Where are they now? Patrick Mack, Class of 2012
Completing a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management in 2011 and a master’s in the same field in 2012—both as SBE—Patrick Mack has gone on to enjoy a career that has taken him from the Netherlands to work in three different countries, learn two new languages, and travel extensively. He shares with us his story to date.
From SBE to Eaton
‘In September 2012, I graduated with a masters in International Business, majoring in Supply Chain Management. Looking back, studying at Maastricht University (UM) was an exceptional experience on a personal level, but quite typical of any UM student. Living in Belgium the first year—because housing in the city is so difficult to come by—and crossing the border to the Netherlands by bike every day, spending a semester abroad on ERASMUS (Strasbourg, France—best six months of my life!), being part of a study association (go SCOPE 3MA!) and going to class with people from different cultures: the list of unique experiences goes on, but I am positive that any current student or alum knows what I’m talking about.
‘During my time as a student, particularly toward the end of my studies when students start looking for career opportunities, I noticed that the majority of my peers and former students all drifted toward consulting. Whether it be IT consulting, the big ones, in-house consulting departments, you name. As part of the pull, naturally I applied to do the same. Unfortunately, none of that worked out for me. I had the good fortune to be approached by a recruiter for a little-known company called Eaton, to work as a Trainee in Supply Chain and Logistics, near Bonn, Germany.
On my way to Oslo
I ended up being at Eaton for seven years. I’ll never forget the day when, only four months into my role as trainee in Germany, the phone rang and my boss's boss was on the phone. In his best Birmingham accent, we had the following conversation:
“Mr. Mack! What do you think about working in Norway?”
“Okay! We will send you up for three months. We will do this, this and this. . . .”
“Um, okay. When do you want me to go? What’s the timeline?”
That was it. The call took place on a Monday. The following Tuesday, I was on a plane to Oslo. The three months eventually turned into a year and a half, during which I was promoted to Supply Chain Manager, took on additional responsibilities for the Norwegian business at a 3PL located in Sweden, and implemented a SAP system as local Business Process Owner. Coincidentally, during my time there, Oslo was a designated pilot site for a massive SAP implementation project in the region.
I must have done something right, because after my time in Norway and the go-live of SAP onsite, I moved back to Germany and was drafted into the project team full time. Thus, I spent the next two years implementing SAP in all Eaton sites across Europe, including Austria, Czech Republic, Romania and Germany. It was a huge learning experience, gaining understanding of the multiple facets of SAP and how it connects with real-world business.
The story continues
Admittedly, I would have never expected to last three years in that position. It was tough—really tough—but at the same time it gave me the experience and exposure for my next role.
In 2020, after seven years at Eaton, I decided to leave and to join one of their suppliers who offered me a job. They had decided to open a new factory in Romania. Strangely enough, it is right next to one of the Eaton plants where I had initially implemented SAP in 2016. So, I have joined as a Plant Manager, which has since then evolved into a GM position. Now the story continues. . . .
I don’t really have any wisdom I wish to impart of anybody. LinkedIn is full of stories like that. I’m just a guy who attended college and then went on his way. We all have our “where are you now” stories. This is mine.’
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