A month of working in Cargill, an American MNC involved in agribusiness has been rewarding. As part of the sustainability supply chain team within Cargill’s global palm oil operations; my primary role as a stakeholder engagement assistant is to manage our grievance process and monitor our suppliers with the goal of ensuring Cargill’s supply chain upholds its’ sustainability commitments, which include environmental and labour protection. Despite the challenges, I am constantly learning something new and given opportunities for growth.
Not many fresh graduates get the opportunity for their first job to be in an industry and role they are passionate about and I attribute this opportunity to the Global Studies programme. With its multi-disciplinary curriculum and multi-stakeholder approach, it has helped to hone my analytical, problem-solving and communication skills. Despite being fresh graduates, we are seen as valuable individuals with the ability to understand issues through multi-disciplinary lenses, an important skill in the workforce.
I am particularly grateful for the GL4101 Readings in Global Issues and GL4102 Task Force modules that provided me with the chance to apply the theoretical knowledge gained throughout my curriculum to a pressing global issue that affects the livelihood of many communities, bearing in mind the realities of involving many actors from various fields and institutions. Producing a policy paper on the Transboundary Haze allowed us to propose solutions for an issue that was evolving as we researched. This required flexibility and reflexivity as well as the ability to balance the impacts of solutions on various actors.
I have always had a keen interest in sustainability and development but never thought it would manifest in the form of supply chains and businesses. It took Task Force and the invaluable opportunity to work with Cargill via employer consultations (specifically their Corporate Responsibility team) and visiting their field operations to give me first-hand experience of the industry’s perspective on the haze and sustainable palm oil production. This developed into an interest in business-led solutions towards global issues. Involvement for the Task Force also allowed me to build rapport with Cargill, thus paving the opportunity for my current career with them.
The Global Studies programme is an important field of knowledge reflecting the needs of the 21st century. Its multidisciplinary curriculum and application-based learning has equipped me with the necessary skills for the workforce and given me invaluable opportunities that I would never have thought possible when I first decided to major in the programme.