Curious about a career in Supply Chain? Wondering how to get started? Our recent conversation with Maria Villablanca explores her journey in the industry and offers valuable advice for those looking to enter this dynamic field.

Whether you’re just starting out or considering a career change, Maria’s insights could provide the guidance you need to embark on your own supply chain career path.

Watch the video below!



How People Get Into Supply Chain: A Conversation with Maria Villablanca


One of the things that truly fascinates me is how people end up in the supply chain field. I fell into it quite by accident, but that’s a story for another day. In this video, we’re talking with Maria Villablanca to learn about her journey into the supply chain industry.


Rob: Maria, it’s great to connect again. How did you find yourself in the supply chain field?

Maria: It’s a question I get asked a lot. For many of us, especially those of us who have been in the field for a while, we sort of stumbled into it. I originally wanted to be a lawyer and studied business, but due to family reasons, I had to leave university. I took a leap and accepted a supply chain job in Chile, working in a winery. Initially, I was involved in what was then called import-export—dealing with bills of sourcing, procurement, and managing the entire manufacturing and supply chain process. I quickly fell in love with the work.


Unveiling the Complexity of Supply Chain


Marie: I was captivated by the complexity and variety within the supply chain sector. My role in the food manufacturing space, particularly in the winery, opened my eyes to the intricate processes from farm to table. I spent about five years there, and it even made me a bit of a wine snob! Working in supply chain during the 90s was different and challenging. There was significant foreign investment in Chile, and collaborating with various international companies was an eye-opener. Supply chains literally make the world go round. During the pandemic, for instance, they kept hospitals supplied and essential goods flowing. It’s a field that’s vital to our daily lives, and I love emphasizing that.

Rob: The supply chain industry is indeed fascinating. There’s a lot of engineering involved, and it appeals to those who enjoy analytics. What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a supply chain job?

Maria: The pandemic has raised the profile of supply chains. It’s now a topic in mainstream media, which is fantastic. For those looking to get into a supply chain job, it’s important to understand that this field offers opportunities to innovate and drive significant change, especially in sustainability. Supply chains are among the biggest polluters, and working in this field provides a chance to change consumption patterns and promote sustainability. The skills required aren’t just technical; commercial and operational skills are also crucial. You need to be purpose-driven, aiming for sustainable and equitable supply chains free from forced labor.


Steps to Enter the Supply Chain Field


Rob: What steps should someone take to start a career in supply chain?

Maria: Start by consuming content—podcasts, articles, and videos about supply chains. Networking is also key. Connect with professionals through industry events or online platforms. Universities offer excellent programs, and there are numerous trade associations that can provide valuable resources. The demand for new talent in supply chain jobs is high, and the opportunities are vast. So, knock on doors and seek out as much information as possible.

Rob: Excellent tips! I always tell people to join local industry associations, meet others in the field, and start building their network.

Maria: Absolutely, 100%.

Rob: Maria, it’s been a pleasure talking to you. Thanks for sharing your insights. We’ll include some links for our audience to follow your work and learn more about supply chains. Thanks for joining us.

Maria: Thank you, Rob. It was great to be here.


Connect with Maria here:

And listen to Maria’s podcast here:


Related articles on this topic have appeared throughout our website, check them out:


Editor’s Note: The content of this post was originally published on Logistics Bureau’s website dated May 01, 2024, under the title “Why Choose Supply Chain As Your First Job?


Contact Rob O'Byrne
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Rob O’Byrne
Phone: +61 417 417 307