Supply chain grad finds community at KU School of Business

Spring 2022 graduate Eduarda Brum

Eduarda Brum came to the University of Kansas because she wanted community.

At 14, Brum moved from Porto Alegre, Brazil, to Minnesota. With limited knowledge of English, she struggled to adapt to the local culture. By the time she was looking at colleges, she was ready to leave the state behind when a recruiting group from KU happened to visit her high school.

“They had some seniors and juniors from KU that came in and the biggest thing they told us was the sense of community that KU had, how when you’re a Jayhawk, it’s this community of people. You are part of something — and that’s what I wanted,” she recalled. “After so many tough years, I wanted to be a part of something.”

As she prepares to graduate with a supply chain management major and minors in international business and Spanish this May, Brum said she found what she was looking for during her time at KU. She plans to stay in the Kansas City area as she begins a position as a global compliance and reporting services associate for RSM later this summer.

“Moving to Lawrence really made me love this area,” she explained. “I’d never been here before. I just feel like there’s such a big network of Jayhawks — and that’s everywhere in the country, don’t get me wrong — but in Kansas City, you just meet someone and tell them, ‘I’m a Jayhawk.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh my God, me too!’ You’re already friends.”

Finding the right fit

Brum’s job offer from RSM was one of five she received in the span of a single week. She worked in the corporate world since her freshman year, when she interned in Latin America Existing Accounts for Dell Technologies, a position that made use of her ability to speak English, Spanish and Portuguese. Next, she interned at Cargill, the country’s largest private company in terms of revenue.

After working year-round on top of being a full-time student, Brum wanted to make sure she was accepting a position after graduation she was truly excited about. She received offers from companies that are household names, but it was the position with RSM that caught her attention. The role will allow her to manage projects for companies in countries around the world and help them succeed.

“That sounded like my dream job,” she said. “I was so excited. I got to learn about so many cool countries, so many cool companies, and it was beyond consulting — it was project management, so I had the opportunity to learn two different fields. I took that job on the spot.”

Reflecting on her job search, Brum encourages others to think more about the role they are being offered and the workplace culture rather than the company name.

“It would be cool for me to sit here and tell you I work for Google, I work for Apple,” she said. “Sounds like a really cool company, right? But in reality, what matters is your position, and I really wish more people understood that. Because it doesn’t matter if you work for the coolest company ever — if you don’t like what you do, you’re going to be miserable.”

Rock Chalk forever

Brum had the support of School of Business faculty as she navigated her job decisions. Professor of the practice Dan Galindau was one of the first people she reached out to about the RSM offer, which didn’t directly involve the supply chain industry and felt out of her comfort zone.

“I emailed Dan about it and he was like, ‘You can do it,’” Brum said, adding that his International Management course was one of her all-time best KU experiences. “Basically, he’s the person that helped me get in the field and taught me the worth of my work.”

Also influential has been professor of the practice Tom Patton, the advisor for KU’s Supply Chain Management Club. Brum served the club as the vice president of outreach and enjoyed traveling across the country with the club to meet with industry employers. The student organization also helped her forge connections with other women who share her major.

“There’s not a lot of women in the supply chain field,” Brum noted. “I really hope that is changing now. When I started in the program, there were like four or five girls in each class, tops. And now I see 10 — it really has increased. But to have that small group of women in a male-dominated field really made us feel at home.”

It all comes back to that sense of community for Brum, and as she prepares to start the next phase of her career, she is already looking to return to KU.

“I’m definitely coming back for an MBA, I can tell you that!” Brum said, adding that she wants to gain more industry experience before pursuing the degree to make the most of the experience. “That’s something I really want to do at KU.”

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Stories highlighting School of Business students graduating as part of the Class of 2022

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KU School of Business

KU School of Business

Stories about the students, alumni, faculty and staff of the University of Kansas School of Business.

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