Exploring and Preparing for a Career in Supply Chain

by Caleb White, SCRC Marketing and Communications Student Intern

Over the last several years, North Carolina State University has become one of the top supply chain schools in the nation. And for good reason: students are taught by the best professors in the classroom, many of which have years of industry experience, and they are also given the opportunity to work in the supply chain field on real-world projects with companies like Advance Auto Parts, Caterpillar, and Lenovo. However any program is only as good as its students, which is why student-led organizations like the NC State Supply Chain Club have such a great impact on the university.

For the Supply Chain Club, students are able to meet and network with peers who have a shared interest in learning more about supply chain, as well as connect with and learn from professionals already prominent in the field. During meetings, speakers often come from different companies to give information on anything from what they look for in future employees, to what opportunities are available at their company, to what a day in their life as a supply chain professional is like. This has helped a lot of students discover their career path, as former club president Alena Turner explained, “It’s great being able to talk to students who say things like, ‘that guest speaker made me realize I want to do purchasing,’ or ‘I want to do demand management now.’ That’s our focus in Supply Chain Club — getting students to where they want to be in the world.”

Through the club, students can also tour local company facilities, plants and distribution centers to get an inside look at what it’s like to work in the field of supply chain. “We would have three plant tours each semester,” former club officer Alex White said. “[The tours] were great in giving me an idea of what it’s like to work in these big manufacturing and distribution plants. My favorite experience was touring the Dell plant in Apex. I learned a lot about the business and how [supply chain] relates to business.”

Students received interview tips and resume feedback in preparation for the upcoming Supply Chain Recruiting Event and Poole College Career Fair at Tuesday night’s Supply Chain Club Meeting.

The club also has a direct impact on students’ ability to acquire new job opportunities. “[The club] played a role in getting me the job I have now, because my employer saw I had a motivation and desire to learn more about the supply chain industry,” said White.

Senior Rich Wachowski also leveraged the resources of the Supply Chain Club to acquire his recent internship with Duke Energy. “I found out about the opportunity from a list distributed by the Supply Chain Club,” he said in an interview with the SCRC.

Though the club is aimed at students studying supply chain, anyone is encouraged to attend. Some students, like senior Casey Hogeboom, found their passion for supply chain after attending club meetings. “It really helped me sophomore year,” Hogeboom said. “I was trying to figure out what concentration I wanted to do. It was really helpful because they would have a lot of professionals come in and talk about what they did and why they chose supply chain, and then from there I was able to make more connections and find out about the Supply Chain Recruiting Event. So I do as much as I can with [the club].”

Simply put, the Supply Chain Club is a great way for students to get an inside look at what it’s like to work in supply chain and prepare for a career in the field. Interested? The club’s next event will be held on Friday, October 11, 2019 from 1-3pm when the group heads to Fuquay-Varina to tour the John Deere plant.

To see the club’s full calendar of events for the fall semester, click here.

To visit the Supply Chain Club’s website, click here.