John (right) with his brother, Jacob (Left)

Name: John Cavey

Degree/Major/Graduation year: Supply Chain and Operations Management, Summer 2009

Current Employer and Position: Global Supply Chain Analyst and Buyer for Mercury Marine

Current City: Fond du Lac, WI

Food you couldn’t live without: Cornpops Cereal

Favorite Hobbies: Anything active, whether it’s soccer, basketball, mountain biking, hiking, etc.

Favorite movie: Favorite movie of All-Time is Usual Suspects, Anchorman is a close second

Favorite class taken or professor at UWO and why: My favorite class while at UWO was the capstone, Business 455. It was interesting to bring together each of the different majors, and see the difference in thinking, prioritizing, etc., in a team atmosphere. My favorite teacher is Dr. Godfrey. He set the framework and knowledge for a lot of what I do on a daily basis, and his enthusiasm for the topic is something that transfers to a lot of his students, including myself.

What were you involved in while at UWO (clubs, sports, internships, ect)? I was involved in a few intramurals, as well as the APICS Student Chapter.

How did you get your first job after graduation? I actually made a tough choice back in Jan. 2009 to delay my graduation from the spring to the summer, picking up an independent study, and taking Business 492, in order to accept an offer for my second internship with Mercury Marine. I worked there as a Co-Op till Aug. 2009, after which, I was hired on as a contract employee, traveling to our Juarez, Mexico plant every three weeks. Then in Jan. 2010, I was hired as a full Mercury employee. While it was a long process, taking a few risks along the way certainly paid off.

How does your current career path differ from your college ideals? There were a few things that came as a shock right out of college, probably the biggest was the speed at which decisions had to be made, and the authority I had to make them. In my first month on the job, we took an inventory loss on a component, and in order to keep our production line running, I needed to arrange a special carrier who would pick up the parts in Chicago and deliver them to Fond du Lac within the same day. A little nervous, I asked my boss if it was okay to spend the $500, and she looked at me blankly, not sure if my concern about spending $500 to keep a 60-person assembly line running was a serious question. With situations like the volcano in Europe last summer, the tsunami in Japan in March, etc., there are ways to be proactive, but there’s a small window in which a timely and accurate decision can prevent major costs, possibly months later.

A second is that while I enjoy the numbers aspect of my work, helping train and mentor other individuals and developing relationships is something that I have really come to enjoy. At Mercury, this is emphasized because of our global operations, so its awesome to find yourself on a random day sitting at lunch with a Commodity Manager from China, an Analyst from Mexico, and a VP from Canada, and learning the different cultural aspects and building relationships.

What is your best piece of advise for current COB students? There’s obviously a few that are hit on quite frequently. Networking is huge, taking risks is another. Further education, whether it’s a master’s degree, or certifications, such as a CPIM or CSCP in the supply chain field, can really help distinguish someone. But probably the best advise I can give, is to just enjoy what you’re doing. There’s always another work day, so it’s huge to find something that’s enjoyable on a daily basis.