Advancing at Berkeley: Sunil Chacko's Career Growth

Advancing at Berkeley: Sunil Chacko's Career Growth

What roles have you had throughout your time at Berkeley? 

  • Senior Food Service Manager for Cafe 3- Cal Dining - 2008-2009
  • General Manager for Campus restaurants-Cal Dining (retail) - 2009-2011
  • Commodity/Purchasing Coordinator-Cal Dining - 2012-2018
  • AssistantDirector of Purchasing & Commodity-Cal Dining - 2018-Present

What factors do you think helped you switch positions successfully within Berkeley? 

Valuable guidance and support from superiors, subordinates, industry leaders, other campus counterparts, and internal/external customers always helped me to gain knowledge to transition from one position to another. Setting goals and working hard to achieve it also helped to switch positions.

What challenges did you face when starting a new opportunity and how did you overcome them?

Any new position can potentially have numerous challenges in terms of personnel support, finance, budget, customers needs etc. But I overcame these scenarios fairly quickly by listening to constructive feedback, being transparent, being open minded, being fair and balanced, and being supportive.

What do you do to keep growing as a professional? 

First of all identify and set goals in terms of where I want to be professionally at various stages of my work life. To attain my goals, I will observe and try my best to learn new ideas and skills related to future opportunities.  Being current, positive, resourceful, respectful and committed to doing hard work shall indeed help to open a pathway to professional growth.

Any final words of wisdom to staff looking to grow their careers at UC Berkeley?

Work hard, learn to enjoy quality of work-life [balance] that [the] university offers, give and seek guidance, be transparent, ethical and responsible to the university's mission and vision. When we follow those principles, others will take notice and opportunities will be presented accordingly.

If you’d like to advance your career with today’s methods read about the corporate lattice model- here

Sunil Chacko is the Assistant Director of Commodities and Purchasing in Cal Dining. To set-up an informational interview e-mail

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