2017 Top 100 Under 50 Executive & Emerging Leaders

3973

ELSY OCEJO, MBA

SENIOR MANAGER, SUPPLY CHAIN LOGISTICS
BIMBO BAKERIES USA
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MGMT

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Many corporations are now going through transformations and economic challenges; what leadership challenges are you facing in your organization/company and in your industry?

We are facing a nationwide driver shortage and it’s affecting how we will keep a long term and sustainable initiative to keep our products flowing through the supply chain at a reasonable cost. We understand the generational gap that we have with our drivers and we
are looking for creative ways to attract Generation X and Millennials to our driver pool. We offer great benefits and our drivers go back home safe every day.

What experiences in your career best positioned or prepared you for a global leadership role?

During my first Manager role in the USA, I was involved and held responsible to implement a global freight visibility tool with one freight forwarder across several countries: USA, India, China, Germany and England. It was a very demanding project. Every country had their own agendas, but I needed to work with the similarities and find synergies across the supply chain. This was not easy as I was traveling all over the world, but the face-to-face meetings helped me break down silos and communicate better across cultures to find a common ground and provide supply chain visibility across the globe. It was a very successful project as it was truly a global team effort.

What type of risks have you taken in your career, and how did they prepare you for the unexpected?

During my first year of completing the MBA program at Northwestern-Kellogg, I changed jobs, moved from Knoxville to Chicago, adopted a new citizenship and found out I was pregnant – all within the span of two months. Having my son and graduating three months
after, while working full time, has been one of the most challenging and rewarding periods in my life. Going through so many changes in a short period of time has made me stronger and resilient. I have changed as I am more insightful when making decisions, I accept feedback more openly and I am more confident. I embrace change and welcome every bit of it.

What advice would you offer to developing and emerging leaders to leverage mentoring and coaching relationships?

Have a defined agenda and a clear goal or question; be specific. As time is very valuable, be proactive and engaging with your mentor. Same business etiquette needs to be followed with your coaching relationships.