“If you can help just one person by advocating for them, you will have made a world of difference,” says Chontelle Kelly. ©Gavin Jowitt
“If you can help just one person by advocating for them, you will have made a world of difference,” says Chontelle Kelly. ©Gavin Jowitt

This is who I am: Chontelle Kelly

The procurement specialist at Nestlé in NSW, Australia, spoke to SM

How did you get into procurement?
I applied for an HR cadetship with BlueScope, where they asked if I would be interested in a procurement role. I had no idea what that was so in true Gen Z style, I Googled it. I’ve loved it ever since. 

How I got my current role...
I entered the national student competition Top 100 Future Leaders that required a presentation on your personal brand. I used “walking in another’s shoes” to show aspects of my life: a soccer boot for teamwork and collaboration; a ballet shoe for flexibility and balance; and a rock-climbing shoe for strategy, risk-taking and adventure. I made it onto the Top 100 and Nestlé, the Supply Chain Award sponsor, offered me a place on its supply chain graduate programme.

What is the best part of your current role?
I get to be a bit of a “generalist analyst” in the direct materials space. My role provides a link between the factories, the Australian procurement team and the global procurement hubs in Malaysia, Panama and Switzerland. I spend half my time working with our factories and the other half using analytics tools.

My proudest achievement is…
…helping attract younger generations to procurement. I am an ambassador for Wayfinder: Supply Chain Careers for Women through Nestlé. And my proudest moment was being a finalist at the 2018 CIPS Australasia SM Awards for the Young Procurement & Supply Professional of the Year.

What I learned from an – almost – wrong decision
I was offered a fantastic role that I was planning to turn down as I had only been in my job for a short time. My mentors helped me see it would be the best move for my career at the time. Timing will never be perfect, so take every opportunity – I took the role.

The best advice I’ve received?
“Don’t have one mentor, build a board of them.” I have a number of brilliant formal and informal mentors to lean on for advice and support. 

My advice to others?
If you can help just one person by advocating for them or exposing them to a fresh opportunity, you will have made a world of difference for them. 

How do you spend your free time?
To keep active I do soccer, netball and ballet. To relax, I watch a lot of Netflix.

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