MSCM Leader Speaker Series

“The field of supply chain management is evolving quickly and there are so many emergent technologies that don’t get documented at the same pace for our students to learn,” explained Professor Yong-Pin Zhou, Faculty Director of the Foster MSCM program and SCM 599 instructor. “Through the leader series, we bring the outside world into the classroom and fill the gap.”

The Supply Chain Leader Series (SCM 599) is a 3-credit course, which connects Foster MSCM students with industry leaders through insightful discussions of key supply chain management topics. The course is designed to complement our students’ in-class learnings with current events and best practices in the field. It is intentionally planned to expose our students to relevant concepts, people, and companies. 

A Thematic Approach to the Course 

Last year, professionals from the aviation industry came to the Foster MSCM classroom to talk about sustainability measures in their companies. When the course was being taught remotely, speakers from various industries such as e-commerce, the healthcare industry, etc. spoke about the different aspects of adapting to the pandemic like vaccine supply chain, dealing with supply chain shortages, etc. 

Seminars are organized in a way that students gain practical contexts to their theoretical learnings. “One year, we timed a negotiation-themed talk in the autumn quarter as that is a class in the autumn quarter curriculum,” said Prof. Zhou. 

A Networking Opportunity 

Home to several globally leading companies – Costco, Starbucks, Boeing, Paccar, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alaska Airlines, to name a few – it is safe to say that the course could not be taught in a better city. “Seattle has so many supply chain experts and we have access to speakers who are eager to share their insights with our students,” said Prof. Zhou. 

SCM 599 is designed such that students learn as much as they are willing to. With relevant readings given to the students before each class session, they can prepare to pick the speakers’ brains and get more out of the discussion. From career opportunities to soft skills that are useful to have, speakers are often willing to answer any question. 

Speakers represent diverse educational backgrounds, demographics, and industries. 

“I want to give a special shoutout to the speakers for their generous pro-bono work,” said Prof. Zhou. “Through these talks, students are not only learning fresh material, but they are also easing into the profession, which is the goal of our program.” 

Learn more about the 2023 Leader Speaker Series talk by Starbucks’ Senior Sourcing Manager of I.T. Interested in hands-on learning experiences like this one? Check out the Foster MSCM curriculum! 

Written by Niv Joshi
Writer & Content Strategist
[email protected]