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Gabriela talks about her role in Supplier Social Sustainability
It’s so inspiring to work with so many colleagues who all work to have a positive impact on people and planet through responsible sourcing.
Monday, March 20, 2023
Gabriela is excited to be sharing her career story at MDLZ and telling us about her interesting and diverse experience working in Engineering and Procurement.
Tell us about your career journey at MDLZ
I’ve had so many wonderful career opportunities so far in Mondelez. I joined our Engineering Graduate Scheme in 2015 where I worked in Project Engineering and then as an Engineering Manager, both at our Bournville site. Those early experiences gave me great insight to how manufacturing works and its role in the business.
After a cross-functional placement as a procurement specialist in 2017 I continued progressing through procurement, working on a large-scale manufacturing project, then different sourcing roles with wider geographic scope, plus some stretch assignments in parallel, working in spend areas such as logistics and co-packing. In 2022, I moved into my biggest role yet, leading Supplier Social Sustainability within global procurement. This role is all about ensuring that our activities don’t have adverse impacts on workers’ human rights in our value chain. It’s so inspiring to work with so many colleagues who all work to have a positive impact on people and planet through responsible sourcing.
What do you like about working at MDLZ?
I feel privileged that our work is connected to our amazing brands and the positive impact that our products have on consumers worldwide every day. Working in a multinational business, I love the visibility of what we do around the world and really appreciate the development opportunities, either on the job or by learning from others. The best thing for me, about working at MDLZ, is that I get to work with incredible colleagues every day who are not only great at what they do, but they are so passionate about it, too! I’ve made so many meaningful friendships and working partnerships in the various roles I’ve had so far.
What is the most exciting project that you have worked on?
I’ve been fortunate to work on various projects during my time so far at MDLZ. The opportunity to work on procurement resiliency leading up to Brexit was exciting for various reasons. It was so unique and dynamic, where I learned so much so quickly about our vast procurement scope. Having to present to different stakeholders grew my network of contacts across various levels of the business. That project really connected the dots for me between internal and external environments and brought to life the power of procurement during challenging circumstances.
Can you give us an example of how you stepped outside your comfort-zone in this role?
That Brexit project was a stretch assignment outside of my role at the time and was a step change for me with a big business impact. It was a deep dive into working with agility and learning on the fly. On many occasions I had to influence and, present to, colleagues that were much more senior in the business. What I thought would be a daunting experience was quite empowering and allowed me to network with senior managers quite early in my career. I know that this experience was a great springboard into my subsequent roles.
What is your biggest learning experience since working with us?
How much it takes to make a bar of chocolate! Most importantly, it requires people to work together both inside and outside the business. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to work well with people, wherever they are; it’s critical to our snacks being made right from shelf to field. For anyone who is interested in what that takes: join us and you too can find out!
How would you describe the work culture at Mondelēz International and within your function?
I’d describe it as very open, collaborative and truly centred around our brands and the joy that they give to consumers everywhere. There is a rich tapestry of experience and diversity at Mondelez that keeps our work environment vibrant and relevant. I think that’s also true of our Procurement function. We are a global, connected community that is passionate about effective business partnering to achieve our goals. Everything we do is done with, and through, others and our approach to building strong business relationships provides a great platform for success. In a sentence, I’d say we work as one big team to get things done the right way.
What is your favourite brand?
It’s difficult to choose since I love many of our products, either from nostalgia or if I’ve discovered them more recently. One of my favourites is the Sonho de Valsa chocolate brand in Brazil. It reminds me of holidays spent during childhood in Brazil with family, and these chocolates with the iconic pink wrapper were always around.
How do you flex-work?
I appreciate the flexibility to work from home when I need it. I personally like to spend 3-4 days a week in the office and then spend the remainder of the week working from home. I enjoy connecting with colleagues face to face in the office. That really fuels my work week and I get great value from those in-person interactions.
What advice would you give someone that wants to join MDLZ in the Procurement function?
Go for it! Procurement at Mondelez is a well-positioned and well-connected function with such wealth of experience and diverse backgrounds. It’s all about exploring external opportunities that meet internal business needs. That covers all the materials and services it takes to make our snacks the right way: ingredients and packaging for our products, manufacturing equipment for our plants, the logistics that distribute our snacks to customers, marketing services…the list goes on. You develop so many muscles in commercial acumen, managing stakeholders and suppliers, and understanding how our business works end to end. Finally, you’d work with fantastic people!