For recent Poole College of Management alumnus Graham Murphrey, supply chain management is all about solving problems to make processes more efficient. He says it’s what interests him most about the field, and is the reason he decided to study it in the first place.
Fortunately, Murphrey was able to put that passion into practice during his time as a student when he completed a practicum project designed to help the Poole College scheduling department predict how many students will enroll in classes in future semesters.
“It was extremely valuable because I was able to use some of the things I learned in class to help solve a real-world problem,” says Murphrey, who is now working as a full-time purchasing assistant at D.R. Horton, a home construction company.
“It taught us how to work for a client and present findings in meetings as opposed to finishing a project and submitting it to a professor for grading,” he says. “Having a client depend on us to produce results made the project seem more real and more important than a typical assignment.”
Murphrey completed the practicum project as a part of the curriculum for the Business Analytics Honors Program, a program that “offers select Poole College undergraduate students additional preparation for careers in the high-demand field of business analytics.”
“With the world moving towards making more data-driven decisions, I wanted to learn more about how to manipulate data to solve problems,” Murphrey says of his decision to participate in the program.
In addition to his experience working on the practicum project, he says the overall emphasis that the college’s faculty placed on practical applications played a big role in preparing him for his new career. “All of the professors have a lot of real industry experience and help students by preparing projects and assignments that reflect real-world problems,” he says.
While he’s still getting settled in his new full-time role at D.R. Horton, Murphrey is already well acquainted with his new employer, thanks to having completed two seperate internships for the company during his time as a student — an accomplishment he says is thanks much in part to the college’s bi-annual Career and Internship Fair.
“During the spring semester of my freshman year, I went to the career fair and spoke with the recruiters from D.R. Horton. … [They] offered me an internship, and I was able to build some crucial relationships with the people there, which eventually led to a full-time opportunity after graduation.”
Based on his experiences, Murphrey strongly recommends that new students take advantage of the opportunities the college provides to engage with employers. “Learning how to talk to employers is crucial in finding good opportunities for both internships and full time jobs after graduation,” he says.