Meet Zoe Mattis, a 2017 AWESOME Excellence in Education Scholar and a 2017 Lehigh University graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management and Logistics.
Zoe is currently employed at Air Products as the North American Fleet Business Improvement Lead with one of her responsibilities being quantifying various telemetry data types including runouts, cycle times, and maintenance costs to increase productivity as well as identify opportunities to decrease the number of return trips.
Prior to Air Products, Zoe worked at Nestle Waters where she brought inventory costs to an all-time low by reviewing their current supply process, delivering the necessary amount of raw materials to the optimal locations and implementing a plan to maintain a record-low Days on Hand (DOH) of raw materials for Co-Manufacturing locations.
Zoe has been an AWESOME Scholars Excellence in Education since she graduated in 2015. Zoe’s interest in supply chain started in college when she reached out to professors to explore a degree in Supply Chain Management and Logistics. She loved how passionate they were about the work they accomplished in the field prior to entering academia and their diverse career trajectories.
“When I first started at Lehigh University, I originally wanted to pursue a dual degree in engineering and business. I wanted to combine my passion for mechanical engineering and my love of business, but then found out that my “love” for mechanical engineering was not about how things function – it was how things are made.”
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoe sees firsthand the impact that COVID-19 has on supply chain as well as the shifts in demand and the need for customer prioritization. Air Products, where Zoe is currently employed, provides industrial gases and related equipment to dozens of industries, touching the lives of consumers every day. Now more than ever, they’re focused on gathering teams and working together to support any facility that has a need for medical oxygen, holding safety as their number one priority.
Zoe goes on to say that the most influential and important learning from studying and living the world of supply chain revolves around agility.
“Agility focuses on being able to keep up with the flow of changes in business and adaptation to meet stakeholder needs. This is something that I struggled with prior to studying supply chain, as it was tough to be flexible when plans didn’t go their originally planned way. This has been a critical skill in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and has proved invaluable in my professional and personal life.”
As Zoe thinks about her career in supply chain what excites her most is the endless opportunity. She’s inspired by the various career paths, business sectors, and organizations that have robust supply chain programs. Zoe finds the possibility to grow and morph into a different industry at a moment’s notice exciting and enjoys waking up every morning with anticipation of what the day will bring, especially a time when supply chain is facing new challenges than ever before.
“There are so many different career paths, business sectors, and organizations that have robust supply chains. Having this experience is invaluable and it is energizing to know that there is a possibility to grow and morph into a different industry at the drop of a hat. I also find that every day in the supply chain is a little bit different, and there is always something new to tackle. It is fun to see what each day brings, especially during the current times with supply chains facing new challenges than ever before.”
Meet McKenzie Meehan, a 2019 AWESOME Scholar and a 2020 graduate of the University of Arkansas – Sam M. Walton College of Business. McKenzie was also named one of the school’s Outstanding Supply Chain Management Students.
McKenzie’s career journey began when she took an Introduction to Supply Chain course taught by Stephanie Powell Thomas, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor at Walton College of Business. Dr. Thomas has since become a mentor to McKenzie.
“Professor Thomas teaches by integrating theory and material with her personal experiences of working in the supply chain industry,” McKenzie shared. “Her stories and lessons made me really interested in the relationship and problem-solving aspects of supply chain.” In a recent interviewwith her favorite professor, McKenzie said that changing her major to supply chain was the best thing she’s ever done.
“It’s been a privilege to work with and mentor McKenzie,” Professor Thomas shared. ”She is so authentic and I’m so proud of all that McKenzie accomplished at the University of Arkansas, but I know this is just the tip of the iceberg for her. She is truly AWESOME!”
In her Scholar Spotlight e-interview, McKenzie touched on the disruption of COVID-19 on supply chain and how businesses need to react quickly to changing conditions in order to meet customer needs. She feels inspired by the new innovations, discoveries, and technologies that have entered the supply chain industry during a time of devastation.
McKenzie is currently working at General Mills Inc. as a Sales Associate on the Walmart account team. She hopes to support the Cereal product team as she did during a prior internship at the company and continue to work with brands such as Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Reese’s Puffs.
“Everything General Mills is doing now, especially with COVID-19, really makes me feel like I have a purpose and that I am joining a company that is helping people maintain a sense of normalcy during a time of change and unsureness.”
As an AWESOME Scholar, McKenzie looks towards connecting with numerous industry leaders and to continue learning all the different areas of supply chain. The distinction has also provided her the opportunity to be a champion for AWESOME and, eventually, mentor future AWESOME Scholars.