MSCM Alumni Look Back and Ahead on the Impacts of a Pandemic

MSCM Class of 2019 graduates

MSCM Class of 2019 graduates gather after the ceremony.

As current Foster Master of Supply Chain Management students prepare to hit the halfway mark in the program amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, they can rely on the words of wisdom of MSCM alumni who have graduated, attained supply chain roles, or transitioned from in-person to remote work during the pandemic. Here’s what they have to say.

1. Lean on Your Resources

Shannon Awes is a Foster MSCM alum from the class of 2020. Upon graduating in June of 2020, Shannon began a role as a Global Operations Analyst for Columbia Sportswear, and currently, she is a Senior Business Analyst at Nike. The foremost advice that Shannon would give to MSCM students trying to navigate a COVID-19 impacted job market is to lean on the resources available to them including Foster Career Services, their classmates, and alumni network. “The number one thing for me was Foster Career Services—all the content was moved online, and Jack did an excellent job at keeping in touch with everybody,” Shannon reflects. Jack Chung is the Associate Director of Career Services at Foster.

2. The Supply Chain Endures

As MSCM students we’re fortunate that our career path is always going to be in demand, our skillset will always be needed somewhere. – King Lau ( MSCM Class of 2020)

Like Shannon, King Lau is also a Foster MSCM class of 2020 alum and is currently a Procurement Analyst at Boeing. Alongside being employed at Boeing while in the program, the ever-present need for supply chain officials helped King stay positive about the job market. “As MSCM students we’re fortunate that our career path is always going to be in demand, our skillset will always be needed somewhere, from Boeing to Amazon.” While the COVID-19 pandemic had devastating impacts on some industries, supply chain workers are a key part of the United States’ pandemic recovery. According to King, the enduringness of supply chain professionals through all kinds of conditions also helped to make the initial transition to remote work smoother as well. “I felt really supported when Boeing first went remote and I have friends in similar roles at other companies like Microsoft and Amazon who said they felt the same way,” King looks back.

3. Microsoft in the Frontline

Justin Gillebo is a Foster MSCM alum from the class of 2019. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Justin had been working in the Azure Hardware Supply Chain Engineering department at Microsoft for a little over a year. According to Justin, similar to the expansion that Amazon experienced in its supply chain and logistics department, Microsoft experienced similar developments regarding its Azure cloud computing service. “A lot of essential services like hospitals are leveraging Microsoft’s cloud capacity so it’s really important for us to make sure our Azure cloud meets that customer demand. Whether it’s, doctors, hospitals, firefighters, or police officers, also about 95% of the fortune 500 companies leverage our cloud.” Regarding a return to a sense of normalcy post-pandemic, Justin believes there will be a new normal that intertwines remote work efficiently with in-person work. “I think the future of the professional world is  not a light-switch model where it’s all in person or all remote but more of a dimmer switch hybrid model.” This is in line with what most experts have to say as letting employees work from home allows for increased productivity and employee satisfaction as well as lower business costs and carbon footprints.

There’s no doubt that the world around us is constantly changing, and the COVID-19 pandemic may have accelerated the timeline for certain changes. One thing that is here to stay, however, is the supply chain. Apply today to the Foster MSCM program and be among the constant in a world of changing technologies.

Read more about COVID-19 and the supply chain here.


Written by Maryam Noor
MSCM Writer & Content Strategist
[email protected]