Building future leaders through O2
Aug 30, 2019

What does the future of 3M talent look like in manufacturing and supply chain? 

It looks like O2.

Optimized Operations employees hail from around the world and are making big impacts in 3M plants and their surrounding communities through the O2 Experience. They are newer employees with roles in engineering, supply chain, data analytics and environmental, health and safety arenas. They receive intensive personal and professional development while impacting their communities through O2 Engage and, in some cases, have the potential to work internationally.

Take Terrie Mickens, a second-year O2 engineer. Terrie recently transitioned from her first-year O2 rotation in Hutchinson, Minnesota, to her second year in Greenville, South Carolina. Near the end of her first assignment, Terrie received a curious message from her O2 Manager: "We need to talk."

"Thankfully, it turned out to be the most exciting news I had received in quite some time," Terrie says. "She informed me of the opportunity to travel to Singapore for the entire month of May to work on projects directly related to my production line in Hutchinson."

Terrie's five-week international assignment in Singapore prompted an innovative knowledge exchange. "I was able to share my learnings from my time in both the Tuas, Singapore, plant and Hutchinson, Minnesota, plant to ensure best manufacturing practices were being shared collaboratively to enhance the performance of each site," Terrie says.

Icy Chai, a recent O2 graduate in Shanghai, speaks to her desire to stay curious in manufacturing projects to drive continual improvement: "Through productivity improvement, we can meet the fast-growing demand which helps us deliver the highest quality and shortest lead times to our customers, on time, in full, every time." This year Icy received a 2019 Global Lean Six Sigma Operations Continuous Improvement Award.

The O2 Experience is a two-year rotational program that has profound impacts on its current and alumni communities.

"I feel more like a future leader of 3M rather than an entry-level employee, and that value is not provided by most companies," Terrie says. "The program has enhanced my leadership capabilities by encouraging me to challenge the status quo, adapt to new environments and solve important problems in world class manufacturing sites around the globe."

Founded in 1985, O2 has produced more than a thousand 3M alumni worldwide with various career paths. Vice presidents, directors, plant managers and senior managers are some of the roles former O2s occupy today.

"O2 is a timeless connector across generations at 3M," says O2 alumna Nancy Seleski, director of Global Facilities and Services. "It becomes this familial feeling of brothers and sisters that are making their way through 3M, in a competitive way on one hand, but also a supportive way.

"O2 shaped me first and early to help me become the 3Mer that I am today. It's great foundation for anyone's career in this great company of ours," says Nancy, concluding, "I am O2."

For more information about the O2 Experience and O2 candidate application, visit the O2 site.

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