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Joseph Butler
Refined Products Trader
Pilot Flying J (USA)
(ZLOG Class of 2006)



1. Describe your current job responsibilities:
Flying J is the largest diesel distributor in North America.  Primarily my job is about balancing two things: procuring fuel at the lowest cost, and ensuring reliability of supply to our retail locations.  I work with suppliers to establish contract supply agreements.  I evaluate cost effectiveness and demand elasticity for supply of alternative fuels (Ethanol, Biodiesel).  And I try to optimize out utilization of our trucking assets.


2. Describe your career path before you attended ZLOG:
I worked for ExxonMobil as a IT developer and project manager, and was mostly involved in IT related areas.


3. Why did you decide to attend ZLOG?
I wanted to leave ExxonMobil and an IT-centric degree, and felt that an additional degree would be a good springboard into a new opportunity.  Supply Chain Management is one of the great cost-saving frontiers left to explore.  I researched supply chain degrees, and found the MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program the best fit for me. I liked the idea of being able to take my family abroad and have an international experience with them, as well as add an international flavor to my master's degree.


4. What are the most valuable assets you gained through your ZLOG experience?
The network of peers and teachers.  The opportunity to experience European culture. 


5. How did your ZLOG degree impact your job search?
Having the association with MIT has been worth quite a bit in terms of garnering interest.  The international side of the degree also adds a lot of interest.


6. Does your ZLOG education affect the way you currently do your job?
Not really the way I do my job, but it certainly has given me a repertoire of skills and techniques to draw upon, as well as the network of associates.


7. What would you say to a prospective student thinking about joining the ZLOG program?
It is a great opportunity to get a hands-on feel for international supply chain challenges and techniques.  The teachers are bar-none. If you are seeking international exposure, and a good education from an MIT-affiliate, go with the ZLOG.