Kiree Brown has found that following one’s interests can lead to a job with impact.
A Customer Account Specialist at Total Quality Logistics in Indianapolis, Kiree says she was always interested in STEM disciplines, but didn’t always understand how she might apply that interest as a career. Fortunately, while Kiree was attending Indianapolis’ North Central High School, the affiliated J Everett Light (JEL) Career Center was forming an advanced manufacturing and logistics program.
It was there that Kiree was able to learn about and get hands-on experience with CNC machining, robotics and other technology used in the advanced manufacturing and logistics industries. Complementing this experience with classes in advanced manufacturing and participation in an Architecture, Construction and Engineering program (and, later with post-secondary studies at Ivy Tech Community College), Kiree says she discovered the “big umbrella of things” that make up the advanced manufacturing and logistics sector and its many career opportunities.
Even with all of this focused classwork, though, it’s her experience as a Conexus Intern that Kiree says truly set her on her career path. In her time interning with Fitzmark, a national third-party logistics company headquartered in Indianapolis, she increased her technical skills as well as a tangible appreciation for how workplaces function.
She also gained a boost when she applied to Total Quality Logistics, she says. “They looked at my resume and said, ‘Oh! She did an internship in high school!’” Kiree says. She got the job.
In her current role with the firm, Kiree coordinates directly with truck drivers, making appointments for deliveries, managing the accounting for shipments and making sure freight gets where it’s supposed to go. The firm has allowed her to fill various roles and experience different responsibilities, she says, and given her the opportunity to mentor other team members.
Going into her job, Kiree says, she wasn’t sure how much she’d like it, but, thanks to advice she received, she was committed to staying at least three years. Having just hit her 4-year mark, she’s glad she is where she is. “I’m liking it so much,” she says.
It helps that, thanks to the pandemic, Kiree has a sense of how important her job is. With supply chain issues resulting in empty store shelves, she saw that moving products across the country mattered. “I like that sense of, like, ‘OK … the world does need this,” she says.