Powered by a love for people and childhood goals, Nebraska’s Brian Saravia Mejia is ready to soar in aerospace supply chain post-graduation.
The senior supply chain major from Norfolk is fulfilling a childhood goal by graduating from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln on Dec. 18 before beginning his full-time job as a supply chain analyst at Honeybee Robotics. His dedication to school and support from the university and his loved ones have set him up for career success.
Saravia Mejia first encountered Nebraska U in middle school on a field trip hosted by the university’s Mexican American Student Association. He remembers being a little kid, looking up to successful Hispanic students. The students encouraged him and his classmates to make their families proud and attend the university.
“So, I always kind of set that as a milestone in my life,” he said. “I told myself I’ll come back someday, and I did.”
After earning an associate’s degree in business at Northeast Community College, Saravia Mejia transferred to the university to pursue his bachelor’s degree. It was his love for working with people that led him to declare his supply chain major.
“Deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life is hard,” Saravia Mejia said, “but I’m a people person. I function off of people’s energy and I like talking to people. My adviser told me to look into supply chain management because it’s a lot of working with different people, teams and departments. He said that if I picked this, I was at least going to be able to fulfill that part of myself.”
His adviser was right, and Saravia Mejia feels successful in supply chain management and enjoys working with people, especially at his current company, Honeybee Robotics.
Honeybee Robotics is a research and development/manufacturing engineering company for earth and space. When Janessa Hageman, assigned informational interviews for BSAD 333, Saravia Mejia chose to interview a representative from Honeybee’s parent company. His personality shined in the interview, and he was offered a summer internship with Honeybee. After successfully completing his internship, Honeybee offered him a part-time job while he finishes his degree, and he has a full-time position waiting for him upon graduation.
With Honeybee, Saravia Mejia has found his niche in aerospace and defense supply chain.
“When it comes to aerospace, you have no idea what’s the next thing that your company is going to create and you know, it’s a different thing every day,” he said. “I liked how I saw the company operate, and I like the spontaneity and creative challenges.”
The university prepared Saravia Mejia for his new job by teaching him the skills he would need for success in supply chain. Jennifer Ryan, department chair and professor of supply chain management and analytics and Ron and Carol Cope College Professor, and Erkut Sönmez, associate professor of supply chain management and analytics, also did an excellent job of keeping their course material current, he said.
“Things I’ve learned in class such as the decision making, how to map out your problems and the analytical skills, have really helped me in my roles,” he said.
Looking forward, Saravia Mejia is ready to apply his knowledge as a professional in the industry.
“I’m ready to put everything I’ve learned into motion and actually use it in the real world. I’ve taken my education pretty seriously and it’s time to actually show what I can do,” he said. “I feel like I can make a difference in the industry or at least in my company.”
In addition to his hard work and scholastic effort, Saravia Mejia is thankful for the people who have helped him get to where he is today.
“I’m thankful for everybody I’ve met that’s taken time out of their day for me,” he said. “My parents, I’m a first-generation student and they immigrated and have done everything they can to get me to the point where I’m at. My friends who have motivated me along the way, instructors like Clyde Davis, having coffee with me to talk about my career. There are so many people and I try every day to make them proud in what I do and what I’m going to do. I always try to live a life that I know they would be proud of me for a living.”
Mejia feels that his hard work has led him to this point, and he’s looking forward to his future.
“It feels like everything has led up to this,” he said. “It feels really good that I can finally reap the rewards from the work that I put in, especially looking at my younger self having that middle school experience to be able to tell myself, you know, ‘you really took advantage of that and went for it.’”