Business Management Grad Working as a Supply Chain Specialist at Boeing
Born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and later Washington state, Mazarine Ebengho is a former FIDM Fashion Club President who earned degrees in Apparel Industry Management and Business Management. After graduating from FIDM in 2018, she moved back to the Pacific Northwest to pursue a masters degree in Supply Chain Management from University of Washington, and today she is a Supply Chain Specialist for Boeing.
How did you come to attend FIDM? Fashion was my first love. I knew that I wanted to work in fashion since I was about 10 years old. When my family moved to the U.S., I knew right away that I had the opportunity to make that dream come true. I found out about FIDM and FIDM Fashion Club during my first year at Clover Park High School. I was immediately drawn by everyone’s creativity and embraced by their kindness.
Although I was intimidated to join because English was my third language, everyone welcomed me with open arms and the Fashion Club became my small after-school family. By my second year, I became the Fashion Club President. It was not only my first leadership opportunity, but also an opportunity to expand my creativity and develop new artistic skills. After winning the FIDM Fashion Club Scholarship in 2016, I finally had the opportunity of attending my dream school.
What made you choose Apparel Industry Management and then the Business Management Program at FIDM? I chose Apparel Industry Management because I was very interested in the operational side of fashion. Even though I was creatively gifted, I was fascinated by what happened behind the scenes to bring clothes to the market. Things like manufacturing, retail buying, and freight forwarding really interested me.
My ultimate goal while attending FIDM was to learn how to improve manufacturing processes in fashion, shorten lead time, and offer customers high quality garments. Both majors helped me reach those goals. I was able to develop business acumen, leadership skills, and industry knowledge. The skills I developed while at FIDM and the diversity of experience I acquired came in handy throughout graduate school and in the workplace.
What were some highlights of your time at FIDM? The Industry Expos were definitely my highlights. I really enjoyed attending those career events and got the opportunity of networking with talented individuals and expand my horizons. Furthermore, having the opportunity of interning for Michael Costello, BCBG, and Halston were life-changing opportunities. They allowed me to learn and see the world under different lenses, especially when it came to supply chain management in the fashion industry.
Through those internships, I understood how an efficient supply chain, combined with industry knowledge, can be a differentiating factor and a source of competitive edge for a fashion company. Another highlight was attending the DEBUT Fashion Show each year.
How did FIDM's Career Center play a role in your internships? The Career Center was instrumental in helping me get there. I remember spending at least two hours monthly talking with my Career Advisor Simona Williams. She guided me, advocated for me, and cheered me through it all. The bond we created extended beyond FIDM. I was always in her office asking for career advice and looking for opportunities in the fashion industry and beyond.
Tell us about your position at Boeing as a Supply Chain Specialist. What is a typical day like for you? I’m a Supply Chain Specialist for the KC-46 Tanker program at Boeing. As a member of the Support Equipment Order Fulfilment team, our goal is to ensure on time delivery of support equipment needed to maintain an aircraft to our customers (United States Air Force bases). A typical day for me is filled with creating delivery metrics, dealing with suppliers, engineers, buyers, and/or the warehouse.
What do you enjoy most about this field and this position? Principles of supply chain remain the same in different industries. The product and methods of handling products are among the few things that changes, however, the principles remain the same across many industries. What I love about my position is working with the most talented, kindest, and gifted individuals. I also take a lot of pride in being a part of a supply that creates one of the best military and commercial aircrafts in the world.
What led you to move back to Washington state? I moved back home because I wanted to pursue a master’s in Supply Chain Management from the University of Washington Michael G Foster School of Business. When I started my master's, I was afraid that I wouldn't fit in with my background in fashion. I was in for a big surprise when the apparel industry was a big topic in most of my supply chain classes. The fashion industry is a huge topic in supply chain management.
What are your ultimate career goals? I strive to be a lifelong learner. My goal is to keep learning, keep challenging myself, and never turn off that student mindset. I have so many career goals however my ultimate career goal is to keep working in supply chain management. With a degree in Supply Chain Management and Business Management, you can work in many different industries. I’m currently working in the aerospace industry and I’m loving it.
I’m also interested in how supply chain can be used to solve the world’s most pressing global health issues such as accessibility to lifesaving medicines, immunization, and how to increase the efficiency of health supply chain globally. In fashion, I’m interested in how to make the fashion industry leaner and efficient so that we reduce waste, eradicate child labor, and cut lead time to meet our customers’ needs faster. I have a lot of areas of interest, but fashion will always be my first love.