From Recess to Supply Chain

PROVO, Utah – Mar 06, 2020 – BYU Marriott alumna Melinda Malmgren’s love for business can be traced back to her fifth-grade days when she participated in a class activity called “Store.”

For the activity, Malmgren and her classmates were allowed to sell goods to other students. “My mom and I would go out and buy inventory: little bags of chips, pop, and little toys that the graders would like,” recalls Malmgren. “I would tally up how much everything cost, keep a total of my inventory, and then my mom and I would price everything, and I would sell to my classmates on Fridays. Afterward, we would repeat the process, and I loved it.”

Following Malmgren’s early experience with the world of business, she started a more in-depth study of business when she came to BYU Marriott. Malmgren originally decided to study marketing. However, after taking a supply chain class as part of the management program’s core classes, Malmgren decided that the supply chain program would be a better fit for her and her interests. “The supply chain class I took fit perfectly with the way that my mind works—logical and focused on finding the best, most efficient way to do something.”

Malmgren’s business savvy and supply chain knowledge helped launch her career, but GSCM faculty helped as well. “At a supply chain career fair we had in the Tanner building when I was a student, a professor introduced me to the recruiter from Avery Dennison who offered me a full-time position before graduation,” recalls Malmgren. “The GSCM faculty was incredibly invested in their students’ success.”

Upon her graduation in 2013, Malmgren accepted a position with Avery Dennison, a global manufacturer and distributor of labeling and functional materials, in its global operations leadership development program. As a supply chain analyst, Malmgren was immediately able to apply her education in supply chain. “When I got to Avery, I went to a three-week training on lean immersion, and I already had background on what that meant because of the classes and professors at BYU Marriott,” says Malmgren.

Malmgren added to her business accomplishments at Avery Dennison as she worked to improve company processes. “I was able to build better relationships with the sales team, and they started to have better collaboration with supply chain, so we weren’t all working in our own little world and had better communication together,” says Malmgren. “Because of that process, we were able to grow the business substantially within a short amount of time even though we were in a capacity-constrained environment. That process was a cool thing to be involved in.”

While working at Avery Dennison, Malmgren met her future husband, Eric. After they got married, the couple moved to California, where Malmgren started working in the finance department of Pacific World Cosmetics, a consumer-packaged goods company. “Even though I was in the finance department, I used supply chain in process improvement, automation, and figuring out how to cut unnecessary tasks. This allowed me to find more valuable and efficient ways to do things,” says Malmgren. “Supply chain skills benefit whatever area you’re in, even if it’s not directly in a supply chain role.”

Currently, Malmgren works part-time as a senior supply chain planning analyst at Pacific World Cosmetics. In her free time, she spends time with her family and enjoys taking her two daughters swimming or hiking. Malmgren has come a long way since her fifth-grade days of selling chips and soda to her fellow students, but perhaps one day she’ll have the chance to help her girls run a mini business.

Malmgren with her husband, Eric, and their daughters. Photo courtesy of Melinda Malmgren.
Malmgren with her husband, Eric, and their daughters. Photo courtesy of Melinda Malmgren.
Malmgren (left) following her graduation from BYU Marriott. Photo courtesy of Melinda Malmgren.
Malmgren (left) following her graduation from BYU Marriott. Photo courtesy of Melinda Malmgren.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Natalia Green