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From Graduate Program to Procurement Management: Q&A with Nadezhda Kuzmina

Learn about Nadezhda’s thoughts on the Sibelco Graduate Program and her career progression and achievements at Sibelco.

What made you apply to Sibelco’s Graduate Program?

Sibelco is a material solutions company and a significant player in the global Minerals industry. I was intrigued by the opportunity to learn about Sibelco’s operations via three projects, across three departments and in three different countries.

What were your first impressions of Sibelco and the program when you joined?

In our first week, we participated in an induction program where we visited a number of Sibelco sites. I was fascinated by the scale and complexity of Sibelco’s operational processes and at the same time, its level of automation. Throughout the induction we also received great support from our future colleagues.

How would you describe Sibelco’s culture and its people?

Sibelco is truly an equal opportunity employer with open and friendly people, and has a culture where you are encouraged to speak up and ask questions. Its employees are ambitious and passionate about their work, which encourages personal development, creativity and thinking outside the box.

What did you like most about the Graduate Program?

The Graduate Program allowed me to learn about Sibelco’s operations in different regions, increased my cultural awareness and was an incredibly valuable networking opportunity. Through the program, I met colleagues who have now become friends.

What has been your career progression at Sibelco since completing the Graduate Program?

Since completing the Graduate Program, I have led Energy Procurement for Sibelco’s European Operations and most recently was appointed as Global Energy Procurement Manager. These opportunities have come with a lot of work and responsibility, which I love.

What motivates you to come to work every day?

My colleagues, my work that I truly enjoy and the opportunity to learn new things every day. Sibelco is a company with a great, long history but at the same time it has a modern and agile culture. This pushes me to go that extra mile and makes me eager to learn more.

What are some of your most memorable achievements at Sibelco to date?

It is hard to pick one. I think the most memorable achievement was the first tender that I ran in the UK where, together with Operations, we managed to achieve significant financial results (EBITDA and working capital savings).

What inspired you to take on a career in Procurement?

The last Procurement project that I worked on as part of Sibelco’s Graduate Program. I enjoyed being out in the field with suppliers, building long-term partnerships and negotiating better deals for Sibelco that directly affect not only financial statements but also the efficiency of our operations. My managers were also a great source of inspiration – they provided support, mentorship and trusted me with various challenges.

What advice would you give to graduates who are looking to kick-start a career in their chosen field?

My advice is to be open to new opportunities, be honest and never be afraid to speak up.


2018 Graduate Program

Kick-start your career with our 12-month Graduate Program. Based in Europe or Asia, you will work within our global Operations Optimisation team to develop your skills, learn from our experts and more.

Applications close on 12 June 2018.

Apply to the Sibelco 2018 Graduate Program