From Intern to Manager, Alumna Builds Career at Unilever

Emily Fishman ’12 from Langhorne, Pennsylvania had her life changed by Syracuse University’s  Martin J. Whitman School of Management. Not only did she gain skills she needed to be successful working for Unilever, but she also made lifelong memories, close friends and even found her husband. 

(Fishman poses with her husband Josh Fishman after graduation in 2012).

Fishman was a supply chain management major with a finance minor. She shares that the job market was tight for herself and her classmates, adding, “I was fortunate to obtain a full-time position my senior year at the company I interned the previous summer.” That company being Unilever.

“At Unilever, I spent five years working in the personal care supply chain planning as a material planner and supply planner for products such as St. Ives, Suave, Vaseline and Ponds to name a few,” says Fishman. “Then I moved over to become the category procurement team lead for food solutions, which oversees the procurement strategy for the mass food business for Hellmann’s, Lipton and Knorr brands.”

(Fishman poses in a St. Ives tub for a work event).

Fishman was recently promoted to be the innovation planning manager for Sundial Brand, which Unilever acquired.

Early in her career, Fishman found herself juggling a full-time job, earning an MBA from Hofstra University and planning her own wedding. Fishman met her husband in their senior year entrepreneurship and emerging enterprise course where they worked on a group project together. 

Although Fishman seems to be a natural in the business field, some may be surprised to know that business school was not her original plan.

She shares, “I didn’t choose the Whitman School as my first preference; I was more interested in becoming an architect.” Fishman was placed in the Whitman School as a first-year student but had plans to transfer to the School of Architecture.

She explains what kept her interested in the Whitman School. She says, “As soon as I started, I felt at home and completely forgot about all the work I put into building a portfolio for the architecture program. Whitman was very community-oriented and created a small school environment that I loved.”

She adds, “My business management class with Professor Ray Wimer was my first introduction to the Whitman School. That class is what kept me from transferring to the School of Architecture and gave me the first introduction to friends in my dorm.”

As a student, Fishman enjoyed networking at professional events and meeting Whitman alumni and corporate partners. She was also active in Enactus for all four years she was a student. 

Fishman attributes her career success to the preparation that she got during college. She says, “In almost every class at Whitman, I had a group project and had to work with a variety of people that would impact my final grade. This skill of working in groups and not being able to choose who you work with was a true resemblance of what you experience in the workplace. Every single position I’ve had at Unilever is part of a larger team and I must lean on a variety of departments to complete the task at hand.”

Fishman also shares, “The network that I created at Whitman and Syracuse University is contagious. I met my husband and some of my best friends at Whitman! I continue to bleed Orange in the Big Apple and encourage all students to step out of your comfort zone and utilize the resources that the school has to offer! The four years will fly by and it will be hard to find it after you graduate.”

Learn more about Whitman alumni in the latest alumni profiles.

Maya Bingaman
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