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Ray Wilder: 7 stops in a 27-year career

Ray Wilder poses for a picture with his wife, Sarah Wilder, at a Schneider company event

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

I was recruited to work at Schneider by my college roommates in December 1994, and what started as my first job out of school has since evolved into a rewarding career that has spanned 27 years and taken me through seven different areas of the business.

Throughout my career, I’ve had incredible opportunities to take on a variety of roles, all with unique challenges, led by inspiring leaders. As I look back on the past few decades, I thought I’d share a little about the experiences I’ve had and how Schneider works to promote long-lasting careers that can continue to serve you years down the line.

Starting out as a third-shift pioneer in Schneider’s Dedicated service

When I started at Schneider, I was one of the very first people hired to work third shift in what was at the time a small but growing segment of our business, now called our Dedicated line of service. It was a great opportunity to learn many aspects of the business as I was able to work with customers, drivers and our dispatchers.

I found that when working third shift, you’re often called on to be creative in getting loads moved, drivers home and figuring things out. That’s why now when I’m looking for people to join my team, I always keep an eye out for those who have second-shift and third-shift experience. They know how to get stuff done.

Finding career growth at the Los Angeles operating center

One of the greatest things about Schneider is all the opportunities that are available for professional growth and relocation. Schneider employs about 15,225 associates worldwide and has facilities located across the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

After two years at the company, I transitioned to my first leadership role managing drivers at our Los Angeles operating center. Having grown up in a small town in central Wisconsin, those four years living in Southern California were invaluable.

This experience allowed me to see the business in a new light and learn how freight actually moves from shipper to destination. It gave me a more in-depth understanding of the professional drivers who play a critical role in sustaining the supply chain that we’ve been hearing so much about lately.

Broadening my industry experience across department lines

After gaining some useful field experience, I moved back to Green Bay where I’ve since held a variety of roles spanning customer service, dispatch, special projects and most recently in sales as Senior Director of National Accounts.

It was those experiences that fueled career growth. The lessons and people I encountered along the way have all helped prepare me for each step in my career.

Starting out in Customer Service I learned that core competency of building relationships with the customer. It was then in my time in Operations where I first learned valuable lessons in leadership. It shaped my leadership style for years to come.

Even 27 years in, I continue to learn. I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to have leaders engaged in my development. It’s one of the many reasons why Schneider has and will continue to attract talented people. We invest in helping people grow.

How Schneider’s core values drive long-lasting careers

I've shared a little about my experience working at Schneider, but not my reason for staying. Why do I continue to choose Schneider after all these years?

It all comes down to our culture and the people that live out our mission.

Schneider’s core values empower associates to prioritize safety, demonstrate integrity in our actions, show respect for everyone and strive for excellence.

The actions of our teams, our leaders and our executives are all guided by these values. These are all principles that align with my own personal values, and it’s a key part of the reason I have been here this long.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to have learned from amazing leaders in my time here. We have an incredibly talented and innovative leadership team. Every day comes with exciting challenges and opportunities to learn.

We have a saying — “Pride has a color.” Working at Schneider comes with a sense of purpose. It’s why I’ve chosen Schneider and have had such a fulfilling career.

Want to learn more about working at Schneider?

If you want to grow and do something that matters, Schneider is the place to start. Find out what associates have to say about Schneider's unique company culture by reading more of our culture-themed blogs.

About the author
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Ray Wilder is Schneider's Senior Director of Enterprise Accounts. He started at the company in 1994 in what was then Schneider's new Dedicated line of service. His decades-long career has since taken him through many different areas of the business, including operations, customer service, dispatch, special projects and sales. Ray's vast range of industry experience has set him up well for his current role, where he works to form creative solutions for our clients' most complex supply chain needs.

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