by Caleb White, SCRC Marketing and Communications Student Intern
Name: Daniel Gioia
From: Central Valley, NY
Course of Study: Business Administration, Supply Chain & Operations Concentration
Graduation: May 2020
What made you decide to come to NC State?
My family relocated down to North Carolina after I graduated high school when my dad received a promotion. I went to a community college when we first moved down here, and then I transferred to NC State after I received my Associate’s Degree. So far I really love it here. NC State is in Raleigh, which keeps me close to my family, and a few of my close friends actually go here, so it was an easy decision.
How did your experience at a community college help you transition to NC State?
It kind of got me out of the “not doing too much working and getting by with B’s” mode of high school, and taught me what I really needed to do and how I needed to study to better prepare for harder classes or exams that are really important. My time at community college really helped me mature in that sense, and also helped me focus on my time management skills. I even remember the summer I started at Wake Technical Community College, I was really impressed with the notes I took in one class, and even thought to myself, “I never took notes before now. Who am I!?”
What made you choose supply chain?
I was always interested in going into business and getting some sort of business degree. My dad has been working in sales for most of my life, and I’ve learned a lot from him and the different organizations that he’s worked for. But for supply chain specifically, I was going through the different concentrations that NC State offered, and supply chain just caught my eye. I’m not averse to math, so finance was also interesting, but I really didn’t like accounting after I took a few classes in it. I ended up thinking supply chain was really interesting, though, because of how it delves deeper into the operations of a business, and how a business is run, from the sourcing of materials to actually getting a product into the customer’s hands.
What do you like about NC State’s supply chain program?
What I really like is that it’s the only business program here at Poole that has its own recruiting event (the Supply Chain Recruiting Event), which has been really beneficial. All the professors are really amazing, too; they’ve all been really helpful and extremely knowledgeable about the topics and subjects that they’re teaching. I also like the different concentration classes — I’m thinking about taking a sourcing and procurement class next semester, which I think will be very beneficial. It’s also great having the opportunities the school provides to see how specific parts of supply chain work before getting into a job, because it let’s you find out what you do and don’t like, so you can see ahead of time what your interests really lie in.
You mentioned the Supply Chain Recruiting Event. Why did you decide to go this semester?
I’m graduating in May, so the goal was obviously to find a good job. And leading up to it, there was no reason not to go. Every professor was urging their students to go, and there was a lot of talk about all the different companies that were going to be there. One in particular that caught my eye — well there were a lot that were great — but one in particular was Dell. I think it would be a dream job to work for them. Just a few weeks before the recruiting event, the Supply Chain Club actually hosted a plant tour at their manufacturing plant in Apex, so I went and had the opportunity to meet some of the people that would be at the recruiting event. The event was a really fun experience, and I’m hoping to get some job offers from it.
How have you liked being a part of the Supply Chain Club?
It’s been pretty cool! Last year when I transferred here, I learned about it when I took my first supply chain class, BUS 370 (Operations and Supply Chain Management). I didn’t have an opportunity to go to many of their meetings, but I was able to go to some of their events, which were very fun. I also started to realize that supply chain was the path I wanted to go down at that point, so I figured I should be investing some of my time into what the Supply Chain Club is doing, because it was obvious it could be very helpful for me. This semester I’ve been trying to go to more of their meetings, and if I can’t, I’ll check my email for their agenda and see what they covered to make sure I stay up-to-date.
You’ve been working for Coca-Cola since December of last year. Can you describe your role and how you acquired that opportunity?
Initially, I got a job there through the Supply Chain Club. They had a plant tour there last year, and I found out they were looking for people to hire, so I applied and got the job. It was an entry-level job where there was a lot of manual labor, so that was tough, especially since I was working nights. I think they realized my potential, though, being a college student focused on supply chain and not just someone looking for work, so I was easily able to move into more of an operator’s role.
Now, my day-to-day involves helping to decide where each employee will be working each day, because you don’t want everyone working in the same exact area of the warehouse every day, because that would get really stagnant for them. I also go over the flow of the conveyors and the systems they have in the warehouse and making sure there are no faults, fixing them, and preventing them from occurring again so that we are always operating as efficiently as possible.
How do you balance your job with your school work?
Last semester I didn’t have Friday classes, and this semester is the same, so I’d work Thursdays through Saturdays. Thursdays would be long days, but I would just try to keep up with all my homework on Friday’s since I didn’t have any classes to worry about. The time management skills that I learned from community college definitely helped last semester because I was working more hours, but right now I’m working a lot less hours because I’m taking six classes, which has been a lot more demanding.
You were one of only five students to receive the Caterpillar Supply Chain Scholarship this year. How did you stand out from others to get this scholarship?
I learned about the opportunity last year through emails from PackAssist encouraging me to fill out a general application, and the Caterpillar scholarship was listed as a specific opportunity since I had already chosen supply chain as my concentration. I was extremely surprised to see that I was accepted for it, because it was the first scholarship that I had ever applied for. Before then, I thought, “I’m an okay student, I don’t really see myself getting a scholarship.” I didn’t even know that there were only five students chosen until recently, so I feel like I’m doing pretty well!
In the long run, what do you hope to accomplish in Supply Chain?
I’m really interested in sustainability and social responsibilities that companies can provide, and how they can change what they’re doing in supply chain to help meet those new standards. There’s so much change being talked about right now with climate and sustainably sourcing materials that is impacting (and will continue to impact) everyone around the world. So I think if I can help usher organizations into the new standards that they are going to be held to in these areas moving forward, I’d be really proud to help with those efforts.