As an undergraduate student at Fisher, Sarah Chrobak (Jadwin) took advantage of a number of programs that helped shape her into what she is today — a manufacturing complex leader for Owens Corning in Kansas City, Kansas.
Sarah (BSBA ’14) shares how her Fisher experience set her on the path to becoming one of the Institute for Supply Management’s 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars.
Graduating from Ohio State meant….
The absolute world to me — it’s so much more than just answering ‘’where did you go to school?” Being able to say that I graduated from The Ohio State University gives me an immense sense of pride and gratitude. Ohio State truly helped shape me into who I am today, and I am forever grateful to the university for my experiences, I am so proud to say I went to Ohio State – I am truly a Buckeye for life!
Tell us about some of your recent accomplishments.
After graduating from Fisher, I started with Owens Corning in its Sourcing Leadership Development Program (SLDP). The rotational program was a great opportunity to experience a number of roles very quickly, so I was constantly out of my comfort zone and in a personal growth mindset.
After the SLDP, I had the chance to lead one of the transformational projects in our Global Sourcing organization aimed at redesigning how we do sourcing at more than 100 of our manufacturing facilities across the globe. It was a ton of change management, as we were redesigning not only the way we do business with our suppliers, but also changing the “way of life” for our internal buyers with many different years of experience, various languages and cultural differences.
The project delivered over $10 million in cash impact in its first year of implementation and has a very bright future ahead. It was such an exciting project to be a part of, and I am truly fortunate to have experienced a project of this scale this early in my career.
Recently, I was recognized as part of the Institute for Supply Management’s 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars for 2018.
How has Ohio State/Fisher equipped, prepared you or made a difference in your career?
When I first started at Fisher, I was a marketing major. It wasn’t until my first accounting course, that the famous Professor Marc Smith really struck a chord with me. He made me realize that in order to have credibility in the business world, you must understand the language of business — the numbers!
At that point, I changed my major to accounting and really started my journey to find my niche in how I would eventually market myself to future employers. I leveraged a number of Fisher’s programs, such as the Dean’s Leadership Academy and the Industry Immersion program, to learn as much as I could and as fast as I could. Because of Fisher, I was able to find my passion between business and manufacturing.
I graduated from Fisher with a degree in accounting, a minor in engineering sciences and a ton of experience in communications. My first role out of school as in sourcing/procurement and now, five years into my career, I am working in an operations role at an insulation manufacturing facility.
Fisher gave me such a great opportunity to round myself out as a multi-dimensional and diverse business athlete and, because of that, I don’t ever see myself working in the same function for the next 30 years of my life. Rather, I think of myself as a cross-functional team member and as a leader who can tackle different challenges and think out of the box.
What service (community, military and/or philanthropic) did you participate in at Ohio State/Fisher while a student? And what service have you been involved in since you graduated?
While at Ohio State, I participated in BuckeyeThon and supported other charities through my Scholars program (Media, Marketing and Communication Scholars). Since graduating, I have worked within my company to coordinate multiple charity events across the globe. We have worked with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, the Aurora House (women’s shelter) and the Pack Shack (hunger).
Do you have a favorite business faculty member or mentor who helped shape who you are today?
Dr. Neil Drobny was one of my favorite professors during my time at Fisher, and we actually still talk regularly! I met Dr. Drobny through the Energy and Sustainability Industry Immersion program that I participated in my junior year. One of the first lessons he taught us was that sustainability is so much more than just a “going green” fad — it is part of the recipe of success for companies. He demonstrated that with his breadth and depth of experience from his years in the environmental consulting industry. His passion and energy toward sustainability is contagious!
What is your favorite business school-related memory from Ohio State or Fisher?
I had the chance to participate in the Dean’s Leadership Academy, and the course was transformational for me. It taught me the importance of truly knowing yourself. I remember the exact moment and feeling when we all received our 360-degree survey results during class. It was eye-opening to say the least! Sometimes the results of those surveys aren’t what you want, but it’s always what you need to hear. I look at this course and the moments I had in it as some of the most pivotal moments for me during my education at Fisher.
What advice would you give to a current student or recent Fisher graduate?
Very early in my career, a mentor told me that no one cares more about your career and development more than you do. It might sound direct and harsh, but it’s the truth: It’s truly up to you. While career development can feel overwhelming, it’s easier if you break it into small steps: Set up networking meetings, ask questions about open roles and create your own development plan. Others will see that you are taking your development seriously, which will come back to repay you in your career.
Did you have a favorite spot on campus? Why was it special?
Nowhere beats the 'Shoe during a football game on an autumn Saturday! It’s so full of tradition, passion and energy that I get sentimental just thinking about it.