Through two summer jobs that he had in high school, Toby Tucker started to develop a strong interest in all the processes that move products from raw materials to the hands of consumers.
"I was fascinated by operations and logistics as I saw them taking place in the two factories where I worked," Toby explains. "As a young person, I was fascinated, of course, by all the machinery and different kinds of manufacturing procedures, but beyond that I think I was even more interested in the thinking and planning that made it all happen. I could really create a strong connection in my mind between seeing a product manufactured, packaged, and shipped out, and then watching those same products being purchased in stores by customers. I talked to my dad and a lot of other people about this, and because I had such a strong interest, my dad suggested that I look into the Business Logistics program at Penn State." While at Penn State, Toby took an eight-month cooperative position and also a short summer internship with a Johnson & Johnson Sales & Logistics company in New Brunswick, N.J. There he learned firsthand about many aspects of supply chain, which is a term used in industry for the whole continuum that's involved in planning, producing and delivering products to customers.
"I particularly enjoyed my jobs there because they put me in touch with a new dimension of the supply chain, which is interacting with customers, taking their orders, checking our inventories, arranging for product shipment and generally meeting the needs of our customers' warehouses," he says.
Toby received an offer for a full-time position with the Sales & Logistics company, which he accepted and started after completing his degree. He has since had opportunities to expand his knowledge through leadership positions in both logistics and manufacturing, as well as through courses sponsored by the company. Today he is a Senior Manufacturing Planner for McNeil Consumer Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson company with familiar brands such as TYLENOL®, PEPCID®, IMODIUM®, ST. JOSEPH®, MOTRIN®, and other products for pain relief, allergy, cold and flu, and stomach disorders. In this position he is responsible for managing the supply of bulk materials for all of the pills manufactured by his company.
Toby has followed his interests and also been able to forge a satisfying career in a company that he feels is financially stable and committed to manufacturing products that help people through advanced health care. He's also been able to find a company that has the kind of values he has. "I was brought up to think that it's always important to do the right thing. That's pretty much what our values are about in all the Johnson & Johnson companies--doing the right thing for customers, employees, communities, and our stockholders.
"The Johnson & Johnson companies are terrific for people who want to grow and develop and discover new directions to take their careers," Toby adds. Toby has career advice for other young people interested in a job in the health care products or pharmaceutical field. "If you know that a particular career path may be of interest to you, start talking to people about it early, and as often as you can," he says. "Ask a lot of questions. Find out what that career field is really like, not just what it might be like in your fantasies. Create as many opportunities as you can to do the kind of work you're interested in and to experience all different sides of it. And, of course, follow a course of education that will give you the basics for what you want to do."