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The Role of Leadership in Advancing Logistics and Supply Chain

"Working across several functions has helped me build a broad range of skills that I am able to apply to any new experience."

Chelsea Bedi, Sr. Director, Perfect Store

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Chelsea has built her career through several leading roles in Mondelēz International in the last 9 years. Today, as Perfect Store Sr. Director, she tells us about her experience in different areas in the business and how the Management Development Associate Program helped her career.

You have been in Logistics, Supply Chain and Perfect Store, how have all your skills come together?

Working across several functions has helped me build a broad range of skills that I am able to apply to any new experience. I have developed core skills that are applicable in any role (e.g. problem solving, resilience, storytelling), and functional expertise that helps me apply those skills in a practical & meaningful way. Leveraging different experiences & skills developed from various vantage points within the organization, has also helped me connect the dots & find the unifying threads within our functions which helps both in solution-building and is critical to change management. This has allowed me to see the bigger picture and understand the interdependencies between logistics, supply chain, and the perfect store. By having a comprehensive understanding of how these functions work together, I can optimize processes and drive efficiencies across the entire value chain. Overall, my diverse skill set allows me to approach challenges with a holistic and integrated perspective, leading to more impactful and sustainable solutions.

How did you hear about the Management Development Associate Program? How has it propelled your career?

A friend of mine from the University of North Carolina was in the inaugural class of the Management Development Associate Program. She recommended the program based on the broad learning it provided and her passion for the organization. It provided me with an incredible foundation for understanding the business & honed my learning agility as I moved quickly from experience to experience. It also helped me build a network that I still leverage today for perspective & support.

The program propelled my career by giving me exposure to various aspects of the business, including finance, marketing, and operations. It also provided me with opportunities to work on cross-functional projects and interact with senior leaders in the organization. This experience helped me develop a well-rounded skillset and gave me the confidence to take on more challenging roles in my career. Overall, the Management Development Associate Program has been instrumental in shaping my career and helping me achieve my professional goals.

What would you say is the best part of the Management Development Associate Program?

For me, one of the best parts of the Management Development Associate program was the breadth of experiences that you accumulate incredibly early in your career. It helped me understand where my strengths & passions were, as well as areas that I would need to hone over the course of my career. It was such a privilege to jump into so many aspects of the business early on, and I really appreciate the faith managers & mentors had in me to allow me to work on some really meaningful projects over the course of the program. It's also amazing to go through the program with a cohort of peers you get to share learnings & build a network that I still appreciate 16 years later! Overall, the Management Development Associate Program was a fantastic foundation for my professional growth and success.

Which has been your most challenging role?

A few years ago, I had the chance to lead Retail Digital Transformation, which was a radical transformation of our systems for the retail frontline team, supported by a comprehensive capability building program & business process evolution. This was a cross-functional move for me and a huge undertaking. It required that I tap deeply into the learning agility I had built early in my career & approach the task with humility & a true growth mindset. The team was incredible, and we collectively rose to the challenge; working with agility & re-defining how initiatives like this are tackling within the organization. While initially daunting, it has been a career-defining role for me thus-far. This role pushed me to think outside the box, challenge the status quo, and collaborate with various stakeholders across the organization. It was a tremendous learning experience that tested my leadership, project management, and change management skills. Despite the numerous obstacles and complexities, the satisfaction of witnessing the positive impact on the team and the overall business made it all worth it. This role has undoubtedly been the most challenging but also the most rewarding in my career so far.

What's the best advice a manager has given you here in MDLZ?

I was encouraged early in my career to blaze my own trail and be open to opportunities that might look a bit different but could provide a unique perspective. I have taken roles across teams, functions, markets, disciplines. My managers & mentors have opened doors that I didn't know were even there and having the courage to embrace & challenge take the leap has led to some incredible & fulfilling career experiences. I have learned that being open to new and different opportunities has allowed me to grow and develop in ways I never would have imagined. It has also taught me the importance of being adaptable and resilient in the face of change. Overall, the best advice I have received from a manager at MDLZ is to seek out & embrace new challenges and opportunities with an open mind and a willingness to learn.

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