From intern to Southern West Africa Depot Product Manager - Little did Donald Poumaleu Ngosso know the career journey and experiences that lay ahead.
Donald Poumaleu Ngosso began his career with Maersk in 2009 as a trainee in an internship program. Within 6 months he was offered a contract to join Maersk Logistics as a Customs House Brokerage (CHB) agent.
As a frontline agent, Donald was able to deal with various internal stakeholders as well as Customs, Port offices and other stakeholders to the clearing agents such as Phytosanitary, Terminals and various shipping lines. Outside of work he was focused on completing his post graduate studies whilst learning customs regime, it was the latter that lead him to be promoted to CHB assistant focused on issuing customs declarations in the back office.
I realized that at Maersk we all can grow if we are willing to work hard and apply yourself to learn new things.
Having not studied Customs Brokerage at a dedicated school like many of his peers, Donald firmly believes the reason he was able to learn on the job and excel was due to the various great colleagues and leaders who believed in him and were always willing to support and teach him along the way.
Seize the growth opportunities
Donald had the opportunity to join the Customer Service Export team in 2012 and shortly thereafter became the Team Leader, being able to lead both the office-based and frontline colleagues gave him much insight as to how we serve our customers holistically.
Never one to shy away from learning opportunities Donald held a variety of positions gaining experience in various logistics disciplines from Airfreight Coordinator, Logistics operations Supervisor, Delivery Manager for Cameroon and Depot Delivery Manager before taking on his current role as SWA Area Depot Product Manager. When reviewing his career journey and reflecting on the successes as well as challenges overcome Donald is proud of what has been achieved and this fuels him daily in all aspects of his life.
A career highlight was being part of the Africa Leadership & Development Programme (ALDP), not only did he thoroughly enjoy the experience, but he was grateful that the company valued him as an employee and wanted to invest in his development. Many of the learnings from ALDP have strengthened his capability to perform in his current role specifically the modules on People Engagement, Financial Performance, Product Design, Strategic Mindset, Customer Experience and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI).
Depot Product Transformation
Becoming the global integrator of container logistics gave the team in SWA an opportunity to review all aspects of our Depots from the Strategy, Processes, Collaboration and People. Through the support of the leadership team, these elements were viewed from a new perspective of putting the customer in the centre and ensuring that we were able to meet their needs. With this renewed focus it became clear that new products, diversifying our activities as well as expanding our footprint in the Area were required. None of this would be able to be achieved without our hardworking and talented teams which meant that as leaders our focus became team engagement, driving DEI, consistent reviewing of processes all whilst leveraging from the existing strengths within the Depot product.
When asked regarding employee engagement Donald was clear that as leaders “We should remain close to employees, understand their needs/requirements so that we can support them as an organization,”. Equally important is to recognize the efforts and hard work, when facing a challenge actively engage and gain their input so that a solution can be found together. Caring for our people is the role of the leader and supporting employee’s growth is essential via their Personal Development Plan.
Career paths are seldom a linear journey, yet Donald’s experience has taught him that by being open to learning opportunities, hard work to deliver on your goals coupled with your personal engagement and an alignment of the organisation’s values to your own is a recipe for success.
When faced with a challenging situation be willing to seek assistance whether that is from your leaders, colleagues, mentor, the People Function, or any person you feel comfortable with. If you are in any doubt as to what should be done in a specific situation lean on the Maersk values and these will guide you on how we should approach tough situations.
Maersk values are unique and always prompt us to deliver customer promises while taking care of us. For me, working at Maersk is priceless.