View Full Version : Suggested positions to look for to eventually become a buyer?

04-01-2012, 08:06 PM
I just joined ISM last week and about to graduate with a Bachelor's of Science in Supply Chain Management from a reputable 4 yr school. I want to eventually become a buyer for a company. However, becoming a buyer straight out of college is almost impossible. I was wondering if someone could suggest a certain track to take in order to become an eligible buyer 3-5 years down the line. Are there any regions in the US that have notably better supply chain companies than others? I attend school around the rust belt and have no interest in staying in this region. The regions that interest me the most are: Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta, and Austin. Thanks

04-03-2012, 08:32 PM
Congratulations on your future graduation! You actually are able to be a buyer coming right out of college. Look for the titles of "junior buyer, jr. buyer," and you should find job descriptions of what it entails.

A lot of purchasing is both administrative/finance mixed together. Often, administrative office jobs have procurement related duties in that they require you to purchase office supplies and services, furniture, etc for the office. That's another route you are able to take to become a buyer.

Another suggestion is becoming a purchasing intern at a reputable company. I would only recommend this if it's a reputable one as you will learn best business practices from the start.

I wouldn't say that any region in the US has better supply chain companies than others. Supply chain is incorporated in many businesses ranging from the government, to manufacturing, to non-profit etc. I would personally find a city that has a lot of jobs and go for it. For example, when I graduated from college I moved to the D.C. area not only because I had family & friends in this area, but because I knew this area had a lot of professional opportunities for me.

Hope this helps!

04-11-2012, 08:06 PM
In addition to the ideas above, sometimes an entry level job in "inventory", "distribution", or "program management" can be stepping stones to a buying or purchasing position.

A "buyer" position at one place may be markedly different from the company right next door. Take your time and if you can find something, as the above poster mentioned, at a reputable company, take it and see where it leads you.

If you do a good job and get involved in the industry, you will find and see other opportunities, whether you look for them or sometimes, they look for you.

Good luck.

04-17-2012, 08:40 PM
Good luck on the job search. I've got friends in Oklahoma City and they love how the city is full of young professionals, it's easy to make friends, and become part of the in-crowd. I guess Oklahoma City is number one in the nation for job growth. Lots of oil and gas companies and Chesapeake Energy in OKC hires young and right out of college. I heard they are looking to expand the purchasing department by 60 in the next few years.

I jumped from a commodities sales job to purchasing this past year. Joining the NAPM/ISM to take advantage of the webcast combined with 30 hours of Microfsoft Excel classes put me over the top, about a $400 investment. Microsoft Excel knowledge is important. I would not recommend going the sales route to buyer, most purchasing professionals and HR managers will pass over you. However, the knowledge I have gained from sales and being on the other side of the table from a purchasing agent has been a huge help.

05-04-2012, 03:03 AM
Congratulations on your upcoming Graduation!!!!

1) The U.S. geographic areas which you are targeting, are major metropolitan cities and should provide more opportunities for you in a variety of industries.

2) I would suggest targeting an industry and/or area of supply chain which is of interest to you and then pursuing opportunities which will bring you closer to your ultimate career goal.

For example, I began in working as a Production Control Planner within a manufacturing company. As soon as I demonstrated my capabilities to successfully manage my work assignments, I was approached by a Sr. Director of Procurement who asked if I would be interested in transferring to his department to work as a Buyer. By working hard to become an expert at my duties, my accomplishments were noticed by senior management in other departments.

Best wishes to you!!