From a Master’s degree in International Relations and Communication to Area Vendor Manager, Stella Tchogna’s journey at Maersk has shown what a continuous learning mindset can deliver. As a valued member of the Africa Media Club, it has been refreshing to see her showcase the great stories from Africa.
Stella Tchogna, Central West Africa (CWA) Area Vendor Manager, joined Maersk 9 years ago as a customer service trainee in San Pedro with limited knowledge of the shipping industry. She has always been passionate about challenging herself and continuously learning, this is what drove her to move across various roles at Maersk to deepen her understanding and integrate into the world of logistics.
The 6 years in the Customer Experience gave Stella a solid knowledge foundation, driving her curiosity and allowed her to gain confidence in an unknown industry all while getting to understand our customers. When an opportunity arose in 2017 to become the Process and Transformation Leader (now known as Continuous Improvement) for Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, she was excited to be able to drive change in the Area whilst practicing her communication skills. Reflecting on this role a highlight was the transformation to digital signatures on the Bill of lading and invoices which reduced customer waiting time at the counter making their experience with Maersk more efficient.
At Maersk, change is inevitable. Embracing this and learning to accept change can be tough but the opportunities created along the way are worth it.
In 2020 when two of the West Africa Areas (CWA & CIA) merged a new role was created to ensure we had the required capacity available to deliver on our end-to-end promises to our CWA customers. Stella rose to the challenge and created the Africa Vendor Manager community to strengthen and accelerate the learning across Africa. Stella shared that this platform allowed all Areas to share their knowledge, successes, and challenges of this function and was a helpful forum for her and her peers in Africa, many who have become friends now.
Deliberate personal development
Stella has always driven her personal development and maximised the valuable learnings that have been available both in and outside of Maersk. In 2020 in her personal capacity, she completed her Green Belt certification as she could see the value it would bring to her current role. Through the training available at Maersk, she has successfully completed Leading Maersk in 2021 and in 2022 she participated in Leading Maersk Cohort Enabler as well as Africa Leadership Development Programme (ALDP) where she excelled in both the academic and leadership elements of the programme.
When asked for her advice on career development she likened a career to a car and as individuals we are the driver. As the driver it’s our responsibility to create an environment for career growth and to know our destination and the passengers within the car that can help you accelerate and support the journey, such as mentors, sponsors, and senior leaders. Do not be scared to take the path less travelled as each person’s journey is different in finding the main road for their career. Keep in mind that failure is a normal part of the learning process, acknowledge it take the learnings and then recalibrate back to your journey.
The Africa Media Club
Stella joined the Africa Media Club, just after its inception in 2021, as she likes writing stories and uses it as an opportunity to learn whilst eliminating stress. It also allowed her to exercise her great writing skills, she is a junior author of an academic book, which was created as the result of her master’s thesis research. There was also an opportunity to network with people from across Africa in the Media Club.
She was surprised by how easy it was to connect within the club as all members are happy to collaborate as there is common drive to share the great success stories from across Africa – of which there are many!
Stella has become more agile and productive whilst researching stories from various functions, teams and has had to engage with many people that she would not get to interact with in her normal job scope. By applying her learnings, she has become more focused balancing her involvement in the media club whilst continuing to perform within her daily job.
Stella shares that, “If you are passionate about writing stories and sharing these with others, eager to learn and engage with others then the Africa Media Club is for you! It’s the only platform where you learn by writing, which also brings you significant exposure across Maersk.”
About Africa Media Club
The Africa Media club is a group of colleagues that work together to showcase Africa’s stories & successes. It is community based and voluntary enabling any employee (regardless of level) to join and submit written stories or video content to be featured across our channels.