Shannon Awes is part of the Master of Supply Chain Management’s class of 2020. She is a full time student, avid travel, and pizza-lover, hailing from the Midwest. Prior to joining the program, Shannon worked as an Inventory Analyst at the Target Corporation. Someday, she hopes to be a director or manager of supply chain. We talked to Shannon about why the Master of Supply Chain Management degree was the right choice for her.
A Product of Minnesota
“I’m from the Minneapolis area, in Minnesota. I grew up in the suburbs just south of Minneapolis and went to the University of Minnesota where I graduated in 2016. The summer after college, I started my job at Target Corporation headquarters as an Inventory Analyst. I have lived in Minneapolis my whole life,” shared Shannon. She left home for the first time this summer to pursue a master of supply chain management degree, here in Seattle. “Knowing that supply chain is my passion and I could narrow my options to fit my needs made such a difference. I was particularly attracted to this program because outside of Minneapolis, Seattle is a place that has a popular job market, and this program has strong industry support. As a person who wants to get a job after graduating, that was really attractive to me.”
Armed with experience from her time at Target Corporation, Shannon knows exactly what she brings to the table. “I’m very organized and generally a good product manager. I’ve led many trainings and organized projects in my last job, which are skills I bring with me here. In general, I think of myself as a good communicator because I like to make sure everyone is on the same page.”
A Collaborative and Engaging Supply Chain Management Degree
Shannon finds herself enjoying the collaborative classroom atmosphere and interactions with classmates. “People aren’t afraid to raise their hands and offer their perspective on things, which is great because everyone has such different backgrounds. All of the professors are open to listening to everyone’s ideas and talking through how they connect to the concepts at hand. It really invites us to learn from each other.”
Struck by the program’s blend of business concepts and industry skills, Shannon speaks excitedly about how the classroom is preparing her for the field. “So far, I’ve really enjoyed Finance and Accounting which, I was dreading. It’s a good example of a course that isn’t directly related to supply chain, but having a baseline understanding of the concepts is essential to being a supply chain professional. It’s the right amount of information and has been organized in such a way that we are learning the concepts as if we were math majors, but applying them as managers. It’s a good balance!” Already, she sees many connections between her work in industry and topics in class.
Becoming a Seasoned Graduate Student
Only a quarter in, and a week away from finishing her first finals, Shannon sounds like a veteran graduate student. She knows the best places to lounge on campus during a nice summer day (the Paccar lounge and patio), what to look forward to in the spring (hello, cherry blossoms on the quad), and has figured out the best place to study (anywhere there is coffee and food). But, perhaps her most pro tip is regarding balancing priorities. “I like to schedule out my days and get ahead whenever possible,” she says. “That means at the beginning of the semester or midway, looking at what’s going on for the month, and then plotting out assignments.” She credits this habit as the key to her ability to stay motivated and keep atop of everything as a graduate student. Pro status, indeed!
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