Supply Chain Talent Takes Off
By Blake Whicker, Operations Manager, Transplace
I recently graduated from Transplace’s Professional Development Program (PDP), a 2 to 3 year rotational program that allows participants to take on various transportation and operational roles. Created in 2012, the PDP serves 2 primary objectives:
1. To attract and hire new grads who will grow into leadership roles during the next 3-5 years and beyond, and
2. To build relationships with key schools in order to tap the top minds in logistics, transportation and supply chain education, including:
- University of Arkansas
- University of North Texas
- University of Tennessee
- Penn State University
- Colorado State University
During rotations, PDP employees also participate in cross-functional special projects, working with different groups within the company and developing direct relationships with the executive team. At the end, participants receive an industry certification recognizing completion of the program.
I enjoyed the various rotations to different departments; it helped me learn immensely about many different aspects of the business first-hand. The well-rounded experience I gained is invaluable. But alternately, you also find out very quickly just how much you don’t know about the industry! This was very humbling, yet helped me build greater respect for others and develop and hone skills necessary for my career growth.
Not only did I learn from logistics experts, I also developed a much greater appreciation for the individuals at Transplace who have spent the past 10, 20 or 30 years devoted to this important industry. Today’s world requires companies to be dynamic, so it’s critical to employ a wide variety of people whose skill sets are varied and are dynamic themselves. Gaining first-hand exposure and experience to learn an unfamiliar skill or build a skill set enabled me to better understand the roles of others.
At the same time, the program provided an honest barometer for my knowledge on the industry, which was eye-opening! For me (and other participants) it can be a motivating challenge. The PDP encourages participants to do everything they can to learn more about the field, consume the knowledge that’s available to them and find more opportunities for growth. I knew my future self would be thankful for maximizing the opportunities the PDP offered. Transplace’s PDP opens doors, but it’s up to the individual candidates to commit to continuing forward through them to learn, grow and excel in this industry. I’m very glad I did.
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