More Great Advice for Supply Chain Young Professionals

What advice would you give to students and young professionals interested in a career in supply chain management or logistics?

I’ve been asking my guests on Talking Logistics that question for the past year, and they have shared some great insights and words of advice. In a blog post last June, I highlighted the advice given by industry executives Kevin O’Meara, Eric Morley, Will O’Brien, Art Mesher, and Jim Matcham. If you haven’t already, I encourage you check out the post and watch the short video clips to hear what they had to say.

Today, I’m providing additional words of advice from executives I interviewed the second half of 2013: Jordan Kass (C.H. Robinson), Randy Lewis (formerly with Walgreens), Paul Lomas (Ryder), Angel Mendez (Cisco), and Monica Wooden (MercuryGate).

After you watch the short video clips below, post a comment and share your advice too.

Jordan Kass: Make a personal development plan and identify the skills you need to reach your goals. Also, get as many different experiences as you can early in your career, and strive to be a great team player because relationships are critical in this profession.

Randy Lewis: Analytics and IT are the name of the game. Everybody wants to be a boss, but first do a great job in the role you’re given; the quality of your work will speak a lot louder for you than you can speak for yourself. Do something marvelous and surprise your leaders.

Paul Lomas: Keep your eyes and ears open and learn as much as you can about the adjoining functions across the supply chain so you can understand how they relate and work together.

Angel Mendez: Look for companies that will help you grow foundations very quickly,  but not skip them. Successful executives have earned what I call “the torn t-shirt,” where they had to prove themselves early on in their careers at the foundational level. It’s hard to be a successful and credible supply chain executive if you’ve never run a factory, or you’ve never run transportation or been in a sourcing role. It takes time and patience, but it will pay off later.

Monica Wooden: Develop your process re-engineering skills, which includes the ability to gather requirements from different stakeholders in a quality and professional manner. Also, get experience using supply chain and logistics technology, and strengthen your math skills, especially statistics.

Note: C.H. Robinson, MercuryGate, and Ryder are Talking Logistics sponsors.