In the final instalment of our three-part interview series with influential women in the postal industry, PPTI speaks to Doris Randall, senior business application analyst at FedEx Express, about how she’s working to encourage innovation in the IT environment
Could you tell us a bit about your role at FedEx?
I joined FedEx in June 2017 as a business application analyst within the IT sector. During my time at FedEx, I have worked as a product owner, a business analyst and an IT lead. I am currently delving into business architecture.
My job primarily entails delivering software applications to enable the FedEx and TNT integration of back-end applications and front-end user interfaces. This involves working closely with my business partners and developers to implement the required solutions to create value, streamline processes and enable business, all to help people perform their jobs at an optimal level.
What was your career journey (before and at FedEx) to get where you are today? How did you break into the logistics industry?
Prior to joining FedEx, I worked at the University of Salford as a business analyst. When the opportunity presented itself to join FedEx, it was a no-brainer for me as I have always wanted to know more about the logistics industry – the processes behind not just getting a package from point A to point B, but also the complexities of cross-border commerce, duties, tariffs and time zones.
A former colleague informed me about the opportunity with FedEx, so I took advantage of the opening and applied for the role immediately!
What particular challenges are there for women in the industry?
In what is often considered a historically male-dominated industry, it can sometimes feel like a challenge for some women to make sure their opinions and suggestions are heard. My advice in these scenarios is to be clear and concise when presenting your ideas in order to make your voice heard.
At the start of my career with FedEx, it was challenging to navigate the size and complexity of such a large company. However, after a couple of months in the role, I threw myself into the work and was able to really understand the various functions and processes within the business. This helped me gain a better understanding of people’s viewpoints and situations to enable clearer communications and solutions. Always have the bigger picture in mind and have confidence that you’ll adapt as time goes on.
What operational challenges have you had to overcome in the past year?
It is fair to say I have had some challenging projects in the IT department! I am currently working on a large project that includes managing and liaising with a number of stakeholders. This alone posed time management challenges which we’ve worked together as a team to overcome.
Through constant communication and project management, we have been able to work together to identify potential pain points and project risks while putting the right mitigation strategies in place to overcome the challenges.
I have tried to remove any potential barriers through planning and coordination to enable more collaborative approaches. This has helped both me and the teams involved be more productive and has encouraged the fostering of further team innovation.
What advice would you give women looking to start out in the industry?
I would say go for it! Historically, as I said, the logistics industry has been considered somewhat male dominated. Today, things are changing, with new opportunities within the sector providing an array of opportunities for people interested in the logistics space. Roles in IT, business development, customer facing and more are available – career options are not limited to drivers and warehouse operatives.
Logistics plays a huge role in the global economy and I will continue to encourage more women to apply for roles within the industry because it truly is worth it.
What is your favorite thing about working in the logistics industry/at FedEx?
FedEx is a great company to work for, with great career progression and growth opportunities for individuals. It prioritizes diversity and inclusion, which makes it a really enjoyable place to work. In particular, I love the daily engagement with people from all over the world in my working day. I also liked the travel opportunities it provided prior to global travel restrictions, which enabled me to meet people from different backgrounds and functions during my execution of the projects. I look forward to all of us being able to travel again.
What are your career goals for the next five years?
I am working toward expanding my current capabilities to include more in-depth business architect roles. This is in addition to mentoring others by inspiring and encouraging more people both within and outside of FedEx to go after their goals and passions.
About Doris Randall
Doris was born and raised in the Niger Delta, Rivers State, Nigeria. She went to school in Port Harcourt before graduating from the University of Nigeria with a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering. She also completed her micro-masters at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.
Doris secured her first UK business analyst role at the University of Salford. She worked there from April 2016 until June 2017 and enjoyed making new acquaintances and contacts in the academic arena. She left the role at the university to join FedEx in June 2017.
Doris really enjoys her role as a senior business applications analyst and likes to use her positive attitude, eye for detail and tireless energy to encourage and enable others to work hard and succeed. She also likes to stay active with her local peers outside of FedEx on social media, and will regularly coach, mentor, encourage and support other women in their pursuit of becoming practicing business analysts and project managers.
In her spare time, Doris is passionate about football and tennis, and will on occasion indulge in a spot of retail therapy when not in lockdown.