Spring supply chain and analytics grad boosts resume through UMSL connections

by | May 21, 2018

Cassie Bianculli will enter a competitive management program after graduating with a BSBA earlier this month.
Cassie Bianculli, 2018 supply chain and analytics graduate

Cassie Bianculli graduated from the College of Business Administration earlier this month with an offer to join the Save-A-Lot Distribution Career Development Program. She’ll be moving to Indiana for training at one of the company’s best performing distribution centers before earning a warehouse supervisor role and permanent placement. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Shy by nature, Cassie Bianculli is a surprising proponent of the power of networking.

Her initial conversations are often reserved, yet memorable enough to leave an impact. That much is clear when she begins to humbly outline the experiences on her resume and how those line items came to fruition.

Behind each recent leadership role, internship and professional training program is an individual story – one with the University of Missouri–St. Louis at the center.

A transfer from St. Charles Community College, Bianculli spent her two years at UMSL searching for ways to find her place at the new institution. This included exploring a variety of interests from community service to student government.

“Getting involved made it feel like I belonged here,” the recent supply chain and analytics graduate said. “I wasn’t just coming here and going to class and leaving. I think it definitely helped improve my grades and my overall experience.”

Her most influential involvement came with the Supply Chain Club, which kept her engaged through roundtable discussions, facility tours and other networking opportunities. At one such event, she began chatting with a UniGroup representative and later sent a simple courtesy email with her resume attached.

“Just that got me an internship,” Bianculli said. “It was a great experience, and I learned a lot. And if I hadn’t talked with her and interacted with her, it probably never would have happened.”

During the summer internship with the international freight forwarder, Bianculli navigated the government regulations and paperwork required to export goods to other countries and consulted with customers on their individual needs.

The experience solidified her choice to major in supply chain, minor in international business and remain involved with the Supply Chain Club. When she returned to school for the fall semester, Bianculli began to take a more active role with the departmental organization, assisting with event planning and even taking the lead on coordinating a group tour of World Wide Technology.

Her involvement paired with her academic standing next led to her acceptance into the Supply Chain and Analytics Advisory Board’s executive mentoring program. Matched with Mary Lamie, the executive director of the St. Louis Regional Freightway, Bianculli developed what she hopes will be an enduring connection.

“The mentorship program has been awesome,” Bianculli said. “Not only do I get to meet with her, but I go to different things in the community and get exposure to real-world activities and things that she does every day that students don’t always get to see. Those experiences have prepared me a lot for after college and what a job will be like.”

As Bianculli balanced a job in food service, her coursework and campus involvement, she also found time to take on an internship during her final semester.

Given her interest in community service, Bianculli had long considered working in the nonprofit sector. She began looking for internships and sought the counsel of Lisa Fikki, the internship coordinator for the College of Business Administration.

Fikki pointed Bianculli toward an opening at The Little Bit Foundation, a position under the supervision of supply chain and analytics alumnus Tim Hydar.

The five-month internship provided Bianculli with an opportunity to work directly in a warehouse and apply some of the theories she had learned as a student. Her responsibilities included helping redesign and digitize the organization’s warehouse.

After her two internships, Bianculli is still torn between the nonprofit and corporate worlds as both positions provided enlightening but very different experiences.

“Both internships were great learning opportunities,” she said. “They kind of even made it harder to narrow a career focus because you just want to do everything. They have definitely made me think.”

For now, she’ll begin a corporate track after landing a spot in Save-A-Lot’s Distribution Career Development Program.

Her selection is a direct result of another conversation she had while at UMSL. A company recruiter, who seeks prospects only from elite state university supply chain programs, hosted a presentation on campus for UMSL students. Following the meeting, Bianculli approached the recruiter and was immediately sold on Save-A-Lot.

“Being right out of college and having an opportunity to become a warehouse supervisor, it sounds like something you can’t pass up,” she said. “I feel like it will set me apart in the future from other candidates.”

This summer, she’ll be moving to Indiana to receive five to nine months of training in one of the company’s highest performing distribution centers. She’ll learn directly from a revered senior-level manager and, upon successful completion of the program, will transition to a supervisory position at another Save-A-Lot distribution center.

“I’m not really sure where this Save-A-Lot program is going to take me,” Bianculli said. “I’m just going with it and hoping for adventure.”

Sara Bell

Sara Bell