What is your full name?
How old are you?
What are your hobbies and interests?
I LOVE reading; mainly fiction but I am now expanding my interests. I also like watching movies and I think I go to the cinema once a month alone or with company. I love braaing, taking walks, researching on things I plan on doing and I like travelling.
What did you study?
I studied Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) for my undergrad and Supply Chain Management for my Honours. I am currently studying for (MCIPS) Member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply and I am on the last stage.
What are top 3 skills for Procurement Officer?
This differs from industry to industry as well as from company to company but from my own experiences here are the top three:
- Negotiation skills
- Contract management
- Category management
What is a typical career path in this job function?
Well it could start from being a graduate trainee, assistant procurement officer, procurement officer, procurement manager. This is the best you can go if the company does procurement just as an administrative function. For companies that view procurement as a strategic function it will actually be under a department called Supply Chain. In this regard there are so many paths which include relationship management, contract management, logistics and category management to name a few.
What do you wear to work and what inspires your look?
I wear slacks mainly and maybe once or twice a week I wear a dress. Mmmmm I like clothes I feel good in and that look good on me. My look is made up of different sources. I can see something online, whilst watching a movie or series or someone I bump into. I don’t necessarily take notes but it’s something I take note of and I blend it with my own style.
Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?
God willing if what I am planning pans out, I would want to be a procurement manager in an industry that has a supply chain department.
What is the highest-level job one can hold in this career?
Supply Chain Director and you can also get a board seat.
Tell me about your work experience? How has it prepared you for Procurement Officer job?
It has been varied I have worked in four different sectors and from each experience I learn something new. I started working as a warehouse intern straight out of varsity; this company had a supply chain department instead of just procurement. Warehousing is closely tied with logistics and it was quite overwhelming but it provided valuable experience. After that I was a procurement graduate trainee and it was quite DIFFERENT from the internship job. Unfortunately I didn’t like this job because it was repetitive, routine and monotonous. On the other hand, this is where I learnt and applied my negotiation skills, budget skills, relationship management. I moved from “branch to branch” and even though the processes were the same there was something different about each place I went to. Whatever situation I find myself in I always look at what I can learn from it and how I can improve myself from that situation. So I learnt as much as I could. Each job I have had has moulded me and shaped me into the person I am now. With procurement you need patience and being quick on your feet. You also have to quickly adapt because it’s so dynamic. All these experiences have helped me observe patterns, avoid pitfalls and draw conclusions on the behavioural patterns of certain industries.
What advise would you give someone who wants to be a Procurement Officer?
You have to have a passion for it or else it will drive you crazy. Also be prepared to be lied to, let down and left in a lurch and know that it’s nothing personal. You also get blamed for things you didn’t even know happened LOL like you are getting to the office at 8am and you have people waiting for you waiting to have your head. That’s the “emotional” side of it since emotional intelligence is now a requirement in the workplace. You have to keep your cool always and avoid blowing things out of proportion.
Procurement spends a lot of money so there is quite a lot of filing you have to do, soft and hard copy. Monthly reports are order of the day. Adhering to the procurement guidelines because this is delicate area and if handled improperly it can land you in jail, worst case scenario or you lose your job. Do not accept bribes. Keep relationships with key stakeholders in a good state because they will back you up when your back is against the wall. It’s fun sometimes I enjoy it when I go for site visits. I am sure there is more but this is all I have.
Did you always want to work in this field of work if yes why?
NOOOOO. I didn’t know about Supply Chain Management until I was in my second year. My then operations management lecturer has such a passion for this field that when he presented it I was hooked. After the first lecture I went online to research on it and from then….well the rest is history and I don’t regret it.
What are the words you live by?
I have lots of favourites. I will give you 5 including bible verses.
- Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
- The most important thing in life will always be family.
- You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love.
- For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Many thanks to Fortunate for taking time out to do this interview with me. Have a lovely working week ahead.
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