Where Are They Now? Laura Suprenant '12

What did you study at Simmons?

Mathematics and economics.

What was the job application process like for you?

The job application process was a bit unique for me. I attended an information session that Hannaford conducted through the Career Education Center during my senior year at Simmons. It was to recruit college seniors for Hannaford Supermarket’s Retail Management Trainee Training Program. I found the company to be very interesting and decided to give the job a try. After one year of training, I earned an Assistant Store Manager role with the company. I worked with Hannaford for 2 more years, before deciding I wanted to do more with my degree and math/econ background. I developed a profile and posted my resume on Monster. I was soon contacted by numerous recruiters and began researching various companies – eventually obtaining the replenishment specialist role at BJ’s Home Office.

What is a typical day like at your job?

A typical day for me consists of the following: 
  • Placing orders using E3 and SAP, correcting problems in these systems and ensuring orders are processed efficiently
  • Responding to inventory issues/questions/concerns from clubs throughout the chain
  • Communicating with vendors and following up on their performance issues
  • Researching out of stock problems, identifying solutions and communicating those solutions to the proper parties 
  • Planning for promotional activities and forecasting demand

What is your favorite part of your job?

It challenges my critical thinking and analytical skills. There’s always more to learn and consider with every problem you face. And they offer yoga and Pilates classes during your lunch break!

How did you know the organization was a good fit for you?

I made it a habit while researching companies to get a good sense of their core values. BJ’s values its people. The company understands the payoffs in investing in their people, building their team and helping team members to succeed. The company gives back to the community and encourages their employees to do so as well.

What was your favorite class you took at Simmons? Why?

Econometrics with Professor Sohrabji. There were only a handful of us in the course, so we were able to really support each other and work together to succeed. The project was challenging, but the presentation at the end of the semester was one of my most rewarding memories at Simmons.

If you could come back and take one class at Simmons what would it be?

Physics! I was happy to not have to take it as a math major. I was intimidated. But I regret not taking it for its real-world applications.

How has it been transitioning into a young professional?

The transition was scary and kind of surreal. It’s an unusual feeling when you start your career – you’re actually responsible for something other than your own education.

How did Simmons help prepare you for your career?

My four years at Simmons gave me a huge amount of confidence and positive self-esteem. The Economics Department, specifically, went above and beyond to make sure their students were prepared for the real world. Things like mock interviews and the student-alumnae networking dinner provided me with such a wonderful network of professionals to lean in to. Simmons was such a supportive community; I know to this day if I have an issue, I can go back to get a helping hand.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Hopefully leading a team of people toward a common goal, what that goal is yet I’m not sure. But I want to lead. I want to help people achieve and to succeed in a career path that they see as fulfilling.

What advice would you give to the current Simmons undergraduate students?

Don’t settle in a role that you don’t truly enjoy, and don’t sell yourself short. If you want to use the skills you know you have, then don’t be afraid to reach for a new career or try something completely different. Building your resume while you’re young is okay. Just don’t burn your bridges in the process!
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