Bronco Spotlight: Madison Thurston


Madison Thurston

Bachelor of Business Administration in integrated supply management, 2020

Supply Chain Representative for Marathon Petroleum Company

I will be supporting the supply chain department. This role consists of using the processes, systems, and controls by running reports and monitoring the enterprise system. I will support other members of supply chain team and also problem solve arising issues.

If you had a campus job or internship, how did they impact your career development?

I was able to participate in two internships during my student career at WMU. One, locally,  at MANN+HUMMEL. This was a long-term co-op. I worked there for a year and half in their Purchasing Department, while going to school full time. This was very impactful as I was able to use what I learned in class simultaneously while working. My next internship was with Marathon Petroleum Company. I moved to Kentucky for four months; taking my Fall 2019 semester off from WMU. It was very impactful, as I was lucky enough to receive a full-time offer from them. I learned that I was very capable of living so far from home. I was able to try a lot of new things and meet tons of people.

What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career?

I would say what prepared me the most was my mentors. They pushed me to be the very best. Courtney Patterson from MANN+HUMMEL, Nick Lehmann from MPC, and Edward Mulford from Haworth College of Business. Each pushed me during different times and different aspects of my college and internship career. They pushed me to try new things, push forward on challenges, and to be myself. Also, the resources on campus and off. The Zhang Career Center, Signature Program, SPuRS Program, Greek Community, and the people leading these amazing offices. I made worthwhile connections with the individuals running these programs. The additional resources on campus make a huge impact in the preparedness you graduate with. I feel prepared to take on this next chapter of my life due to the people I met at WMU, HCOB, and the mentors I gained along the way.

Which of your skills had the biggest impact on your success?

The skill I find most influential in my success is courage. If you want to get the most out of your college career, you need to have courage. There are many opportunities to try new things, meet new people, and have new and different challenges. It may seem easier to retreat and stick to what you know. But then you won’t grow! Join Greek Life, go to Bronco Bash, go to a CAB meeting, study aboard!  What is the worst thing that happens? You find out it you don’t like it and you don’t do it again. My motto is, “you’ll never know till you try, but you won’t have regrets.”

What experiences impacted the choice of your career path?

It is important to remember the faculty. I came to WMU majoring in Business Management. I was in discussion with a professor, and he said, “well with your background and personality, I think you are a good fit for ISM.” The next week, I switched my major. The faculty have seen hundreds of students go through the same situations as all of us. They know what they are talking about. Without that professor, I do not know what path I would be heading down now, but I’m happy to say I think he helped my pick the one that is going to make me the happiest.

What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?

This is for anyone. Unless you have a real reason to not relocate, try it out. I was dead set against moving out of West Michigan. I have grown up here and I know I won’t love anything as much as this area of the world. But there is so much out there to explore. I lived in Kentucky for four months, and it changed my perspective on leaving West Michigan. Home is always going to be home. But the thing about home, is you can always go back. The world is  out there to be seen, and you have no idea what it will bring unless you bust out of your comfort zone and try it out!

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