Indianapolis boasts several corporate headquarters—Eli Lilly and Company, Simon Properties, Rolls-Royce North America, and Cummins, to name a few—as well as 350 international firms located in the city, all of them with supply chain management demands.
“Amazon has a significant presence in Indianapolis, with three fulfillment centers,” says Sara Suarez, BS’14, Amazon area manager for North American fulfillment. “The Midwest has a logistic transportation hub that you won’t find in a lot of other areas of the country.”
An international student from Colombia, Suarez discovered supply chain management during her studies at Kelley Indy. Through participation in case competitions, site tours, and networking, she found that the process improvement element of operations appealed to her.
When Suarez applied to Amazon after graduation, she reached out to Mark Ippolito, senior lecturer in operations at Kelley Indianapolis, who connected her with an Amazon area manager for an informational interview to learn more about the job. Today, Suarez uses the process improvement lessons she learned at Kelley while she manages teams at Amazon.
“Process improvement has a very analytical focus, but you have to be creative with it, which is something I enjoy and something that Amazon values,” she says. “Besides managing my team to ensure all our customers are receiving their packages, I get to work on process improvement projects. Amazon lets us pitch and test our ideas to help us continuously improve on behalf of our customers."