Starting a Career in Supply Chain–the Right Field for Me

supply-chain-image

Anne-Mari Parkkinen (MBA ‘08) is a Supply Chain Analyst at Sonic Manufacturing Technologies.


A career in Supply Chain is not often on the minds of people that are starting an MBA program. I didn’t have a clear view of what I wanted to major when I applied. During a two-day orientation for international students at GGU, the line for the Supply Chain program table not as long as the others—only because people like me did not know much about it. When I got to the table and met program chair Richard Dawe, I began to discover that the Supply Chain career would the right fit for me.

I don’t consider myself a ‘math person.’ I like the fact that much of my job requires human judgment and making a proper interpretation of data.

What is Supply chain? 

The Supply Chain includes everything that happens from raw material to the end product in a customer’s hand. This includes many things such as procurement and logistics — getting the right products or services to where they need to be.  All companies are complex, and if their employees only think about the end product, it may be more expensive to get it to the customer in the long run. Everyone talks about product price in terms of Supply Chain, but it includes logistics and dealing with manufacturers and choosing the best one that can deliver the part ASAP. There are various roles in the field such a logistics expert, Supply Chain analyst (as I am), or Supply Chain manager just to mention a few.

Because Supply Chain is so important to a company’s bottom line, more people need to take advantage of opportunities in the field. Every type of company needs logistics or supply chain professional, and there are many vacancies. There is also a trend of manufacturing returning to the U.S. which will increase demand.  Supply Chain is also a very good field to enter because it relates to all industries.

The demand-to-supply ratio of jobs to qualified individuals is six to one.
— Supply and Demand Chain Executive Magazine (2016)

Why I Like It

Supply Chain jobs can be surprisingly rewarding. This career fits my love of research and solving logical puzzles. Supply Chain is not a mathematical discipline, and I don’t consider myself a “math person.”  I like the fact that much of my job requires human judgment and making a proper interpretation of data—how to sort it and decide what the most important factors are.  I enjoy doing the research to help me come to my conclusions. Another part of what I love about my job is getting to find out about every physical aspect of a product and learn what makes it work.

My Experience at Golden Gate University

I got an MBA from GGU with a field of study that included Operations, Supply Chain Management, International Logistics, and Project Management. Here is what I liked most about my experience:

  • The faculty teach from their real-world experience
  • Many fellow students were working adults, which gave me more insights into the supply chain and its wider business context.
  • The education is actually relevant to what I need in my job today.
  • Classes are very interactive and conversational. We are problem solving all the time rather than hearing lectures.

I really enjoyed studying in GGU and would absolutely recommend it to everyone who is thinking about pursuing their career with MBA.


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