MBA Supply Chain Student Advances Career With Tailor-Made Program
From textile engineer to supply chain management professional, career-changer Kayes Mahmud found the right fit with the full-time Jenkins MBA program.
By Samantha Beavers
While studying textile engineering in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Jenkins MBA student Kayes Mahmud first learned about the power of supply chain management. Learning about its ability to boost customer services, reduce operational costs, increase profitability and advance sustainability, he began to take an interest in the field and pursue opportunities to change his career trajectory.
As a first step, he pursued a year-and-a-half MicroMasters credential in supply chain management offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on edX. “It was a really eye-opening chapter of my life. I learned about all the basic, analytical and systematic approaches toward efficient and responsive supply chain management. From that point, I set my mind to becoming a world-class professional in this field,” he says.
His hard work and determination paid off – landing him a good job in the field upon graduation in Bangladesh’s competitive job market. Working in the supply chain department of Bit Body Bangladesh Limited, a fully-owned subsidiary of the custom-made clothing startup MTailor based in San Francisco, he earned two promotions within a year – becoming a manager of inventory management and control.
As a career changer, however, Mahmud felt the limitations of his engineering background. Hoping to broaden his perspective and expand his opportunities, he turned to the Jenkins MBA program at NC State.
“I wanted to be able to see the larger picture, connect the dots and better understand the implications of my decisions from a business standpoint. I decided to pursue my MBA so I could supplement my technical skills with managerial skills in order to be a stronger business professional. I also knew getting an MBA would open up opportunities in a variety of sectors and industries,” Mahmud explains.
As a STEM-designated MBA with a supply chain concentration, the Jenkins MBA immediately stood out to him. Then, as Mahmud considered the program’s affordability through graduate assistantship opportunities and its unique features – including certificate programs and the chance to gain hands-on experience through the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC) – he was sold.
“Having the opportunity to participate in practicum projects in cooperation with the SCRC’s industry partners and obtain the business analytics certificate and SAP University Alliance certificate made the Jenkins MBA the right fit for me” Mahmud says. “Moreover, the ROI, facts and rankings, industry engagement and employment statistics were really impressive.”
Since joining the full-time MBA program, Mahmud has appreciated the practical knowledge and skills he’s gained, which have helped him in his role as a supply chain intern with Hitachi Energy. Working with one of the company’s high-voltage product manufacturing units in Mount Pleasant, Pa., Mahmud is responsible for building the data model, analyzing data and sharing insights with management to make data-informed decisions that improve end-to-end supply chain operation – as well as working on supply chain visibility, automation and continuous improvement projects.
“I can directly apply many of the skills developed in the classroom to my day-to-day job, as most of the tools we use in the classroom environment have direct applications in the industry,” he says.
However, it’s not just the content – but the people – that stands out about his MBA experience.
“I would say being part of this diverse cohort is the thing I value most. Throughout the program, I have had the opportunity to work with many teams with people from many different backgrounds, experiences and nationalities, which has helped me better understand team leadership and synergy. I’ve learned how to work collaboratively and collectively in a diverse environment,” Mahmud says.
“Similarly, I have appreciated the support from the career management center. They play a big part in giving us out-of-the-classroom experience and preparing us to enter the job field. Their seamless effort from the beginning has helped me be confident in my career and prepare for whatever I want to achieve next,” he continues.
To that end, Mahmud has made it a point to maximize the various leadership and networking opportunities at his disposal. He is actively involved with the SCRC, serves as president of the MBA Student Association Supply Chain Club and is involved with professional supply chain organizations, including the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO). In September, Mahmud was awarded a scholarship to attend the NASPO Annual Conference in San Diego, where he represented NC State and Jenkins MBA.
“It was an amazing experience – such a tremendous opportunity to network and learn about the way innovation and technology are shaping the future of public procurement,” Mahmud says. Post-MBA, Mahmud plans to carry all these lessons, skills, experiences and relationships with him to advance his career in supply chain – and not just for his own sake.
“I want to continue my career journey in the supply chain domain as an analyst or specialist and become a leader in a global company,” he says. “In the future, I intend to establish a consultancy firm in my home country to help the industry to grow and sustainably manage its supply chain.”