School: Middle Tennessee State University
Graduation Date: May 2014
“Our program is a huge networking opportunity, from start to finish. There are so many professionals and/or fellow students that are always willing to discuss ideas or help. Without these people, I know that I would be a much different person than I am, and I would not be so passionate about my career.”
WE RECENTLY ASKED TAYLOR, a 2014 graduate of the CIM program at Middle Tennessee State University, a few questions about what she has been up to since her graduation almost five years ago.
Where are you currently working and what are your main responsibilities?
I am the Transportation Manager and purchasing agent for Oldcastle. I am responsible for maintaining proper inventory levels to meet our production and sales needs, as well as making sure the quality product makes it to the destination in a timely manner. Pretty much, if it comes in or out of our plant, it goes through me.
I had actually applied for a different position at Oldcastle, but the position was filled just a few days before my interview. My interviewers told me that they could see a fire inside me, and that they had another position that I could fill, so I became a purchasing agent. A few months later, I also became the transportation manager. I never saw myself in either of these roles, but that just goes to show that you never know where you should be until you get there.
How has the CIM program prepared you for your current job responsibilities?
CIM stands for much more than just Concrete Industry Management; CIM is more of a driving force in the fact that you want to do your best and you have an industry that will back you. The program teaches that you are capable of doing much more than you ever thought was possible, and that you just have to continue pushing to learn, explore, and grow.
Why did you choose the CIM program?
Many years ago, my dad’s best friend had mentioned that MTSU was beginning a “concrete school” and that I should look into it because the possibilities would be endless. I think I was 8 years old at the time, so I really didn’t care, but I looked up to him and I always kept it in the back of my mind. Years later, I transferred back to Murfreesboro from my original college career and just couldn’t stop thinking about what “Big Blake” had told me years before. I went in the CIM building and met a few students and teachers and just listened to them talk about their classes and internships. I realized there was so much more to this degree. It wasn’t the most traditional way to choose my major, but I’m very proud to have graduated from the CIM program.
What advice would you give to current CIM students?
My advice would be to take advantage of every single opportunity you are given, whether it’s appealing to you or not. Never give up. You must go after the things that you want and you have an entire industry to help you get there. Don’t be afraid to work hard and never think anything is “beneath” you. Always be proactive and forward thinking, but most of all, definitely stay involved with the program. Join the Patrons group, go to fundraisers, speak in classes, share your story and show everyone else that this is a great industry in which to grow.