Poole College of Management students gain industry insights at SIG Global Summit

By Hugh Fisher

Nine Poole College of Management students represented NC State at the recent Sourcing Interests Group Global Executive Summit.

Jenkins MBA Candidates Nina Keidel, Jon-David Gormley, Gonzalo Eduardo Alvarez Fagundez, Ayeesha Aslem and Tyler Price attended the conference, along with undergraduates Thomas D. Vines, Brandy Parobok, Matthew Kasperski and Victor Hazi. The conference was held March 10-12 in Amelia Island, Fla.,

At the SIG Summit, participants heard industry leaders share insights on issues and opportunities, with topics including “Best Practices in Leadership and Sourcing” and “Transforming the Workplace through Artificial Intelligence.”

For Poole College of Management students, the opportunity to network with industry leaders was invaluable. “The experience has been just incredible,” first-year MBA student Nina Keidel said.  “Before going to the conference I had a very broad understanding of procurement. By attending SIG, I now have a better understanding of the types of technology some companies are using, as well as a better idea of how companies operate.”

Throughout the conference, she said, students were able to meet with industry reps non-stop. “Literally, it is networking at breakfast, lunch and dinner and every second in between. And it is great!” Keidel said.

“We worked with both the graduate students and the undergraduates to prepare them to for speed networking, branding and strategizing how to make the best use of the opportunity,” said Belinda Dowdy, assistant director of the Jenkins Career Management Center.

In addition to tailoring students’ resumes to this opportunity, staff created a program of workshops on branding, professional networking and how to make the best pitch, all geared toward supporting the students’ individual brands as supply chain professionals.

“We made sure they understood what this conference was going to be like and how to best leverage this opportunity, even keeping in touch with the students while they were at the conference,” Dowdy said. “NC State’s students made such a good impression, and the support of faculty and staff was such that other opportunities will come available to them as a result of the connections they made at SIG.”

“We’ve been invited to help plan future SIG conferences based on the success our students have demonstrated,” said Douglas Mayes, of the Jenkins Career Management Center.

The Supply Chain Resource Cooperative was instrumental in making the SIG Global Summit possible for nine students, funding the hotel accommodations in Florida for those who attended.

Supply Chain Resource Cooperative Director Clyde Crider said the primary goal of the initiative is to find opportunities to enhance the quality of Supply Chain students’ academic experiences. “We are creating a pipeline of talented graduates who are prepared to become the next generation of supply chain industry leaders,” Crider said.

“We could not be more proud of the way these students represented NC State University and Poole College during the Summit,” Crider said. “At the end of the day, their participation helps us build the reputation and credibility of our program with corporate decision-makers and hiring managers.”

“It’s a wonderful conference to be in, and all of us who attended will agree with me,” said first-year Jenkins MBA candidate Ayeesha Aslem. She said several students had opportunities to interview with firms while at the event. “The experience at SIG was great in that you had the opportunity to interact personally with professionals who are advanced in their careers,” first-year MBA candidate Tyler Price said. “These opportunities led to many insightful conversations and gave me a understanding of the opportunities that lie ahead for my own career.”

“I exchanged business cards with at least 50 executives and I’m in frequent contact with a handful of them,” Keidel said. “By attending SIG, I have definitely expanded my network and feel a lot more comfortable with talking to executives.” Alvarez, a first-year Jenkins MBA candidate, said he enjoyed hearing from reps from Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing, Microsoft, Moody’s and SAP, “just to name a few.”

“All of the lectures contained information on industry best practices, personal supply chain project experiences, lessons learned and recommendations,” Alvarez said. “This gave us a lot of information on where the industry is going and what are they looking for in future professionals in the supply chain field.”

Numerous students who attended said they hope Poole College of Management students continue to be present at future SIG Global Summits, both to gain insights and perhaps to offer their own perspective as future supply chain professionals. “There is no question that the exposure our students get from events like the SIG Summit have a direct ‘pull-through’ to jobs,” Crider said. “It is truly a ‘win-win’ for everyone.”

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