1. Name, academic program/concentration and year in the program.
Stephanie White, 2nd Year MBA Candidate with a concentration in Supply Chain and Finance
2. Prior work experience.
Before joining the Jenkins MBA program, I worked at a few apparel companies in New York City managing retail and wholesale operations. I opened retail stores, supported sales managers, and managed a warehouse in Manhattan. The most challenging time was learning and training my staff on a new ERP system over the course of a year while sales doubled in growth!
3. Why did you select the NC State Jenkins MBA program?
The Jenkins MBA program was the only one I considered. My undergraduate degree was from Parsons School of Design, which placed great emphasis on design thinking and sustainability. I wanted to find a school with a similar dedication to creativity and innovation, plus rigor in quantitative reasoning. I also wanted to gain a solid understanding of the supply chain and accounting activities that I was doing in my professional life. Jenkins is strong in both disciplines, so it was a natural fit.
4. Why did you select the supply chain management concentration; how does it align with your career goals?
Supply chain management is a critical component of a fashion brand because it affects how quickly product can be delivered to sales floors and poor SCM can erase profit margins if not managed carefully. In other words, timing is everything. I would like to continue working in the apparel industry after graduation, and thought that getting my MBA in supply chain and finance would be the best thing for me and future employers!
5. What would you say to a prospective MBA student or an MBA student considering involvement with the SCRC?
I would recommend taking Dr. Handfield’s MBA 541 class in the first semester. It’s a great intro to supply chain and you get to work on a company-sponsored project. The experience is helpful in determining whether supply chain is right for you, gives you professional contacts at local companies, and is a great talking point when interviewing for summer internships.
6. Where did you intern this summer? Did it align with your supply chain education (if so, how)?
This past summer I interned at Resonance, which is a venture-operating company based in New York City that invests in small-stage fashion brands. My responsibility was to optimize accounting operations for Resonance’s brands, from the point of product conception to the receipt of finished goods. Data entry, inventory, and budgeting are challenging for small companies to manage because they have informal procedures and gaps in software capability. However, Resonance’s success is hinged on the ability to maintain truthful records. In the end, I recommended best practices to ensure accurate financial statements and proposed responsibilities by job function. My Jenkins education coupled with my past experience gave me the confidence to take on this consulting role.