We asked current Foster students to tell us why they chose Foster, explain how they balance life with school, and to share advice with potential applicants. Meet Master of Supply Chain Management student Megan Carter.
1) Where are you from?
I am from Washington, DC but I have been living in the Seattle area for about 7 years.
2) Are you currently working? If so, what is your job title?
Yes, I am a transportation analyst at Boeing in Renton.
3) What attracted you to Foster and the MSCM program?
I studied Logistics, Transportation, and Supply Chain Management for my undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland. I was fascinated by supply chain and the movement of goods and have been working in various supply chain roles for the past 10 years. The MSCM program is a great opportunity to learn what is new in the industry and to learn different and better ways to look at and address supply chain challenges that occur in the industry every day.
4) What skills and/or knowledge are you looking to develop?
Most of my supply chain experience has been in operations roles now through Boeing and previously at BNSF Railway and two international freight forwarders in the Seattle area. I am hoping to gain the skills to move into a leadership role and apply the experiences I have seen in the workforce along with the new information gained from the program to make me a more effective decision maker.
5) What kind of connections have you made with your classmates/larger business community while in the program?
We have been assigned to small groups for team assignments and that has been a great way to get to know a group of students that I would not necessarily get to know as well in the larger class setting. Our class has students from around the world with a wide range of work experience. It has really helped to share each others experiences and backgrounds to give new perspectives during class or group discussions.
6) What do you think about the supply chain field in Seattle?
Seattle is a great place to be for the supply chain field. So many big names in supply chain are in Seattle and many of them are pushing the envelope and changing the supply chain industry at an incredibly fast pace.
7) What kind of impact would you like to have on the supply chain field?
So much has changed in the supply chain field in the ten years since I graduated college and started working. Technology and the availability of data and data analysis across all fields gives us access to helpful information to identify trends or issues and work to correct them quickly. I would like to apply what I have picked up in the field along with new skills and techniques I will learn in the MSCM program to improve the overall supply chain and procedures that have been around for decades. I see an opportunity for many companies to integrate new ideas and use the data they have available to change the way things are done to save time and money and be more efficient and effective from one end of the supply chain to the other.
8) How do you balance school with other life priorities?
I have definitely learned to prioritize from the Summer Quarter while working and adjusting to spending so many extra hours in class as well as working on individual and team assignments. I started using schedules and a lot of lists to keep up with everything due for school and work. I try to take each week one at a time. By breaking the quarter up into one week lists of what is due and what to look out for next week, I’m able to stay on top of everything pretty well. It is still not easy, but organization and planning ahead are key.
9) What do you like to do for fun?
I like to travel and explore the Puget Sound area with hiking, snowshoeing, and camping.
10) What’s been your favorite part of the program so far?
I am really excited for the fall quarter, which has just started. The first quarter was a lot of the fundamentals that we will build on in the rest of the program, but this quarter has some exciting classes that all directly relate to what I do at work today and issues that I have seen in the past. I am really looking forward to being able to start applying everything we will be learning right away!
11) What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about applying to Foster’s MSCM program?
This program is challenging, but worth the effort. You will get to work with some amazing faculty and professors that are truly passionate about this field and sharing that passion with all of their students. The class is made up of students from around the world who bring new ideas and a diverse set of perspectives to each and every discussion. Working together as a class or in our smaller groups, we are able to understand the concepts being presented better and share our own perspective and ideas with our classmates. The concepts being taught can be applied in the workplace right away. The classes are really practical and even if you don’t work in supply chain directly today, many of the skills transfer into any other field to improve process, work better in a team, and manage projects. These are the kinds of challenges faced in any industry and they are the kinds of skills that many of us try to learn as we go. It is really helpful to gain the skills to do all of those things in a way that has been proven to work!
Learn more about Foster’s Master of Supply Chain Management program
This post is part of a series where we ask current students to answer 11 questions about their experience at Foster. Stay tuned for more interviews!