Be Ambitious and Optimistic: Ahmed Ben Daya’s Career Journey
When Ahmed Ben Daya joined DENSO’s thermal manufacturing facility in Guelph, Ontario, he was ready to work at a place where he knew he contributed to a greater purpose.
“My previous company was extremely large, so it was difficult to make yourself seen,” he said. “I felt my career path was a straight line with little to no opportunity to do anything outside of logistics. I had no insight into the bigger picture of what I, my department or even the company was working toward.”
That changed when he joined the Guelph team as an advanced specialist supporting logistics in production control (PC) in 2019.
“My job at DENSO was similar to my previous one, but here I was responsible for all aspects of logistics, including design, operations, domestic and overseas,” he said. “I could see and understand the entire scope of inbound supply chain activities, which allowed me to grow and contribute on a larger scale.”
Making His Voice Heard
During his second year, Ahmed completed his individual development plan (IDP), expressing interest in a role outside of PC.
“I didn’t have a specific department or division in mind, I just wanted to learn another aspect of DENSO’s business,” he said. “I think rotating within a company is important because it gives you a different perspective of how and why things are done, as well as an appreciation of what others do.”
Ahmed’s honesty in his IDP and hard work paid off. In August 2022, he was offered a two-year mentorship assignment as an advanced specialist in business planning at DENSO’s thermal manufacturing facility in Battle Creek, Michigan. Though a significant role change, Ahmed said the decision was an easy one to make.
“I knew that a lot of my skills were transferrable to this new role,” Ahmed said. “For example, the fundamentals of continuous improvement are the same no matter what kind of work you do. I knew my strong skills and work ethic, along with knowledge of DENSO’s culture and vision would help me succeed.”
A key skill Ahmed credits to helping his transition is creating a solid rapport and connection with fellow associates.
“Developing a healthy relationship with others goes a long way,” he said. “It starts with listening to show you are interested in what others do and will support them when they need help. By doing so, you gain their respect, which is critical in developing relationships, especially when starting a new position.”
Support From Day One
Though Ahmed was confident in the skills he had, transitioning from PC to business planning required training and mentorship. He said he received that from his first day and continues to rely on it.
“I’m so fortunate to work with a team that is incredibly helpful and supportive,” he said. “They understand my position and goal of the mentorship assignment. I’ve taken some online training to understand thermal products, but most of my learning has been from on-the-job training and mentors.”
Ahmed isn’t sure what he’ll do when his mentorship assignment ends, but he’s not concerned.
“I don’t know if I’ll stay here, go back to PC or be somewhere else within DENSO,” he said. “Wherever it is, I want to contribute on a larger scale and influence my teammates. DENSO provides great opportunities, it’s up to me to find the best fit.”
Optimism is one thing Ahmed encourages people to consider when thinking about their next move.
“Don’t underestimate yourself, be ambitious and optimistic about your growth,” he said. “Push yourself to see where you can go. If you work hard and prove yourselves, DENSO will find or create and facilitate a position that suits you.”