Rytzl D'Souza, Class of 2021
Level 5 Area Manager at Amazon, Inc.
“Through Penn State York, I was able to develop important personal qualities like critical thinking, problem solving, and clear communication skills; these are qualities that are highly valued across a range of career fields.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Rytzl D’Souza remained determined to optimize her experiences and education at Penn State York.
“When classes moved to an online setting, I ended up moving back to India for that year and attended classes that were happening within the United States time zone,” she said. “This change was very difficult for me, but the professors and faculty were understanding of my situation; they supported and helped me if there were submission deadlines, presentations, or one on one interactions that were especially tough for me to meet. They were considerate of my situation and did not see it as a drawback.”
“Penn State York provided other ways for me to stay involved and gain valuable experiences despite the challenges posed by the pandemic,” she said. “This helped me build a strong professional network and develop valuable connections during a difficult time in the world.”
Even though she was remote at the time, D’Souza was able to join the Graham Fellows Program for Entrepreneurial Leadership, serve as leadership chair for Phi Beta Lambda – Future Business Leaders of America (PBL-FBLA), and was a member of THON. In 2021, she placed second in Entrepreneur Concepts at the state competition and placed first in Future Business Executive at nationals. Her national award was from an interview category for an area manager role at Amazon, which she ended up landing as her current career.
“I wanted to be a part of multiple clubs and, despite my remote situation, the faculty always found a way to include me,” D’Souza said. “Thanks to the practice and hard work I specifically completed through Penn State York’s PBL-FBLA club, I was well-prepared for the Amazon interview and landed the job. This was a real-world experience I didn’t even know I needed.”
D’Souza graduated in May 2021 with a bachelor of science in Project and Supply Chain Management and is still employed with Amazon as a level 5 area manager.
“Penn State York helped me gain a strong knowledge in the field of supply chain, as well as build strong relationships and networks with fellow students, professors, and alumni,” she said. “These relationships have provided me with support and mentorship as I navigate through my career and pursue my goals.”
D’Souza also credits Penn State York for providing in-depth exposure to her desired field; she utilized the career services in the Penn State York Advising and Career Development Office when preparing for graduation and attended the career fairs and networking events hosted on campus every year.
“The best part about Penn State York is that their opportunities are still open to me even now,” she said. “I can reach out to faculty still and ask them for any assistance, despite having already graduated. I highly recommend that students take complete advantage of all the resources available to them, because they are guaranteed to get you where you need to go.”
D’Souza is grateful to Penn State York for their accommodations to her international status.
“International students usually find it difficult when they pursue their education in the United States,” she said. “We leave our families behind and do not have any support systems coming into the new country; however, the faculty was very welcoming to us international students at Penn State York. This is one of the reasons why I call Penn State York my second home.”