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Program garners national accolade

The Supply Chain Management program is one of the best at the University.

The program is tied for 16th place in the U.S. News and World Report article about academic programs to look for.

More than 200 students are part of the program, giving them an opportunity to gain knowledge about the different areas of business and valuable experience from internships.

“Our Supply Chain Management Program is ranked 16th in the nation. That’s among Ivy League schools,” said Amanda Braddock, a junior in the program.

“We are one of the few that doesn’t have a PhD association with it,” Faculty adviser and lecturer in the department Karen Eboch added.

The three main areas the program covers are supply management, operations and logistics.

“Students would take courses in all three,” said Janet Hartley, the director of the program. “That way they can get a good understanding of all aspects of the business. The program is open to any students in Business Administration.”

Supply management includes buying goods and services. Students learn what an organization needs and how to negotiate with other companies and consumers.

Operations is more managing the transformation, and making the product. People in that field need to maintain quality and are in charge of understanding what the customer wants.

Logistics is more complex. They need to make sure it is the right product at the time, and they need to choose the best plant locations for what the product entails.

In most companies, 50 percent of their costs come from places like Mattel and China, Hartley said. Supply chain is the organization that maintains quality, safety and cost.

Ashley Timmons, a junior newcomer to the program, said it provides a lot of professional development opportunities. The organization finds out what the businesses are looking for, and that gets back to the students.

In order to further students’ understanding of supply chain, the Supply Chain Management Institute offers opportunities for mentoring, scholarship support and interning. Companies are partnered with the program at the University. Seventeen companies are members and they help support program.

“We do a lot for the companies in trying to help them meet their goals in student recruitment,” said Amelia Carr, the director of the Supply Chain Management Institute.

Students benefit as well, through the internships and mentoring. Faculty also get the chance to redesign their curriculum, based on what companies are looking for in terms of employment. In addition to the Institute, job fairs are also set up to help students get internships and real world experience. It’s that combination of internships and integrated coursework that really helps students, Hartley said.

“We strongly suggest students doing an internship as early as sophomore and junior year,” Hartley said.

The night of Sept. 13 students were able to attend an interviewing workshop in order to prepare for the upcoming job fair on Oct. 9, and the subsequent interviews on Oct. 10.

At the fair, students can interact with members of the different companies to try to get an internship. Students can get on WorkNet and see what companies will be at the fair, and to also post their resume. Two hundred and eighteen companies will be there Oct. 9. Students are encouraged to bring several copies of their resume.

“Have a list of four or five companies you want to see,” Braddock said.

Braddock just returned from a summer internship at John Deere. She worked in cost-management and said she hadn’t taken any management classes.

Timmons said students don’t necessarily need to take a specific amount of classes before interning. There are always more job opportunities than students to fill them, she said, so as long as you’re qualified you can take internships.

Because of the high demand, graduates often have no trouble finding jobs.

“Across the country there’s a ton,” said Christopher Your, a 2007 graduate of the program.

Your had one semester to go when he was offered a job. He says this is very common.

“We all had jobs,” he said.

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