The pivotal event of Dominique Fatal’s life came as a middle schooler when she joined Swim Florida, an organization dedicated to competitive swimming.
Despite training rigorously, she had felt self-doubt creep in as she faced her first competitive event: the 50-meter butterfly. She fought it off and unexpectedly snagged second place, only finishing behind a competitor who had been swimming since age 5.
“What lingered most in my memory was the overwhelming feeling of giving it my all and the earnest desire to make my parents proud,” the December graduate says. “It was a defining moment that taught me the sweet taste of hard-earned success and the importance of perseverance.”
Fatal has been diving into the deep end ever since. At Florida Gulf Coast University, she decided to switch majors from accounting to supply chain management, a typically male-dominated field.
After completing an internship as an auditor, she realized that she could not envision herself in a long-term career as an accountant. However, she had excelled in an introductory course on supply chain management and found it fascinating.
The COVID-19 pandemic shed new light on the importance of supply chain management as the backbone of any global operation, yet the field is often overlooked.
“There is little visibility placed on the major compared to other business majors that are often more popular amongst women, such as marketing, business administration or accounting,” Fatal says.
“Most people don’t even know what it means and are completely unaware of the field.”
She expressed concerns about job security, but her professors reassured her that supply chain is a field in which she wouldn’t have to worry about employment and financial security. She later added a second major in computer information systems because she knew technology careers would always be in demand, she says.
One of those professors, Piyush Shah, was a key catalyst in encouraging her to pursue an opportunity as the president of the Supply Chain Management Club Shah also served as club advisor and oversaw its projects and plans.
“He is very passionate about the field and shares the vision of wanting the major to grow in size and recognition within FGCU,” she says. “He acknowledged my drive to flourish within whatever career field I decided and encouraged me to channel it productively. His guidance has been a cornerstone in gaining the clarity I needed to discern my future aspirations.”
Says Shah, “Dominique is very tenacious and has an admirable never-give-up attitude.”
Fatal was actively involved in promoting the supply chain major to prospective students —primarily through the club. Her main goal was to grow membership and establish consistent turnout. To achieve this, she hosted group events such as game nights and facility tours, providing opportunities for students majoring or minoring in or simply curious about supply chain management to learn more. It culminated with her organizing a trip to Student Day at the ProMat 2023 Conference in Chicago last March.
Participating in the conference aimed to connect students interested in supply chain management with key players in the industry, fostering valuable networks. The ultimate goal was to help students secure potential internships or full-time job opportunities.
“It underscored the importance of collaboration, delegation and the value of relying on the team’s strengths,” she says.
“It wasn’t just about pulling off a successful event. It was a valuable lesson in personal and professional growth.
“I’m very future-focused. I am always looking for more, the next thing. My desire isn’t just about quantity but also about exceeding expectations and what is considered sufficient. I want that to reflect in who I am and what I do. I believe my desire to immerse myself in whatever I do is often recognized and reflected in my work ethic.”
Since graduation, she has been taking the time to fully embrace this new season of her life. Or, as she says, “soaking in the vibes of post-school freedom and easing into the groove of adulting. I’m relishing the experience of not having to hit the books and exploring what it means to settle into adulthood.”
Fatal also acknowledges an itch to travel more, and her ambitious goal for the next few years is to visit every state in America at least once. She ultimately wants to pursue an MBA to add another layer to her skill set.
“My ideal future involves a career that taps into the sweet spot where my supply chain management and computer information systems degrees come together,” she says. “I’m eager to join a company where I can grow my professional experience in the field and support my aspirations of eventually attending grad school. It’s about finding a job that fits my current career ambitions and sets the stage for my long-term goals.”
This is part of series of stories spotlighting outstanding December graduates.