June Alumni Career Profile
Benedict J. Mackiewicz III
Class Year: 1998
Major: Management Science-Operations
Henry S. Wolkins Co.
Describe your career path since graduation.
Inventory Manager, L. Knife & Son, Inc., Kingston, MA (1998-2001)
Inventory management and sales forecasting for the Anheuser-Busch & Guinness Import Co. wholesaler with market coverage from Weymouth, MA south to Middleboro/Lakeville area and east to Provincetown including Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
Buyer's Assistant-Produce Purchasing Department, Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc., West Bridgewater, MA (2001-2003)
Assisted lead buyers in the day to day activities of purchasing fresh produce from local farmers, regional produce distributors, and international importers. Assisted with special seasonal projects and promotions.
Buyer/Assistant Purchasing Manager, Henry S. Wolkins Co., Taunton, MA (2003-Present)
Generate purchase orders from various size suppliers. Could be a mom and pop small business to a multinational like 3M, Binney & Smith, Dixon, Sanford, etc. Quite often source new products and suppliers on-line. Attend annual trade shows to meet with current vendors and source new outlets of supply.
Storekeeper 3rd Class, US Coast Guard Reserve, Port Security Unit 301, Cape Cod, MA (2005 - Present)
Inventory management, purchasing, equipment dispersal, etc.
What is your current position and how long have you been with your employer?
Buyer/Assistant Purchasing Manager for approximately three years.
Describe the main responsibilities of your position.
I am responsible for generating purchase orders, investigating receiving discrepancies, dealing with freight claims, sourcing new products, on-line purchasing, supplier contract management and working with our salespeople to assist them with their customer's orders.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Finding new products and vendors is the most enjoyable. I most enjoy when a customer or one of our sales/customer service personnel has an item that they are looking for, and we currently do not stock it, or possibly not even know what manufacturer makes the item. Then the hunt begins! I try to get the best description of what the item exactly is, or even better, maybe just a photo of the item will help. Then I start digging. Sometimes it will result in a dead end, other times it will result in opening up brand new opportunities for the company as a whole.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
Trying to get the message across that sometimes an item/product may not be available at the drop of a hat. And getting our own salespeople to understand that sometimes in any industry there will be a "lead-time" to get an item brought into stock.
Describe your typical work week. (How many hours you work, your work environment, etc.)
My typical work week is Monday - Friday, 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM in an office/warehouse environment. Dress is usually business casual. Not all purchasing jobs will be the same, but for the most part, someone new to the field could expect similar hours and conditions.
What job search methods did you use to obtain your current position?
I found my current position through word of mouth. My first position out of BSC was found in the Boston Sunday Globe. It may have been the annual Big Help issue, where hundreds of classifieds get posted all at once.
What advice could you give to students interested in your field?
Try to find an industry that you have interest in. For me, being a recent college graduate and then going to work for a beer company was great! But seriously, if you've always had an interest in, say, bicycles, try to look for openings with a wholesaler/distributor, even better yet a manufacturer. This is where you will be exposed to "purchasing" in its truest sense. Not only will you deal with stock levels, but you will be exposed to the ins and outs of contract management with suppliers of raw materials, production schedules, sales forecasting, project management, etc. Don't rule out state or government work either.
Last Modified: May 31, 2006