Testimonial: Kelly Calvert, Production Manager

A Wood Products graduate in the Business and Marketing option, Kelly became the Production Manager for Lewis Lumber Products. Learn about her education, interests and career path.

My degree:

B.S. 2002, Wood Products
Business & Marketing Option

My job:

I am the Production Schedule Manager for Lewis Lumber Products. I’m responsible for scheduling the movement of work throughout our yard and mill area. Once a salesman enters a customer’s sales order into our system it is my responsibility to then enter a work order for each individual item sold. The work order has all of the information that the yard and mill employees need to produce the product. I’m also responsible for printing up a daily schedule for our machine operators of what needs done on each machine.

Educational path:

I started out as horticulture major because I had worked at a tree nursery after school and during the summers. I thought it was what I wanted to do. After one semester of coursework I began to think that horticulture wasn’t for me and started looking to see what else was out there. I knew that I wanted to stay in the college of Agriculture. I began looking into the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management because my brother had a degree in forestry and his job at a lumber company seemed interesting. I got onto the Department website and began reading about the different degree programs offered. When I finished reading about the Wood Products program I knew that was what I wanted to do. I decided that the business and marketing path was right for me, changed my major the spring of my freshmen year and never looked back.

Average day on my job:

An average day for me starts when I get to work around 6:30 am. First thing I do is check for any changes in the day’s shipments that were made after I went home the previous day. I then check my voicemail, email, and sales entered for any changes that need to be made to orders in house, or any new orders entered. The rest of the day is spent entering work orders, verifying specs, and preparing the next day’s schedule. I keep up with what is going on the mill floor by tracking the paperwork that is turned in from each work station and conversations I have throughout the day with our production facilitator. We also have a meeting every day where representatives from production, sales, purchasing, and trucking gather to talk about orders placed in the last 24 hours. This allows us to deal with any problems that may arise, get answers to questions about orders, and for the sales department to give us a heads up on work being quoted.

What I like most about my job:

My favorite thing about my job is that no two days are ever the same and things are always changing (sometimes even hour to hour.) I’m also lucky in that I have a great group of people that I get to work with everyday.

Skills necessary to do my job well:

Organization and attention to detail is very important in this job. To schedule an order I need to be able to coordinate incoming shipments of lumber, work load in the mill on any given day, and delivery dates. It is also my responsibility when entering work orders to insure all specifications for making a product are entered correctly. Computer skills are a must because almost everything I do involves the computer. I had to learn how to maneuver through our operating system to get the information that I need quickly and accurately. It has also been key in my ability to track machine downtime in the mill and customer buying habits. Good communication skills are also a must because my job requires me to communicate with people in every department on a daily basis.

Advice to students:

Don’t think that if you choose one option in the degree program over the other that you are locked into a certain career path. I took the Business and Marketing option but have ended up in a manufacturing based job. The coursework and professors in this major ensure that you have the ability to adapt to whatever type of career you decide to pursue post graduation.

What I enjoyed most about the Wood Products major:

My favorite things about the wood products major were the small class size and the professors. The small class sizes ensured that I was more than just a number. All of the professors were very approachable and willing to answer any questions I had. Together the small class size and the professors create an environment that allow you to excel in the program as long you are willing to take advantage of the opportunities given to you.

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