RIT/NTID alumna finds success in supply chain management
RIT/NTID alumna Edie Wilson, ’21, B.S. in Business (Supply Chain Management) and ’22, M.S. in Business (Global Supply Chain Management) credits her career success in the supply chain management field to the skills, knowledge, and confidence she gained during her time at RIT.
Wilson works at healthcare supplier QuidelOrtho where she recently was promoted to indirect procurement associate. She previously worked for the company as a business analyst.
While at RIT, Wilson gained real-world supply chain experience by completing internships with two companies, including ITT Goulds Pumps and SnoBear. She excelled in her studies and was a member of RIT’s Supply Chain Management Club, where she gained valuable perspectives and insights from guest speakers, expanded her network, and developed connections with industry professionals.
Wilson also credits RIT for providing guidance and hands-on experience as she learned the analytical, leadership, problem-solving and decision-making skills needed for a career in supply chain management.
Please describe your current role as a business analyst at QuidelOrtho.
I work in the procurement department at QuidelOrtho, a supplier and manufacturer of medical lab equipment used to diagnose illnesses. My primary responsibility is to oversee transactions within our enterprise resource planning systems, which are central platforms that integrate and manage various processes across different departments. Additionally, I was part of a project that aimed to upgrade the system to accommodate and integrate QuidelOrtho’s merger and future enhancements. This project was particularly enjoyable for me as it allowed me to contribute to the company’s growth. My contract as a business systems analyst came to a successful end, and I'm happy to say that I transitioned to a full-time position at QuidelOrtho. In my new role as an indirect procurement associate, my focus has shifted more towards market intelligence, contracting, and establishing supplier relationships.
What made you interested in studying supply chain management at RIT and pursuing a career in this field?
I became interested in studying supply chain management because it seemed to be at the heart of how a company functions. I knew I wanted to work in a business-related role, but I wasn't drawn to marketing, sales, finance, or IT departments. What fascinated me about supply chain management is that it's like the glue that holds all the different parts of a company together. It involves planning, coordinating, and optimizing the flow of products, services, and information across the entire organization, which was something I felt my skills were fitted for.
RIT stood out to me because of its accessibility services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and the focus on staying attuned to new technology and digital tools that companies use to make their processes faster, smarter, and more efficient. My professor, Steven Carnovale, had a big influence on me, and he inspired me to pursue a master’s in this field after completing my bachelor’s. He taught me valuable analytical and leadership skills needed to design solutions and lead in the fast-paced global supply chain system. I'm excited about the potential to make a positive impact on QuidelOrtho through the effective practices I was taught at RIT.
How did your education at RIT help you prepare for a career in supply chain management?
My education at RIT’s Saunders College of Business was beneficial in preparing me for a career in supply chain management. Their emphasis on teamwork throughout my studies provided me with collaboration skills, which was something I felt like was lacking before I started college. The support, guidance, and feedback from the faculty inspired me to approach challenges from new perspectives and enhanced my analytical and decision-making skills. I gained hands-on experience that boosted my confidence in entering the workforce by engaging in real-life projects alongside other students. Additionally, the resources provided, such as resume-building assistance, mock interviews, and ongoing faculty support, were helpful for my career preparation. Thanks to RIT and Saunders College of Business, I feel well-equipped to succeed at QuidelOrtho.
What is a typical workday like within the supply chain industry?
A typical workday in the supply chain industry is a dynamic blend of problem-solving, communication, collaboration, data analysis, and continuous learning. In this field, there are various roles such as buyers, operational managers, data analysts, distribution managers, inventory managers, demand planners, and more. In my case, my workday takes place remotely from home. Since I've been with the company for less than a year, there are times when I face challenges that I haven’t encountered before. When I get stuck, I have Zoom meetings with my team member(s) and/or my manager. Together, we collaborate to find solutions and overcome any obstacles. This is one of the reasons I appreciate working at QuidelOrtho—the support from my colleagues and the learning opportunities they provide. Given the fast-paced and ever-evolving nature of the supply chain industry, adapting and thriving in this environment requires a blend of individual problem-solving and a strong foundation of collaborative teamwork.
How did your involvement in activities in student clubs and organizations help lead you to where you are today?
My involvement in activities with student clubs and organizations like American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) and the Crew/Rowing Team at RIT played a role in shaping my career. The APICS club focuses on learning about the supply chain management field, and my involvement provided me with insight and knowledge. We would have guest speakers, who shared their experiences and success stories in their supply chain careers, which gave me a broader perspective on the industry. I would also engage in discussions about supply chain disruptions and brainstorming potential solutions with other students in the club, which helped my problem-solving skills and critical thinking, both of which are important in my current career.
Additionally, my involvement with the Crew/Rowing Team taught me skills that have been invaluable in my professional life. The commitment and communication skills I developed while working with my teammates translated well into my role as a business analyst. Rowing taught me how to communicate effectively, collaborate with others, and understand the importance of teamwork, all of which are essential in a business setting.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am most proud of graduating from RIT with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. It feels amazing to have earned these degrees through hard work and dedication and to know that I have the knowledge and skills to succeed in my career. I am also proud of my involvement in the Women’s Crew/Rowing Team. The rigorous training and challenging races pushed me to constantly improve and surpass my own limits. I also value the strong bonds with my teammates and the shared goal of achieving victories as a team, which has been incredibly rewarding.
What advice do you have for RIT/NTID students?
My advice is don't be afraid to explore different fields, take advantage of career exploration programs, and seek advice from academic advisors or professionals in the industries you're interested in. Changing your major or career path doesn't mean you're starting over; it's a valuable learning experience that can lead you to the right path for your future success. Trust yourself, stay curious, and keep an open mind. Your journey might have some detours, but each step will help you discover your true passion and set you on the path to a fulfilling career.
What is something that people would be surprised to learn about you?
I am a triplet! I have two sisters, one identical and the other fraternal. Additionally, my favorite food is pho, which is a delicious Vietnamese soup dish. Lastly, I am a junkie for reality competition TV shows such as 'Survivor' and 'The Amazing Race.'