1. Name, academic program/concentration and year in the program.
Graham Givens, MBA with a concentration in Supply Chain Management, 2nd year
2. Prior work experience.
After graduating from the University of Mary Washington in 2013, I knew I wanted to make a career out of environmental protection and I thought policy was the best way to accomplish my goal. My first job was with Environment North Carolina here in Raleigh as their Clean Energy Associate where I worked on clean energy and climate policy. While working there, I began to realize that policy might not be the most efficient and sustainable solution to fixing our environmental problems and I began searching for a way to combine my passion for environmental protection and business. After this realization, I went to go work for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems as their Program Assistant for their Sustainable Agriculture Internship. While overseeing 15 interns from around the world, I got to see first-hand how sustainable, local agriculture protected the environment and provided, in many cases, a profitable product that allowed farms to be financially sustainable. As I continued with CEFS, I began to learn how a well-managed supply chain could connect farmers and consumers and overall, increase access to local, sustainable products.
3. Why did you select the NC State Jenkins MBA program?
For me, the NC State Jenkins MBA program was a perfect fit. Coming into the business school search with a specialized interest, I knew I wanted a program that would give me the skills necessary to make a career change while allowing me the flexibility to create my own path. With the think and do attitude and the emphasis on gaining real world experience during the program, I knew I could make the Jenkins MBA my own.
4. Why did you select the supply chain management concentration; how does it align with your career goals?
Supply chain management is a way I can provide assistance to the local, sustainable food movement. Using what I learn in the program and as a Supply Chain Scholar, I hope to facilitate the connections between our local, sustainable farmers and consumers here in North Carolina while working to make those connections efficient and environmentally sustainable. Overall, I hope to grow the local, sustainable food economy while accomplishing my mission of protecting the environment.
5. What did you gain from prior experience as an SCRC Scholar?
The main thing that I gained from being an SCRC Scholar last year was more experience and knowledge about my field. Though I had worked in the local and sustainable food industry prior to coming back to school, I did not have a very deep understanding of the industry as a whole. Working for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), I was able to gain hands-on experience in local food distribution and sourcing strategies.
6. What would you say to a prospective MBA student or an MBA student considering involvement with the SCRC?
I would strongly suggest any prospective or current MBA student to get involved with the SCRC. The SCRC has allowed me to focus on my area of interest while gaining a significant amount of hands on experience. This knowledge is proving to be extremely helpful in my job search and I would not have had the opportunities that the SCRC provides at any other school or in any other academic center at the Poole College of Management.
7. Where did you intern this summer? Did it align with your supply chain education (if so, how)?
I interned with the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), completing research in restaurant supply chain management. Though much of the research methodology was not aligned with my supply chain education, my understanding of supply chain management and the experience I gained through the SCRC was invaluable in completing this project.