Kendall Grafton

Grafton’s experience at the Haslam College of Business has given her the confidence to be prepared for an exciting and challenging career ahead.

Supply Chain Management - Student

Kendall Grafton, a senior studying supply chain management, is highly engaged in student life at the Haslam College of Business.

She is a member of the Greg and Lisa Smith Global Leadership Scholars program and serves as the president of NeXxus, a student-led supply chain organization focused on empowering and developing women. Grafton is also a peer mentor for the Business Administration 100 course and a member of both Scholars of Distinction and the Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity.

Grafton plans to pursue a career in supply chain and, while there are many sectors in the industry that she is interested in, primarily focus on customer-facing and data-driven work. She is eager to pursue a career in demand planning or customer supply chain. Grafton wants to work for a Fortune 500 or large private company operating on a global scale.

“The Haslam College of Business has done a fantastic job creating a well-rounded and established supply chain major,” says Grafton. “The success of this program has led us to be one of the top-ranked universities in the world for this discipline, and it attracts students from all over the country.”

Grafton has spent time at Maxus Global Media in London as a media planning intern, Nissan North America in Nashville as a remarketing finance intern, and SC Johnson & Son in Racine, Wisconsin in the supply planning function.

She has gleaned several takeaways from her time in the corporate sector thus far.

“When entering any industry, you should connect with senior leaders in your company,” says Grafton. “As millennials continue to enter the job force, it is incredibly important to develop relationships with older generations so that we can continue to learn more about each other. Do not be afraid to ask questions and explore why things are – or are not – done a certain way.

Grafton relies heavily on guidance from mentors and peers. A mentor of Grafton’s has relayed advice to her that she often shares with her peers: “Be Brave, Be Bold, & Be You!”

Additionally, Grafton has a clear vision of what makes a career successful.

“Participate in experiences that are value-adding and challenging, step out of your comfort zone throughout your education and early career,” she says. “When pursuing job opportunities, ensure that the company is a good fit for you and you are a good fit for the company. Everything else will fall into place.”

Grafton’s experience at the Haslam College of Business has given her the confidence to be prepared for an exciting and challenging career ahead.

“My favorite aspect of being a part of the Haslam College of Business is the unlimited access to opportunities,” says Grafton. “The resources range from job search assistance to organization involvement, study abroad opportunities and more. Our alumni are so supportive of our college and the activities that current students are participating in. They are heavily involved in recruiting efforts and make generous monetary donations. Without their support, our opportunities would not be as boundless as they are.”

Grafton believes that if, given the opportunity, every student should study abroad and that the Haslam College of Business does a great job providing the opportunity and funding. She participated in the Haslam College of Business First Year Study Abroad trip in Havana, Cuba, after her first semester in college. She also studied abroad in London for a semester during her sophomore year.

“Visiting Cuba sparked my interest for getting involved in organizations within our college,” says Grafton. “This short trip turned my college career in a completely different direction than I had envisioned. I highly encourage all freshman to take advantage of this incredible opportunity; it made such a positive impact on my professional and educational career.”

Grafton plans to stay involved as an alumna, hoping to provide the same resources that she received from so many alumni. Grafton also plans to pursue an MBA within the first five years of graduating.