2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Carolyn Zedalis, University of Pittsburgh

Carolyn Zedalis

University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration

“A full-blooded Panther raised in a Lion’s Den.”

Fun fact about yourself: I served as a groomsman in a wedding

Hometown: State College, PA

High School: State College Area High School

Major: Supply Chain Management

Minor: N/A, but two certificates in Business Analytics and Leadership & Ethics

Favorite Business Course: Quantitative Methods with Richard Wendell

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: During my time at Pitt Business, I served as President of Women in Business. In this role, I coordinated with an executive board of eight incredible women to guide and grow our organization upon our three major pillars: social engagement, community service, and professional development. I also founded the Women in Business Mentor-Mentee program. Mentorship is not only my passion, it was part of my platform during elections and so this program was a major accomplishment of my tenure. Prior to this role, I served as Vice President of Operations, where I managed the organization’s email account and tracked attendance at our events. Concurrently, I also was the Vice President of the Supply Chain Management Club. Meanwhile, I still managed to prioritize my academic studies, and I have earned Dean’s List the last six consecutive semesters.

Where have you interned during your college career? I interned at the United States Steel Corporation as a Global Procurement Intern. The role was in Pittsburgh, PA. In this position, I was able to gain hands-on skills related to the field of procurement, including managing several bid contracts on my own from beginning to end. This is where I determined that procurement was the supply chain field I wanted to pursue.

I also serve as a Professional Development Consultant in the Pitt Business Career Development Office. Here, I assist my fellow peers in developing their professional skills, including resume and cover letter reviews, job and internship searches, and mock interviews. This position has been so rewarding because it has allowed me to improve my own skills in these areas, while combining my passion for Pitt Business and helping others.

Where will you be working after graduation? I will begin my supply chain management career at the United States Steel Corporation as a Procurement Management Associate, located at the corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA.

Who is your favorite professor? Andrew Hannah was my professor for my Advanced Projects in Analytics course. I was new to the business analytics certificate but was interested in using analytics in a hands-on way. I was recommended this class by Liz Adams, the Director of Academic Advising, and decided to follow through with her advice.

This was extremely beneficial for me because Dr. Hannah was able to break down what analytics is and how its functions are critical to the current and future success of business in a way that was so clear and easy to understand. He took the first few class sessions to focus on our understanding of analytics before moving on to applying it through working with a client. His classroom was a very supportive and growth-oriented space, and I never felt out of place or unable to ask for help.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I gained from studying business is that success is not about the individual, it is about the group. While individuals may be able to make or break the group, it is important to understand that if a project or presentation fails, the blame is assigned to the whole group, not to one specific person. Making the effort to interact with those you work with to build morale, camaraderie, and stronger sense of teamwork is a good lesson to learn while in school. Once we leave college, we will be counted on to work as part of a team on a day-to-day basis, so working for the good of the team now will benefit us later!

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? While it may seem counterintuitive since I currently work in the office, I wish I would have taken better advantage of the resources the Pitt Business Career Development provides. The staff in the office is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable about what is happening in the professional environment. Utilizing their advice earlier on in my collegiate experience could have benefitted me a lot and reduced my concerns about internships or interviewing. This is one thing I am extremely passionate about when speaking to underclassmen now.

What business executive do you admire most? The business executive I admire most is Bob Iger, the past CEO of the Walt Disney Company. In his tenure as CEO, Iger was able to expand Disney by acquiring Pixar, LucasFilm, and Marvel, which were all critical and successful ventures to Disney’s continued success. His take on leadership is that “you get out what you put in.” In an interview, Iger said he believes that the success of a company is dependent on the leader’s commitment to themselves, their team, and their brand. I fully support this way of thinking because I was able to experience it in my own leadership roles, and when I look at the leadership within my employer, U. S. Steel. These ideals also allowed for the flawless way Disney synergizes its multiple businesses, which is something I have always deeply admired about the company and its leadership.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I would say I am most proud of being chosen as a Pitt Business 25 @ 25. The year 2021 marked the 25th anniversary of Pitt Business’ founding, so they collected nominations on the most influential alumni, faculty and staff, and students. I was nominated and selected, which is such an incredible honor, especially as the only undergraduate on the list. I have an infinite amount of pride to be a Pitt student, and I cannot wait to provide the same level of support as an alumna that has been provided to me during my time here.

Which classmate do you most admire? There are so many incredible people I can think of to say, but one peer that instantly popped into my head is Hailey Hunter. She is the most hard-working, generous, and dedicated person. This applies in both her professional and social life. Hailey has always been my greatest cheerleader, even when I was unsure of myself or my ideas. I can only hope she’s learned half as much from me as I have learned from her. To see her now step into the spotlight of President of Women in Business and see her excel in that, as well as everything else she has set out to do, I could not be more proud to be her peer and her friend.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would say my grandparents, Charles and Harriet Fetterly. I would not have been able to attend college without their unconditional love and support. They have encouraged me to follow my dreams, no matter what those dreams are, and with no judgement. With that encouragement, I have been able to grow and thrive during my time at Pitt, and for that, I owe them all my success.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? At the moment, I would say my top two professional bucket list items are to become part of the C-Suite at the Walt Disney Company – that is my ultimate dream job. I would also love to come back to Pitt Business to serve as an Executive in Residence and continue to help students grow and learn.

What are your hobbies? I love to sing! My best performances are in the shower, but I also love karaoke nights. Taylor Swift is my go-to artist, and she also just so happens to be an incredible businesswoman. Baking is also one of my favorite things to do, as well as watching movies and TV shows. I also love sports, but especially volleyball. It was such a great honor to attend Pitt as Pitt Volleyball advanced to the NCAA National Tournament all four years I was here, including the Final Four this past season!

What made Carolyn  such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Success in business requires much more than skills and experience. It requires giving extra effort to your passions and work but most of all, teamwork and servant leadership. Carolyn is a rare student that combines talent, skill, intellectual curiosity, and an undying desire to help others and ensure the team succeeds.  Carolyn embodies the ideals that we hope emerge from our graduates as they enter the next phase of their career and life.”

Andrew W. Hannah, MBA
University of Pittsburgh – Pitt Business
Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Analytics
Entrepreneur in Residence




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