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The Power of Mentorship and "Passing it On"


With more than 40 years of experience in the food industry, Principal Scientist Jonathan Griebel knows a thing or two about developing new products. Last year, Jonathan was matched with Victor Ogunwale, a research associate with PFS client Graceco Ltd in Lagos, Nigeria, who was looking for a mentor with experience in research and innovation that could share insights and help him with his professional development. “When PFS asked me to mentor Victor I was pretty excited,” said Jonathan. “I lived in Nigeria when I was growing up and it was exciting to come full circle. I am in the twilight of what has been a very rewarding career in new product development and it is an honor and pleasure to pass on my career learnings to the next generation. Even more special is to do it with someone from Nigeria.”

For the past nine months, Jonathan and Victor have been meeting monthly and have covered topics ranging from consumer insights to new product formulations to brainstorming and ideation techniques. “My mentorship experience with Jonathan has been amazing,” said Victor. “With several decades of experience, Jonathan is just the right person for me. His knowledge, wisdom, and skills have made it easy for me to navigate the challenges that have been coming my way. He has been a really calm, patient, and attentive mentor, having answers to all the questions I have.”

One of Jonathan’s favorite parts of the mentorship so far has been seeing Victor apply some of the things that they’ve discussed in his job. “Victor is an eager learner and is a very bright young man, and this has been a very rewarding experience so far,” said Jonathan. “Someday, I hope I can return to Nigeria and meet Victor in person!”