By Cassie Bianculli
Supply Chain & Analytics is such an incredible field with an abundance of career options to offer, yet nobody seems to know much about it. The University of Missouri – St. Louis Supply Chain & Analytics Department would like to change that by spreading awareness of the supply chain field and all that it encompasses. We will bring to you each month a Supply Chain Spotlight Story which will provide just a glimpse into supply chain and logistics careers; showcasing our UMSL Supply Chain & Analytics Department, Faculty, Executive Board, Students, Alumni, and much, much more!
This month we bring to you our June Supply Chain Spotlight – UMSL Supply Chain & Analytics Alumni, Sarah Rizzo. Sarah is an incredible alumna that continues to leave a legacy at UMSL. Sarah founded the UMSL Supply Chain & Analytics Alumni Board after graduating in 2016. Sarah continues to give back to students sharing about her introduction to and experience in the field.
Tell us a bit about your educational journey and why you chose UMSL SCMA?
When I first began my journey at UMSL, I started off as undeclared. I was interested in taking business and French classes but wasn’t quite sure which business emphasis I wanted to pursue. After deciding to study abroad, I knew that international business would be something that I wanted to add as an emphasis. However, I had a difficult time finding internships that fit my degree path. After discussing this with a professor, I was given the suggestion to look into the field of supply chain. I hadn’t even considered studying supply chain, but after a few introductory classes, I soon realized how valuable of an addition it would be to my skill set due to the endless opportunities that exist within the supply chain field. In the end, I graduated from UMSL with a BA in French and a BSBA with emphases in International Business and Supply Chain Management.
How has UMSL SCMA impacted your career after graduation?
UMSL SCMA has impacted my career after graduation by helping to connect me with my current employer, Anheuser Busch. During my last semester at UMSL, I attended one of the SCMA on campus events – a panel discussion with members of the Advisory Board. I was introduced to two representatives from Anheuser-Busch at this event, which then led to an interview and job offer a few weeks later. The events, both past and present, put on by the department and the Supply Chain Club are some of the best ways for students to network and find job opportunities ahead of graduating. Additionally, another great resource for students is the SCMA mentoring program. I was paired with a mentor during my last semester and was able to learn more about my mentor’s path in the supply chain field, her experiences abroad, and even had a chance to tour one of her company’s warehouses.
How do you give back to UMSL and the Supply Chain Department as an alum?
As an alum of the department, I have been able to give back by participating in the Supply Chain Alumni Board. The boards two main focuses are to provide value to current students and build the alumni network. We host events like the “What I Wish I Knew” Panel, Excel classes for students, and tours/networking celebrations at Anheuser-Busch. We even have a LinkedIn page – feel free to check us out there to learn more about upcoming events and other aspects of the supply chain field!
What advice do you have for students entering the supply chain field?
The supply chain field encompasses numerous moving pieces, including planning, procurement, production, packaging, logistics etc. Students should familiarize themselves with as many of these steps as they can. One of the best ways to learn more about the different aspects of supply chain is through taking different classes, internships, mentors and shadowing. This will allow them to discover which area(s) of supply chain management interest them the most, which will help when navigating finding their first job.
Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time outside of supply chain?
Since graduating from UMSL, one of my main focuses is to find ways to continue to learn something new whether formally or informally. At work, I’ve taken classes to become more proficient in Excel and Power BI. In my free time, I love learning languages- in addition to speaking French, I am now taking classes to learn Spanish. I also enjoy giving back to the community through volunteering. I’ve been involved with the International Institute of St. Louis since 2015.