For Victoria Zimmerman, working in social impact is a rewarding place, but passion is not enough. Core skills must come into play in order to integrate the impact perspective into corporate strategy. According to Zimmerman, she learned many of these skills while at Kellogg completing her MBA.
“At Kellogg, I was involved with Net Impact and Kellogg Corps, and those two experiences highlighted how positive impact can be amplified and integrated in the business with management, consulting, marketing and all the skills you learn in a traditional MBA,” explains Zimmerman.
Zimmerman holds the role of Global Supply Chain and Sustainability Manager, which includes leading the strategy for Global Food Waste Reduction at McDonald’s in partnership with NGO’s. Creating and expanding McDonald’s food donation program in the restaurants and supply chain is how sustainability adds value to business and society. The business case includes tax savings to the business, fewer greenhouse gases emitted into the environment, and a decrease in community hunger.
Zimmerman had a less conventional career leading up to her MBA and role at McDonald’s. After completing her undergrad from Indiana University and Masters in Change Management from Utah State, she moved to Europe to play volleyball professionally. She then returned to the United States, working in financial services for a year and then in community development and marketing for the Chicago Wolves hockey team. Inspirational mentors and the power of sports helped her become interested in how long term health can be affected by environmental and social impact.
“I became interested in impact work during my time in sports, which has a focus on giving back to the community and being a role model and positive change agent. My goal was to have a career being part of a team driving and integrating sustainability and influencing traditional businesses to add value,” explains Zimmerman.
During her time at Kellogg, Zimmerman landed an internship with McDonald's in Sustainable Sourcing and Marketing: one of the first cross-functional roles which focused on creating a strategy recommendation to communicate sustainable sourcing to consumers. The results are visible on the MSC logo on the U.S. Filet-O-Fish packaging.
Zimmerman’s work brought her back to McDonald’s Corporation following her Kellogg graduation. Zimmerman recently accepted a new position in Global Supply Chain and Sustainability in the Strategic Sourcing group managing Beef, Fish, Coffee and Tea for North America -- categories which are a priority for the company’s global sustainability goals.
“The opportunity for impact at McDonald's is huge and that is inspiring,” says Zimmerman.