Mentorship leads to full circle career success
As a high achieving University of South Australia Business School graduate, Brett Dienhoff’s journey after graduation has seen him work his way up the automotive and manufacturing corporate ladder, both nationally and internationally.
Brett is the current Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Samvardhana Motherson Group’s (SMG) Global Strategic Procurement based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, a company that had a turnover of $14.44 billion during the 2017-18 year.
Brett has been at the company and affiliate organisations for almost 20 years and has watched it turn into one of the largest automotive suppliers in the world, recently even expanding with two regional Strategic Procurement offices in China and the U.S.A., and now taking support from colleagues based in India.
After graduating from UniSA in 2001, Brett had the opportunity to join the South Australian Government’s Graduate Program, before being employed by what was then Schefenacker Visions Systems (now Samvardhana Motherson), as a Purchasing Officer and relocating with the company to Detroit in the United States for nine years.
Brett and his team focus on delivering additional value to the Group’s professional Purchasing organisation. This is done through analysis of the group’s consolidated Purchasing activities, which is then used to develop and execute strategies to capitalise on opportunities for both SMG and the supply base.
The driving force of innovation at the Samvardhana Motherson Group is providing an international network of partners with innovative technologies for the automotive industry, which was exemplified this past July when under his direction Brett’s team took home two accolades at the 2018 Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply CIPS Middle East & North Africa Awards.
While enjoying the heights of his professional success, Brett has not forgotten how he got there. Returning to Adelaide in 2013 in his then role of Executive Vice President - Global Purchasing for SMR, Brett was motivated to help the next generation of graduates – as he had been after his degree with the UniSA Business School’s Executive Partners Program (EPP).
Brett recognises it was these mentors and influential leaders he looked up to and learned from during his time as a young business professional that made a difference in his career and solidified his success.
“I have been fortunate to work with really great leaders that have helped and challenged me to develop myself and a satisfying career. I felt that I had some things to offer the next generation of leaders,” he says.
After mentoring Nabil Imran - a UniSA International Business and Marketing Masters student, through the EPP for over eighteen months - Brett was so impressed he decided to make an intentional investment and recruit his own mentee to work for his team in Dubai as a Business Analyst.
“Since mentoring Nabil as a student at the Business School, through our meetings and conversations, I knew him to be a reliable and capable person. His UniSA Masters Degrees in International Business and in Marketing have also prepared him well for the Business Analyst role,” he says.
“Having the opportunity to now work with Nabil and seeing him develop has been the most rewarding so far.
"Working with other extremely talented students and helping them to understand themselves, their motivations, and also help them work through the transition between studying to work life has been rewarding as well.”
Nabil also acknowledges he owes a lot to Brett and attributes him with helping him develop and establish a promising international career through their mentoring relationship. As a result of the guidance, Nabil has become an integral part of the success of the office.
“As a student, you have a lot of questions about your career and your mentor is someone who has navigated their way past these uncertainties,” he says.
“Brett is really the type of mentor who is always in my corner, who cares enough about my success to provide input and support but is also objective and gives advice that keeps me on track.
Further information about the Executive Partners Program visit the website here.