by Fiona Woticky, MSCM candidate 2020

While the MSCM students may only have four courses this semester (yay!), it seems with all the networking events and recruitment, we are still at five.

Fortunately, we are off to a great start! Alma Arzate, one of SCMA’s 100 influential women in Canadian Supply Chain, as well as the current Global Director of Supply Planning at Apotex Inc. came to share her career knowledge with the Master of Supply Chain Management students at yesterday’s inaugural MSCM speaker series event, “Leading Change in Supply Chain.”

Her energetic warmth, sassiness, and straight-forwardness made for such a fast-paced and dynamic event, filled with lots of questions and meaningful insights.


For all those who didn’t get the opportunity to attend the event, check out five key takeaways:

  1. The MSCM will prepare you for the knowledge and hard skills. Yet, soft skills (like teamwork, resilience, emotional intelligence and critical thinking) are just as important and will give you the edge over other candidates. Remember, the most challenging part of the job will be leading others, as well as encouraging and negotiating effectively with them.
  1. Here in Canada, we do business differently than other places. Hence, it is important to develop appropriate business acumen. We like to chit-chat at the beginning of meetings, we like to be extremely polite (and may apologize too much), and we also like to remain professional (do not use nicknames if there is not a true rapport).
  2. Be hungry, but do not compromise on your values. Figure out your values and say no to a job if it does not truly align.
  3. Work-life balance may not be doable. Instead, if at some points in your life you need to pay more attention to family (children, illness or death in the family), do that. Then, if at some points you need to focus more on work (huge project, discussion of promotions, new role), spend more of your time on that.

And finally….

  1. Don’t worry about the job title – that will come naturally if you work hard and see every job as an opportunity to grow. Sometimes taking jobs in different industries or areas will properly equip you to succeed in the bigger, more responsible roles.

Special acknowledgement to the MSCM Thought Leadership committee for launching the first of this amazing speaker series!