VP of procurement and logistics for a global technology services company
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I grew up in South Africa, attending various boarding schools before attending university in Johannesburg, where I studied supply chains. I have been with a company based in Johannesburg for 22 years, and I travel for work extensively. I moved to the United States four years ago, and in my current role, I am responsible for our procurement and GTM (go to market) logistics, which entails consulting with global clients on their IT supply chains and international transactional model needs.
What drew you to the GBA program? The global nature of the degree program fits perfectly with my aspirations to further develop my understanding of international trade. Additionally, the flexibility of the online platform and the ability to take classes from anywhere—which I need as a frequent traveler—is extremely beneficial.
What is one course that has been instrumental in helping you to achieve your current professional goals? The marketing course, without question, has been the most instrumental to me professionally. The frameworks and models were extremely beneficial to my current job, and I really enjoyed the various readings and assignments. I also enjoyed the way in which the professor structured the class and challenged us.
It would also be a missed opportunity for me not to mention that while my career has been in supply chains for 24 years, I am learning so much more in the Global Supply Chains class than I ever imagined.
Can you recall a class discussion that really changed your stance on a topic? It is all about politics for me right now. In our “Fletcher Reads the Newspaper” class, we are reviewing and discussing COVID-19 and its global impact extensively. Some of the conversations can be difficult at times, but they are critically engaging and cause me to think more deeply as to what type of leader I want to be and what stance I want to take on particular issues as I become a US citizen next year.
What topic have you explored at Fletcher that has resonated with you and why? There have been a few topics that have really resonated with me. A strength of this program is that it is not just enhancing my skill sets, but it is also making me a more critically engaged person. For example, we read many case studies that are devastating to me, particularly those around healthcare and struggles at the bottom of the pyramid. Growing up in Africa has made me very sensitive to these issues, but I am becoming more aware of their different facets and the stakeholders involved as we critically engage with these cases in the classroom.
What is your advice on how to foster relationships in an online program? I am very close to all my fellow students, and we talk frequently through group chats and Zoom calls in between class. This has been my lifeline as I navigate the program, and I know I have made friends for life. We all have different backgrounds and varying strengths, so even when things get tough (and they do!) we collectively are able to resolve anything.
What is your biggest passion? Nature conservation is my biggest passion. I am from Africa, and I am extremely passionate about the well-being of the wildlife there.
What was one of your favorite international experiences? Gosh, I have been blessed with so many! I did a live-aboard scuba diving holiday in the Red Sea with my mom when I graduated from college in South Africa, and it was such an incredible experience. To be on the ocean for seven days and to swim so close to marine life was truly remarkable.
You must start each day (for the rest of your life!) listening to the same song. Which song do you choose and why? I would choose “I’ll Be Your Lover, Too” by Van Morrison because it will always be the most beautiful song I have ever heard. It speaks to my soul—“some people never really leave you, even when they do.”