13 Years of Office Depot – Interview with Vlad Gabor
I am the Team Manager for the MDM Scrum Operations team and we are responsible for product data maintenance across the EU7 region within Office Depot. To offer a few examples, we perform different changes needed for the products in our assortments, such as cost change, delivery method change, VAT change, and others, making sure that the information is aligned through different systems such as STEP, AS400, and SAP.
Office Depot journey
If I were to think about my journey within Office Depot SSC, I can easily resume it to MDM. I’ve only worked in MDM while at OD, first starting back in July 2015 as an MDM Process Analyst, holding this position until May 2017, when for a short period of 7 months, I explored other options. I came back in January 2018 and obtained the position of MDM Team Leader Italy & Spain, a position which I’ve held until July 2019, when I became the Team Manager for the MDM Scrum Operations team.
First day at Office Depot
I do remember very well the first day in the company – it was on a Friday, July 17, 2015. I remember that I was a bit overwhelmed during the first tour of the company, being the first time working in such a big company with multiple departments, but it was a really good feeling, I think I felt proud. I also remember that I was smiling a lot (you can see that on the picture from my badge 🙂) and a colleague from the team that I was about to join noticed it and I remember her saying out loud while we were visiting the 6th floor “Who’s the guy joining our team? The one with the nice smile?”, and then I started to laugh.
Why Office Depot?
The reason for staying or maybe it’s best to say, rejoining the company, is the company culture and the people – I don’t know how other people feel, but I remember that I was impressed by my colleagues and managers and I made friends and met great people from all our locations: be it Romania, the Netherlands, UK, Italy or Spain. You never run short of support and people are willing to offer their help at any time – I think this is our strongest asset and the thing that keeps me around – thanks to all 🙂.
The people of Office Depot are…
I can only restate the previous answer – the fact that people care a great deal about their work and their colleagues makes a huge difference. We have all kinds of events, contests, charity campaigns, things that, in the end, translate into the fact that the people of Office Depot are funny, creative, empathic, and care a great deal about what they do and how they do it. I have to say a special thank you to the MDM people from all over and to our HR and L&D departments – you guys rock!
It was easy for me to grow inside the company, and the reason why I’m saying this is that from the start I knew in what area I wanted to develop – as a manager. I think that once you figure out which domain you would like to pursue and what you would like to do, growth will come naturally. There are a lot of programs within our SSC, like the Leadership Academy, the Process Improvement Academy, and the Training Academy, just to mention a few and I encourage everyone to profit from them.
Advice to those who want to join Office Depot
If I were to offer any advice to a person joining our company, it would be to never stop learning – be it a new skill(technical or soft) or maybe a new language and step out of the comfort zone, which is one of our biggest enemies. I think that only by learning more you can achieve more as well. 🙂
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