Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science! Today, we honor the incredible achievements of women breaking barriers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). We're highlighting our own extraordinary team member, Associate Data Analyst Abby Zimmerman, showcasing her impactful journey in the STEM world. Check out her story and the significance of this day!
Q: Tell us a little about your career path and background.
In 2021, I graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and a Minor in Business. During that time, I also gained operational experience holding engineering internships at UPS in Dallas, Texas, and at Conagra Brands in Waterloo, IA. After graduating, I joined Ruan’s Solution Engineering team where I’m responsible for helping our customers increase efficiency within their supply chains.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working for Ruan?
Ruan has offered several opportunities for me to engage with senior leaders, both internally and externally, through my involvement in various supply chain and business improvement projects. Many young professionals aren’t given the chance to engage with leadership so early in their career, so I am thankful to work for a company that has offered this exposure, which in turn, has accelerated my understanding and learning of the transportation industry and how business decisions are made.
Q: What is your favorite memory during your time at Ruan?
During my first year, I was privileged to visit with the executives of one of our largest customers. I traveled to their location where I was able to engage with and learn from the customer’s CEO, which was very insightful!
Q: Why is International Women in Science Day important to you?
My path has been significantly influenced by my mom, who came to the U.S. from the Philippines at 22 to pursue her dual Ph.D. in Statistics and Industrial Engineering. She has been a role model for me, especially in times where I’ve been the minority in either race or gender. International Women in Science Day is important to me because it sparks appreciation for my mom’s role in my own life, and recognizes the significant contributions made by women in STEM who also act as role models to those who might be doubting their abilities.
Q: What advice would you share with those considering joining the trucking industry?
Working in the transportation industry offers many learning opportunities and the ability to touch a variety of industries. Every tangible product got to its destination because someone transported it, and to have the ability to influence and improve such a universally impactful process is rewarding.
Q: What excites you about Ruan’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts?
The culture here is supportive and inclusive and as mentioned previously, Ruan does a great job of offering opportunities to make an impact right away regardless of age, gender, race, etc.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Running, playing pickleball with my fiancée, traveling internationally and domestically to national parks specifically, hiking in Colorado and Montana, cooking while pretending to be a chef, and watching Iowa State basketball and football games with family.
Q: In what ways are you involved in your community?
At my church, Cottage Grove, I serve on the coffee team and within various ministries as needed throughout the year. Additionally, I’ve been a volunteer soccer coach for Des Moines Parks and Rec, and a member of United Way LINC at Ruan. Through LINC, we volunteer to do things like help clean up our company sponsored park, participate in meal packing events, and serve on our Professional Development Committee.