Cassandra McCowin

National Accounts Logistics Coordinator

National Accounts Logistics Coordinator | Cranberry, PA.

I graduated from Penn State University in 2018, studying marketing and management with a focus in international studies. I'm currently working on my MBA, also at Penn State, and working full time. I graduate in the spring. I first discovered PLS at a job fair, where I met a PLS representative who said that I would be a good fit for the Account Executive Trainee (AET) program. We hit it off and she reached out a few times after that to encouraged me to officially apply, so I did. Within two weeks, I had a new job offer and the recruiter also helped me find an apartment within Pittsburgh. It was exactly what I needed at the time and I was so excited to start.

After graduating college, I joined PLS as an AET and then transitioned into a National Accounts Logistics Coordinator role. Between the transition I held various titles.

Since joining the National Accounts team, I've been coordinator of one of the largest accounts since January.

I like when we are busy, but the day goes fast. The busier we are, the faster the day goes. I enjoy the new account that I've been working on and the consistency of the contract freight. I also enjoy the challenge this account presents in the current market, with it being food related in the challenging time of COVID-19. I really have to apply myself to make sure that we are achieving our goals. Being a resource to the project development team who have been asking us for updates and general feedback about their projects is something else I take pride in doing. Giving input makes me feel useful and valuable that I can apply my knowledge there.  

PLS has given me better time management skills. You’re in charge of your own book of business and if you don’t keep up with it and you don’t move something, it's on you. Planning ahead is the key to success. You’re not just working on tasks for today or tomorrow, but next week or month as well. Negotiations are another thing that have helped me grow.

Logistics is a different world which I never thought I would have understood or been able to comprehend. This experience has given me tremendous respect for the industry.

I have gained a better understanding of supply chain, not just from a distributer point of view, but also from a carrier point of view. You don’t realize how many problems can happen just trying to get from point A to point B, which is a very short time frame. Overall, I’ve grown up a lot here and came to realize just how big the world is as well as how important interpersonal relationships are.

You have to apply yourself. If you can't give 100% of yourself during your work hours, this might not be for you. It became clear that as I put forth the effort to stay on top of work and make good relationships, I put myself in a solid position. You must be reliable, a good communicator, and willing to work in a team manner. The conversation and relationship with customers start with you. If you are not perceived as reliable, you are going to struggle to build a book of business. In the workplace, it is equally as important to build relationships with your peers to ensure that they will help support you and be there for advice when needed. The arduous work absolutely pays off.

It’s all about time management and self-dedication. If you don’t have those skills, it's going to be hard for you to succeed. With that being said, anyone who can push themselves, be a team player, and ask for help from your manager will succeed. It’s not all on you, but it does start with you.

Outside of work, I spend all my free time with my dog, Denver. He is a boxer-lab mix. Working from home is ideal for me because I get the best of both worlds. With a job that gets stressful at times, it's nice that I get to take a minute, walk my dog around my apartment, then get back to work. I spend a lot of time with my family too, but grad school takes up a majority of my time. I'm a workaholic, so if I'm not working, I'm at home with my dog watching Netflix.  

I’m working on a general MBA and taking a lot of my undergraduate business courses, but at a much higher level. I’ve gone deeper into finance, project management, supply chain, negotiations. I like the overall atmosphere of it because it allows me to see how things PLS is doing in a different lighting. For example, this semester has been focused on development and innovations. With some programs kicking off in different offices this semester, it's been imperative to see how that has been playing out and I have been able to help supply much input on projects.

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