Ever wondered what it takes to break into the dynamic world of Supply Chain?

We sat down with Maria Villablanca to explore her unique journey in this vital industry. From her unexpected start to navigating complex global supply networks.

Maria offers invaluable insights and practical advice for those looking to carve out a career in Supply Chain management.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, her story is sure to inspire your next move in this essential field.

Watch the video below!



Getting Into Supply Chain


One of the most intriguing aspects of the supply chain field is how people find their way into it. My own path was quite accidental, but that’s a story for another time. This week, we’re joined by Maria Villablanca, who shares her unique journey into the supply chain industry.


An Unexpected Journey into Supply Chain


Rob: Maria, it’s great to have you here. So, how did you get into supply chain?

Maria: It’s a common question and quite a story! Like many of my peers, I stumbled into supply chain by chance. Initially, I was set on becoming a lawyer and studied business at university. However, family circumstances forced me to leave school. I decided to take a chance on a supply chain job in Chile, working at a winery. My role started with handling import-export tasks—everything from bills of lading to sourcing and procurement, managing the entire manufacturing and supply chain process. I fell in love with the work almost immediately.


Discovering the Depths of Supply Chain


Maria: The complexity and variety within the supply chain sector are what drew me in. My position in the food manufacturing space, particularly in the winery, provided a comprehensive view of the entire supply chain—from farm to table. I spent about five years in this role, which even turned me into a bit of a wine snob! The experience in the 90s was unique and challenging, especially with the influx of foreign investments in Chile. Working closely with international companies was incredibly enlightening. Supply chains are the backbone of our world, ensuring everything from hospital supplies during the pandemic to potential future missions to Mars. It’s a critical field, and I love to highlight its importance whenever I can.

Rob: The supply chain industry indeed has a lot to offer. It’s appealing to those who love the intricacies of engineering and analytics. What advice would you give to someone looking to get into a supply chain job?

Maria: The pandemic has significantly elevated the profile of supply chains, making it a hot topic in mainstream media. For those interested in a supply chain job, it’s crucial to understand that this field is ripe with opportunities for innovation and driving change, particularly in sustainability. Supply chains are among the largest polluters, and working in this field offers a chance to impact consumption patterns positively. The skills needed are multifaceted—technical knowledge, commercial acumen, and operational expertise are all vital. Additionally, being purpose-driven and aiming for sustainable, equitable supply chains is essential.


Steps to Break into the Supply Chain Industry


Rob: What steps should someone take if they’re interested in starting a career in supply chain?

Maria: Begin by immersing yourself in content about supply chains—listen to podcasts, read articles, and watch videos. Networking is also crucial. Connect with industry professionals through events and online platforms. Universities offer excellent programs, and numerous trade associations provide valuable resources. There’s a high demand for new talent in supply chain jobs, and the opportunities are vast. So, be proactive, seek out information, and don’t hesitate to knock on doors.

Rob: Those are excellent tips! I always recommend joining local industry associations, meeting people, and starting to build a network.

Maria: Absolutely, networking is key.


Watch the full video above for more insights from Maria!


Connect with Maria here:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@MariaPVillablanca
Website: https://www.mariavillablanca.com/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariavillablanca/
And listen to Maria’s podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/transform-talks-the-supply-chain-transformation-podcast/

Related articles on this topic have appeared throughout our website, check them out:


Editor’s Note: The content of this post was originally published on Logistics Bureau’s website dated May 01, 2024, under the title “Why Choose Supply Chain As Your First Job?



Contact Rob O'Byrne
Best Regards,
Rob O’Byrne
Email: robyrne@logisticsbureau.com
Phone: +61 417 417 307