Procurement pros get to experience all sides of their organisation – and that’s the key to learning!
Megan Sunderland, Vice President Global Procurement / CPO of Beam Suntory, considers the opportunities enjoyed by procurement professionals, who have access to diverse elements of business to help boost learning, both inside and outside their organisations.
Megan also identifies some of her organisation’s key competencies, lauds the value of having external career mentors, and explains why you need to first believe in yourself, before you can do the job properly.
1. What were your first 3 jobs?
- A Cheesemaker for King Island Dairies – This was fate given that my last name used to be Cheesman!
- Production Supervisor with Nestle Confectionery
- Food Technologist R&D with Nestle Foods
2. What’s one thing you know now, that you wish you’d known at the start of your career?
I wish I’d always had the self confidence to know that you earn a job because of who you are and the experiences that you have learnt along the way. It’s important to listen to the role demands but also believe in yourself that you have the goods to make it successful.
3. How can CPOs attract and retain millennials?
By highlighting the many facets to Procurement.
Every project is different; you get to touch and work with every part of not only your business, but also other vendor businesses. This provides great opportunities for learning and development.
4. What key skills are critical for procurement in the next 5 years?
Beam Suntory have identified 10 competencies that are important for procurement professionals. Project management, analytics, results focus and professionalism are among the most critical.
5. How valuable have mentors been in your career?
I have had various mentors throughout my career. I still keep in touch with many of them and use their pieces of wisdom almost daily. Having a mentor who is external to your organisation can provide alternate perspectives.
This provides the ability for you to become objective and perhaps see things from an angle that you would have never considered otherwise. To keep your eyes wide open and being able to stop, think and challenge is invaluable.
6. What are you looking for in high potential recruits for Beam Suntory?
Cultural fit is very important in every business. Specifically though, I look for a continuous improvement mindset and courageous behaviours. I like to see people who are not afraid to have the difficult conversations.
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