The last of our ‘poster team’ profiles features Team A.L.E.R.T from South Africa. They are (from left to right in photo): Andrew Maseko (friend and mentor), Danie Sillands, Enrico Chiarello, Russell Pinard and Lee-Andrew Duarte.
Team A.L.E.R.T are based at Volvo Jetpark, Gauteng in South Africa. Half their team remain from the previous VISTA competition when they became the youngest team to reached the final.
“We were extremely proud and honoured to be on one of the VISTA posters. It served as a reminder of the previous VISTA and motivated us to do better in the 2015-2016 competition.”
How did it come about that your team featured on the poster?
“Our good friend and mentor Andrew Maseko excitedly told us that they wanted team A.L.E.R.T’s picture for one of the new 2015-2016 VISTA posters. We couldn’t have been happier, knowing that Volvo employees around the world would see it. It made my small Volvo world feel a whole lot bigger.”
You competed in the semi-finals in 2013? Have you any special memories?
“Madrid was an amazing experience for our team. It was the first time any of us had travelled for Volvo and for some, it was the first time going to another continent. Madrid was a magical place, with amazing tours, scenery and being able to meet new people from around the world, all belonging to the Volvo family. We made new friends and our team got stronger. We were also fortunate enough to go to Sweden for the VISTA final and compete against the top teams around the world. Being the youngest team to ever make it to finals with an average age of twenty one years old, we were overwhelmed with the experience!”
What have you learned through competing in VISTA?
“Our team have already learned a lot throughout the Vista experience, we learnt more about our internal online systems – IMPACT and how the online systems can help you with your day-to-day work to become more efficient and productive.”
What do you think are the best things about VISTA?
“VISTA is a great experience for all. Everyone loves a good competition and we feel that competition is a good way of excelling and forcing yourself to be better.VISTA has turned my work colleges into friends, and being fortunate enough to compete in Sweden opened up my eyes to how immense and how large the Volvo family truly is. A free holiday in Europe is a bonus too!”
Have you any secrets/tips for doing well?
“Anyone can do well in VISTA; it’s all about a balanced team according to knowledge and being able to identify strengths and weaknesses within the team. That way every member can be assigned to specific roles to benefit the team. VISTA is not a challenge to be taken lightly. A lot of time, planning and effort must be put in to be exceptional. Share knowledge and trust other team members.”
The poster mentions 46 training sessions. How hard did you work last time compared to this?
“Once we knew we had made it to the semi final last time, Andrew Maseko arranged a full week of intense product knowledge learning. We learned a great deal and really appreciated the support we got from Volvo so that we could perform above what was expected. I believe it is because of this support and training that we were the highest ranked team at the finals ever to come from Africa. It is still early days in the 2015-2016 VISTA competition, but I know we will work our hardest to hopefully become champions one day!”