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I get to work on projects on a complex site which manufactures cross categories including Chocolate, Gum and Candy

Desree Reddy

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

What is your current role and what makes it exciting?

I am a Project Engineer in the Business Development Department for the Port Elizabeth plant in South Africa (SSA BU). What makes my role exciting is that I get to work on projects on a complex site which manufactures cross categories including Chocolate, Gum and Candy. I have an end-to-end view of how to execute projects using IIM tools and integrating with cross functional teams. I get to work on the world's greatest Cadbury Brands and signature local brands that bring joy to our customers. My role's challenges provide rapid learning and agility opportunities which are key enablers to success.

How has your career developed at MDLZ?

I joined MDLZ as a Customer Service & Logistics (CS&L) Graduate Trainee covering two roles: Demand Planning and Customer Development Specialist. As a passionate Chemical Engineer, my IDP discussions with my mentors enabled my transition into a Chemical Engineering Graduate Program at the Port Elizabeth Manufacturing Site. Within 6 months I was afforded a permanent role as IL6S Engineer in Chocolate Mass Making. 5 happy years later I am now a Project Engineer in the Business Development Department. Overall, I have been afforded many opportunities through my career.

What does it take to be successful as a Project Engineer?

Coaching techniques - Find a coach, request their support, book calendar time and action sessions. What did my coaching sessions look like: When I faced a process related failure, I would quickly gather data and facts around the situation, analyze and summarize it and immediately set up a session with my coach - quickly working through such scenarios. Make time to research and self-train yourself - using the MIU platforms, training programs available within MDLZ as well as from OEMs. Raise your hand, have a 5-year goal planned, once the 5 years are close to its end, review, self-reflect and plan your next 5-year plan. Share this plan with your manager, add it to your objectives and make it part of your IDP. Network and benchmark within your country, region and globally. Best practices from various sites can be great barrier to execution removal and are key in a fast-paced environment to achieve deliverables. I am inspired by our global leader and choose leadership styles from them that I practice and adapt what works for me.

Desree standing in front of water

What kind of project, assignments have you done outside of the traditional career moves that helped you further your career?

I furthered my studies in leadership, A certificate in Future Leaders Development Program and I plan on completing a MBA within the next year. I was a part of a FCUBE Program (Future Fit Frontline Leader) representing PE plant within SSA which was an AMEA program aimed at capability building. Networking outside of work in WELA groups with leaders in other industries within SA.

How do you embed diversity in your marketing activities?

Being in a technical field, cascading technical solutions to the broader business is a technique I have and still am developing myself into through coaching, research and practice.

How do you describe the culture at MDLZ?

There is a lot of flexibility in the MDLZ environment as the key is to achieve deliverables within agreed timelines (Agility over perfection). It is an extremely fast paced environment therefor the more you learn within your scope and out of your scope, the easier it is to execute with success and speed. Learning opportunities are limitless, it's all up to you!

And finally, what is your favorite MDLZ brand? What kind of (childhood) memories are attached to it?

Cadbury Flake - My mom's baking was not complete without lots of flake to top it off, however, there was always a piece for my sister and I to share and savour over the crumbles. Cadbury Bubbly - Eating the outer layer first only to experience the Snack, Crackle, Pop heaven in your mouth!

Desree with colleague in a competition


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