Name: Emily Penhallegon

Position/Industry: National Purchasing Manager/New Home Building

Graduate Degree/Concentration: MBA/Finance

Why did you choose this industry/field?

I chose a career in the building industry to drive meaningful and complex supply chain initiatives. I grew up in the lumber business and knew I wanted to continue my career in the building industry.

How did you strategize to get your career to where it is today?

I relied heavily on the network I built at Chapman from my classmates to mentorships and career services to get me where I am today. I also took advantage of the many opportunities Chapman offered to help me in creating my own path. Coming out of Chapman, I started as a purchasing analyst and from there grew into a national purchasing manager role at a top national home builder.

What career advice do you have for current students entering your industry in this job market?

It is definitely a new market out there. The evolution to working remotely and utilizing tools to connect virtually is key to success in the industry right now. A great mentor once told me that every experience is a learning opportunity to show you what you want to do, but just as importantly what you do not want to do. Not every step in your career will be the right one, but you can always learn from those experiences. Now more than ever it is important to build, sustain and expand your network. Be genuine, be open to feedback and always negotiate.

How did getting your degree from Chapman set you up for success on your career path?

Not only did Chapman teach me the strategic thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to my position, but I also took away key soft skills. Communication skills, work ethic, and teamwork have been a huge part of my career success.