What Recruiters are Looking For in Supply Chain Students….

This is a guest post from Director Clyde Crider of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative, based on an MBA panel he sat in on yesterday at NC State’s Poole College of Management.

We are frequently asked to provide guidance and advice to students about how to be successful in their academic pursuits and professional careers.  Yesterday I attended an MBA panel discussion I thought provided some excellent insights into what corporate recruiters (the market) are looking for from our graduates (our product).  I wanted to share some of the highlights from the session with you in hopes that you will pass them along when you are approached by students seeking guidance.  The list is in no particular order and I’m sure there are many more that could be added – but I think it is a great start.

The companies represented on the panel were Advanced Auto Parts (who recently purchased Carquest), Amazon, Caterpillar and Patheon.  

Question: What key attributes are you looking for in graduates being recruited to become future supply chain leaders in your company? (In no particular order)

  1. A passion for supply chain, a passion to win
  2. A natural curiosity…desire to know and learn more
  3. Initiative, work ethic, motivation
  4. Positive attitude – toward the job and toward others
  5. Resilience – the ability to deal effectively with adversity without affecting your performance (dealing with good days & bad days)
  6. Creative, innovative thinker with a bias for action
  7. Leadership (Amazon’s 14 leadership principles)
  8. Customer focus willingness to go above and beyond to satisfy the customer
  9. Data analytic skills w/ strong attention to detail
  10. Business acumen – understands the business and what drives it
  11. Interpersonal skills – teamwork, collaboration, willingness to reach out to others
  12. Be coachable – willing to accept constructive criticism and act on it
  13. Listening skills – the willingness to talk less and listen more (learn from others)
  14. Candidates who have researched the company prior to the interview

Question:  What are the top two or three criteria graduates should consider when evaluating a job offer or prospective employer? (Aside from wages, benefits and time off)

  1. Do you have a passion for the company and the work?
  2. Do you fit into the corporate culture? (highly structured versus highly unstructured, dress code – business versus casual, etc)
  3. How much travel is required by the job?
  4. What is the “pace of play?” (high stress, fast-paced, etc)
  5. Will you have to relocate in the future?
  6. Are there opportunities for personal / professional growth, advancement, international assignments, etc.

Understanding what the market wants (Voice of the Customer) is mission critical as it relates to the design and content of our curriculum, programs and services (Voice of the Business).  I hope you find this information helpful…..I did.