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  • Writer's pictureTierra Price

What a Trucking Executive Can Teach the Veterinary Community

Dr. Pamelar Hale, consultant and BlackDVM Network member, recently shared an article from Chief, “Why this Daimler Exec Predicts in 10 years we won’t have to fuel initiatives to elevate women”. While the article is less about the future of women in business, it does discuss five areas that Joanna Cooper has attributed to her success. Joanna Cooper, one of the few women execs in the high-tech manufacturing industry, is a General Manager at Daimler Truck North America where she oversees the operations of 2,000 staffers to produce over 20,000 medium-duty Freightliner trucks each year.

Cooper shares how setting career timelines, the importance of active mentorship, taking “big bets”, wanting to have it all, and taking feedback has helped her achieve her goals.

Setting a Career Timeline

Where do you want to be in 20 years? You might not know the answer to this question right away, but creating a timeline can keep you motivated and help you determine which opportunities to take and which opportunities you should pass on. Cooper explains, “[My] timeline has been in a frame in my office ever since. Keeping it visible both directly and indirectly influenced my growth.”

The Importance of Active Mentorship

Mentorship can be described as “the practice of guiding careers through provision of role modeling, resources, connections and advice.” (1). Passive mentorship models depend on the learner initiating contact with the mentor, but active mentorship demands the mentor to reach out regularly to support the mentee (2). Cooper also mentions how important it is to find a mentor that is also willing to become a sponsor as that mentoring relationship develops. What’s the difference between a mentor and a sponsor? A sponsor has the ability to influence someone’s career within an organization. (3)

Taking Feedback for Self-Improvement

Cooper shares how being receptive to feedback (whether she agreed with it or not) has been valuable. “Being open to feedback - whether I agree or not - has helped me evolve and build an ability to work with others more effectively.”

Although, Cooper is not a veterinary professional, I believe veterinary professionals can benefit from her advice. Read her full interview here.

2024 will be the year of getting down to business *cue Tiësto*. We’re using our last summit of the year to gear up for next year’s business- elevating Black veterinary professionals to their highest potential. We’ll be discussing how to gain clarity of your goals, gain control of your finances, and how to get out of your head to reach your potential. Sign up for the summit at (And don't forget members have FREE access)

About the author:

Dr. Tierra Price is a recent graduate of Virginia-Maryland CVM and an emergency veterinarian in New York City. As the founder of BlackDVM Network, Dr. Price hopes to elevate Black veterinary professionals through community, professional development, and access to economic opportunities.

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