Taking the Driver’s Seat of My Career: Kevin’s Supply Chain Story

Are you a hardworking individual with a desire to grow your career in a team-oriented environment? A supply chain career with UPMC could be the best place to start! Throughout the month of March, read the stories of four individuals who found meaningful careers on the supply chain teams of UPMC, and why they’d recommend pursuing a spot with UPMC supply chain. 

***

By Kevin Fritz, Corporate Supply Chain, Warehouser/Machine Operator 

My name is Kevin Fritz, and this is the story of how I took the driver’s seat of my supply chain career at UPMC.   

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, I graduated from Penn State University with a degree in business administration. For the first seven years of my career, I worked in New York and Connecticut with Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. I started with a number of different roles as a sales/area manager with Macy’s. From there I joined Saks Fifth Avenue and had an opportunity to manage the full-cycle recruitment for a new store in Connecticut. After a successful opening of the Connecticut store, I was offered the chance to relocate back to Pennsylvania and open the Saks Fifth Avenue off 5th in the North Hills.  

“I was excited with the potential that UPMC has to offer, so it was an exciting time for me and a chance to start a new chapter…Though it felt like a big risk to come back to Pittsburgh and take on this new role, I am glad I took a chance.”

For pretty much the entirety of my time in retail, I experienced many ups and downs. Some months were very successful, others, not so much. I had always wanted to change fields, as retail is a rather unstable industry and has a grueling schedule. However, I feared having to give up all the time and effort that I had invested into my early career. When I moved home to Pittsburgh, I figured this was the best time and opportunity to start fresh and find a company with great potential and opportunity. That company was UPMC.  

My transition to the role of warehouser/machine operator at UPMC was pretty smooth, even though I was undergoing a complete career change. I was excited with the potential that UPMC has to offer, so it was an exciting time for me and a chance to start a new chapter. There were always people around to answer my questions and provide me with valuable insight on how to improve in my role. 

In an entry-level role, I’ve realized that you will learn the intangibles as you go. Mistakes will be made and lessons will be learned, but hard work and effort should never be sacrificed. An entry-level role has shown me the importance of will vs. skill. I don’t have years of experience in this field or know the detailed ins and outs of our day-to-day operations; that is something that will come over time and something I can’t necessarily control. What I can control is showing up to work every day on time and ready to put in the effort needed to get the job done for myself and my team in whatever capacity required.  

Though there are chaotic days and challenges in our work, what sticks out is how everyone rallies on these days and works together to get the job done. Whether it’s employees from the office, managers, analysts, or team leads, everyone joins in to work together to get back on track. Honestly, from the day that I first stepped foot in the warehouse, this was my experience; no matter what role someone held, everyone was so willing to offer help, answer questions, and teach me new things. Whether it’s a team lead, a veteran, or someone who just started, there is a contagious sense of helping your fellow workers and creating a positive impact on others’ days.  

Whether it’s a team lead, a veteran, or someone who just started, there is a contagious sense of helping your fellow workers and creating a positive impact on others’ days.

As I reflect on my time with UPMC so far and I think about the future, I would like to keep growing with this company, taking on roles with a larger scope of responsibility. Right now, I manage myself and my individual workload, but recently I had the opportunity to train some of our new employees. I really enjoyed being the one to welcome them to the team and teach them the best practices of our warehouse operations and picking process. I would like to progress to more of these kinds of opportunities to lead others, lead other leaders, and eventually lead strategies and initiatives.  

Though it felt like a big risk to come back to Pittsburgh and take on this new role, I am glad I took a chance. If anyone out there is thinking about starting a supply chain career like this at UPMC, let my experience be your guide. This role will teach you about operations and the behind-the-scenes aspect of UPMC, and if you’re willing to show up every day and put in the work, you’ll have the opportunity to be in the driver’s seat of your career.  

***

Take the driver’s seat of your career at UPMC

A career with UPMC provides opportunities to achieve the goals you have for your career and your personal life. Explore a career path with supply chain and learn more about the opportunities you can pursue to get you to where you want to be.