Meet Kurt VanWormer, a 1977 Alumnus from Marine City, Mi. Kurt currently lives in Houston, Texas and serves on the Alumni board.
Brief Description of What You Do
I obtained a degree from NMU that was in Marketing.
I worked as a Sales Engineer after graduating from NMU. My sales background and education led to a position in Product Marketing. I finished my career in Supply Chain Management.
Industries I worked in include Electrical Power Distribution, Automotive, High Tech, and the Oil and Gas industry.
As a Sales Engineer I was responsible for working with design and construction engineers to sell the power distribution equipment they required for construction projects.
As a Product Marketing Manager, I was responsible for the sales/marketing, distribution, manufacturing, and the design of the product lines managed.
In Supply Chain Management I started as a Materials Manager and worked my way up to a Director of Supply Chain Management. My roles were to keep the raw material and components flowing through the manufacturing process while ensuring the quality, delivery and cost met the needs of the customer and the corporation.
What at NMU helped you most in your current role?
I received an outstanding business education at NMU. My NMU education opened the door for me to start my career. NMU also taught me that working hard for good grades translates directly into the workforce. Networking with fellow students is a skill that if learned in college will help you to network in your career with fellow employees and peers to help you can grow your career.
What advice would you give current students?
After you start your first job ensure your superiors know you are a hard worker. A fifty-hour week was the norm to get ahead. Network with people in your industry and within your company. If you network, jobs will come looking for you versus you looking a job. In the past you graduated from college and worked for the same corporation until you retired. Corporations no longer have loyalty to employees. Their loyalty is to their shareholders. Don’t be afraid to change jobs to grow your career.
When you are employed remember "your success will be measured by your results not by your effort". Employers want results not effort!
Are there personal interests and/or activities you care to share?
Traveling was always an interest of mine. The chances of travelling with your job are greater with a multi-national company than with a privately own local company. In my career I was able to travel to twenty-four countries. Even after retiring I keep in touch with my friends in Asia, Europe, Mexico, Central and South America.
My NMU experience continues today, in 2020 I was able to become a Board Member of the Alumni Association.
Its a great day to be a Wildcat!!!