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Coffee With Corporates: Q&A with Rondu Vincent of Bristol-Myers Squibb

Time for a coffee break? Take a few minutes to get to know Rondu Vincent, Director of Global Supplier Diversity at Bristol-Myers Squibb, including his best career advice, advice for women entrepreneurs, and the importance of innovation in business.

What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry? 

Real World Data has always amazed me, especially how we are leveraging them today. Take wearables for example – it’s one of the easiest way to access live data for wellness and healthcare. It’s interesting how technology is evolving with algorithms everyday making it more useful, letting you take care of your health and your healthcare journey while making doctor visits more efficient.

What education/training programs should women entrepreneurs make sure to learn more about?

For suppliers wanting to do business with the pharmaceutical industry, I recommend taking time to invest and educate yourself about the science involved in the industry, take interest in the efficacy of the products – how they are made, where they are made, why they are made and so on. It’s key to understanding the clients you service or will service. Also take time to understand and apply what it takes to be part of a global and robust supply base. These strategies will be helpful to your growth within the corporation!

What drove you to a career in diversity and inclusion?

While Supplier Diversity was handed to me when I was in procurement over a decade ago, it was the impact it had on me that made me stay. I found a calling to use my background, of who I am, where I came from, along with my strategic sourcing background to make a difference in the supplier diversity community. This was through economic inclusion of small and diverse suppliers, impact of these under-represented groups who want to bring jobs to their communities, give opportunities to feed families, lift themselves, and bring about positive change.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Stay authentic! — one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received and I try to live this on a daily basis. Also, one of my previous supervisors once reflected himself on me on trust and being direct. These are a few of the key things that have led me to being successful in my career and life.

How has being a WBENC Corporate Member helped your corporation and/or procurement department?

Being a WBENC Corporate Member has helped us at BMS to meet talented and innovative suppliers that support us. And through multiple interactions with WBENC, coaching and mentoring, our team has been able to pay it back and help suppliers to do business with BMS and other corporations as well.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A lawyer! My aunt was a lawyer and she influenced me to read law books since I was 8 years old. While that didn’t take off, I am glad where I ended up in Supplier Diversity.

How do you unwind after a long workday?

Not every workday is alike…. But after a long work day, a cigar and single malt or bourbon would be ideal!

What do you like about your workspace?

My espresso machine.

Fill in the Blank

When I face a challenge, I… gather the facts and collaborate on a solution, it truly takes a village!

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… play more golf. Perhaps my current game would be far better.

The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my family of course!

Diversity and Inclusion inspires me because, … the positive impact it has on our communities.