Alum feature: Emily Wagner-Davis

Senior Analyst, SCM Tactical Deployment
adidas North America Supply Chain

Briefly describe your career path and what led you to choose The School of Business:

Prior to joining the MSGSCM program, I worked as an assistant buyer. I had an underlying desire to bring more value to the world through supply chain. When I was researching programs, I was impressed by the focus on sustainability that Portland State offered. The focus on sustainability was very attractive to me and made the choice very easy. I truly believe that we have the opportunity to create a supply chain we are proud of that doesn’t hinder our world.

What does the average day in your current role at Adidas look like?

At Adidas I work under our deployment function. The beauty of the function I am under is that we get to partner with business partners within supply chain, as well as outside of supply chain. An average day for me encompasses risk mitigation, strategy updates and execution, working with business partners to ensure product is where it needs to be when it needs to be there. The combination of activities honestly makes it exciting and empowers me to continually grow.

What drew you to the MSGSCM program, in particular?

What drew me to the MSGSCM program was the specific focus on supply chain. I had people tell me that an MBA would be sufficient, but I wanted to be more pointed in my decision. All industries rely on supply chain so I knew that I would be able to use what I learned throughout my entire career.

What skills gained at PSU have you found most valuable in your career?

The skill that I was able to gain at PSU which I would like to focus on is the ‘juggling’ that the program requires. Not only are students required to learn multiple subjects, but in each class I specifically remember working with groups. I collaborate in my job every single day. It is incredibly important to learn the art of partnership in business, communicating with others within and outside of supply chain, and combining multiple processes.

What inspires you?

What inspires me is the knowledge that as a supply chain whole, we are able to positively impact our world and environment. Whether this be through maximizing transportation, enabling a circular economy product, or continually improving our supply chain; I wholeheartedly believe that together we can do good things for this world. Whenever I get discouraged, I remind myself that together we are more powerful.

What advice do you have for current or prospective graduate business students who are interested in your field?

The advice I have for those who are interested in supply chain is to get an internship. Personally, I wish I had done that just to see what I would be doing or get some type of exposure. I truly feel that multiple experiences in the field are invaluable. Whether that be a small local company or a larger corporation, in my opinion, a variety of experiences can provide guidance for career choices.

What does “redefining business” mean to you?

To me, redefining business means continually revisiting topics to ensure growth and bettering the processes that are set. It can be easy to fall into the mindset that what we are doing is the best. However, if we always think that, we are never making what we do better. Redefining business is committing to be ever-changing and committing to think outside the box and to listen to new ideas. Remember, it is okay to fail, as long as you learn and try again.

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