underground, Australia’s largest manufacturer and supplier of specialist strata reinforcement and support products to underground mines.
She started with the organisation as a Financial Accountant and then moved into her current role in early 2018.
Jess is passionate about continuous improvement and development, so it’s only fitting that she works for a business who believes in a “Local Presence – Global Competence” approach.
- What career path led you to where you are now?
I started my career with a Bachelor of Commerce through the University of Newcastle, and I started working in a chartered accounting environment. I went out overseas and finished my studies in Maastricht in The Netherlands, and when I came back from completing my Bachelor of Commerce, I started an MBA with a Major in Marketing.
From there I decided to make a change from chartered accounting to commercial accounting, and I found myself at DSI Underground. I spent six years in the finance team there in a financial accounting role. And since then I’ve completed a Graduate Certificate in Competitive Systems and Practices, and moved into a Commercial Manager role in the sales and marketing team.
- What motivates and drives you?
I think it’s the opportunity to learn and grow. So anywhere I could be exposed to new experiences or I can learn something new about a concept or an idea, and also learn from somebody else. And I think, in turn, being able to provide that same opportunity to other people.
- What has been your biggest learning curve in your career?
There’s been plenty, and there are probably plenty more to come. I think one of them would have to be leadership and learning what motivates and drives employees through engagement, and I guess learning how to balance your own priorities as well as that of your team.
I think the other one would have to be change management – understanding the implications of making a change and taking people on the journey with you when you’re implementing the change, as well as considering the impact it will have on culture and how the culture is going to respond to that.
So, I think probably people management and change management.
- Where would you like to be in 10 years?
I don’t necessarily have a career path as such, but I think for me a role that involves business strategy, leadership, a bit of finance, a bit of marketing, and a bit of process improvement.
- Have you had any significant Hunter-based mentors during your career that inspire you?
Maybe not a mentor as such, but more strong leaders throughout my career at different stages that helped to guide and influence me.