Student Spotlight: Marseda Kavalli

Marseda Kavalli, a senior global supply chain management major in the Mike Ilitch School of Business, is no stranger to success.

Kavalli, the first place winner in the Ilitch School’s 2017 Elevator Pitch Competition, has also held multiple internships, including her current position as a procurement intern for Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America.

A native of Albania who now lives in Royal Oak, she chose to attend WSU because it was close to home and eventually decided to pursue a degree in supply chain management.

“I started in accounting, but I really didn’t like that very much,” she said. “After talking to a lot of people and considering the Michigan auto industry, I though supply chain was the good way to go.”

Kavalli will be the first person in her family to graduate from college, and she will be graduating debt-free. She has achieved this by working full time and balancing the workload of a full-time student and a full-time employee.

“I think patience is something I definitely struggle with…but you have to be patient to know that hard work will reap benefits in your future,” she said.

She was also involved in the Ilitch School’s Corporate Mentor Program, which matches first-generation undergraduate students with a mid-to-senior level executive in order to help students develop a professional identity.

Kavalli said she had a very good experience with the program.

“My mentor taught me a lot and helped me get the most out of my internship,” she said. 

Kavalli feels that extracurricular opportunities like the Elevator Pitch Competition, Corporate Mentor Program, Supply Chain Case Competition and internships have prepared her for her career; a point driven home by her Ilitch School professors.

“Those professors really made it a point to discuss how important internships are in our career as students, and they really drilled that point down our throats,” she said. “They helped me a lot and I wouldn’t have done those things if it weren’t for them.”

For fellow first-generation students, Kavalli had some words of advice.

“Work hard and be patient,” she said. “These four years are going to be the most important of your life.”