Hi All, my name is Mary Kate Wainwright and I am a proud alum of the Clarkson class of 2019. I was a Global Supply Chain major during my time at Clarkson, and I now work at GAP Inc. Distribution Center, as an Operations Supervisor. I specifically work for the Old Navy Online distribution.
It is so cool to think how just a few short years ago I was entering Clarkson University for the first time and how in those few years, I was able to study and learn how to become the best professional possible. Not only did I make great friends and participate in many organizations in my time. I also learned so much in all of my courses.
The GSCM curriculum covered everything I see on a daily basis from the beginning of the supply chain with the vendors who manufacture the clothing overseas, to fulfilling orders to our end customers. I was exposed to scenarios, negotiations, organizational behaviors, and so much more at Clarkson. To be able to see those situations in real-time, has been amazing and provided me with a huge advantage. I felt confident on my first day, and every day since at Gap, ready to hit the ground running thanks to the incredible education I received through the program.
One of the most important aspects of my job is leadership. In college, take the time to be engaged in organizations and find ways to take on leadership roles. Those experiences will never be forgotten and you will only grow as future leaders.
Being a supervisor means leading your team to not only achieve production goals, such as service level agreements to customers, but leading each member of your team to get to the next level, such as seasonal leader opportunities and both internal and external opportunities.
This career helps understand the needs of a business, and also how to conduct fairness when overseeing a large team from diverse backgrounds. The team looks up to you as a resource for technical questions, as well as someone who has taken leaps, chances, and ownership over projects and opportunities that have been presented and wouldn’t have been able to have that confidence without my degree’s background and personal ambition. I have pushed the boundaries and improved the expectations for our supervisor roles so we have more opportunities to grow and reach higher goals whether that may be manager positions or other careers outside of distribution.
In terms of the curriculum, my classes including resource planning, data management, and overall operations management have been key for me to put my best foot forward in learning and understanding distribution center processes since day one.
While a student, I was able to study abroad! This experience changed my perspective on so many things- and I would highly recommend the chance if you can! The experiences and classes I had abroad gave me the ability to work with others from different educational and personal backgrounds. These lessons have been invaluable to me and being able to get a great start in my job. It’s always going to be a valued skill to learn and work with people who are different from you and your perspective!
The Spirit of Clakson!
Being a member of the Clarkson community allows you to know and feel supported in the knowledge of innovation, action, and leadership. You are typically willing to do what it takes to make things happen and the skills, and atmosphere of Clarkson allow for you to do this in a team environment and those skills are so helpful in the workplace.
Clarkson has something so special in its alumni network. We are all here to support anyone who is a part of Clarkson. I was able to connect with two alumni who were past students at Clarkson and helped me get connected with the recruiter coming to the career fair, for my current position at GAP Inc. That initial connection goes a long way with recruiters. As alumni, I know that I have a strong network of other alumni to lean on when and if it’s time for me to look into new opportunities. It is so easy as a student to tap into that network. The Career Center has a strong reputation and exceeds expectations of bringing alumni to campus and connecting us with each other to lend support, advice, and opportunities you may not have considered.
Parting Advice to those majoring in Global Supply Chain Management or Considering it.
My advice to you is to jump in and take advantage of all the courses you have available that align with your goals. Seek guidance from your advisors, get involved with clubs and organizations, and don’t be afraid to take on leadership roles. Lastly, study abroad, and be open to learning from others.
As I meet more leadership at my current job, or in passing through work trips and on-site training, when I talk to them about what I studied they always start with “Wow,” and end with “you can do so much with that.” This is all in regards to the education I received at Clarkson University, and specifically how I was able to prepare myself in the Global Supply Chain major. As I hear that over and over, I believe it is so true. This degree covers classes from entrepreneurship, accounting, warehouse management, data management, and resource planning systems, to even HR and organizational behavior elements. Every company or idea has a chain of events, and this degree has made me understand that the possibilities for a successful career in any industry are endless because of the detailed understanding in every piece of the supply chain program. The courses at Clarkson prepare you to go wherever you want and lead successfully in whatever passion, industry, or size company suits you. One of my passions is fashion and I feel grateful to have found a company that links together my education and the ability to work for a leading fashion retailer.