Leading the Pack: Sultana Islam Mithi
Sultana Islam Mithi is a 2020 Jenkins MBA alumna. Graduating during the pandemic came with its own set of challenges. However, Mithi discusses how the NC State STEM designation helped her and other international students during this difficult time.
In the following Q & A, Mithi goes into more detail about why she chose NC State, advice for prospective students, and how the career center and supply chain courses help prepare her for obtaining a job post graduation.
Q: Why did you choose the NC State Jenkins MBA program for your graduate education?
A: The NC State MBA is one of the best in the United States. It offered academic rigor along with real-life experiences. It gave me the opportunity to interact with faculty, peers, and the business community through various projects, which is very important for any business student.
Q: How did the Jenkins MBA Career Center contribute to your professional achievements and successes?
A: The career center had a great influence on my career. Coming from a different country it was difficult for me to understand the corporate culture, networking, and the overall professional approach. The career center was a tremendous help in this matter. My career coach helped me to achieve the skills and confidence to represent myself and show my unique knowledge that I can bring to the table. From job seeking to salary negotiation, the career center was there with me all along.
Q: How did you become interested in your field? How did the STEM accreditation help you in your job search?
A: When I first started my MBA I was not sure which concentration I was going to focus on, but when I took my first Supply Chain course I really enjoyed the challenge it represented. I knew this was something that motivated me towards growth. Later on I had the opportunity to work on some real-life supply chain projects with a real company that gave me a snippet of the importance of supply chain in today’s business.
Since I graduated during the pandemic, getting a job at that time proved to be very difficult, as many companies stopped recruiting new employees. Also, being an international student didn’t help much either, but since the NC State MBA obtained the STEM accreditation, it allowed me more time to work without getting picked up in the lottery, which gave the employer more confidence in hiring internationals like me.
Q: What advice would you give for prospective and current students who are interested in your industry/profession?
A: First and foremost Network and Network. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of networking in any profession. Networking can help you not only to get your dream job but also to stay on top of all the things happening in your sector. Especially in the supply chain industry, where every day is a new challenge with everything happening around the world.
Be enthusiastic to learn new things. Do voluntary projects with your professors or different organizations related to your interest. This will not only help you get real-life experience but also a strong networking opportunity.
Q: Could you give a brief explanation of your current line of work and how COVID-19 has impacted it? As well as how the MBA has helped prepare you navigate during these times?
A: My current line of work involves working with suppliers from all over the world. Most of my suppliers are from Europe, which made it very difficult to maintain the inbound shipment during this pandemic. This ultimately affected the production of my company. So, optimizing the resources we have become the main strategy right now.
My MBA courses in the supply chain had a major focus on optimization and handling different challenges in the supply chain sector, working in different kinds of projects added values in this regard too. All of these have been helping me to understand my current challenges and working around them to mitigate risks and ensuring better management of resources.