As pandemic-induced supply shortages continue to demonstrate the impact of the global supply chain, students in Bryant’s global supply chain management (GSCM) program, now in its 13th year and recently ranked among the top programs in the country (Top 5%, No. 16) by College Factual, have been generating supply chain solutions for real-world clients and delivering staggering results in the GSCM Practicum (GSCM 490). The capstone course features a semester-long consultancy project, providing students a dynamic opportunity to gain more knowledge and skills while building career credentials.
In the course, student teams work on rigorous, real-world supply chain problems for locally- and regionally-based companies with a global presence, some of which are publicly traded. The course is competitive, too. Teams pitch their final solutions to a panel of industry judges. Cash prizes are awarded to the top performers.
“The hands-on aspect of the capstone project truly gave me an understanding of what it is like working in industry.”
In the Spring 2021 semester, clients included Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin Company; Edesia, a manufacturer of therapeutic food for malnourished children globally; Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, a world-leading developer of digital manufacturing technologies; Teknor Apex, a chemicals company; and several others.
The students’ solutions generated a total of $22.9M in projected savings.
“All of the projects were very impressive but some of their financial impacts are beyond comprehension, especially when you consider that they were done by college students,” says Chris Roethlein, Ph.D., Professor of Management and GSCM Practicum Director. “Our students have shown that they are more than capable of meeting the needs of industry, even before they graduate.”
Bryant's expert supply chain faculty, who serve as mentoring advisors for the teams, say the integrative, multi-disciplinary and experiential course is designed to provide students an opportunity to apply all they’ve learned in a real-world experience that prepares them for their careers. Spring 2021 capstone students, who are now recent alumni, say the course does just that, noting their appreciation for the course’s valuable takeaways and additional resume credentials for their career launch.
“I learned more than I ever anticipated from this project,” said Danielle Caci '21, who double-majored in Global Supply Chain Management and Applied Analytics and minored in Team and Project Management. She is currently employed as a Material Planning Analyst in the Supply Chain Development Program at Dell Technologies. Her team earned first place for their Spring 2021 presentation of solutions for their client, Hexagon, which they also delivered in-person to leaders at the global IT company’s local office and virtually to Hexagon management in Sweden.
“The hands-on aspect of the capstone project truly gave me an understanding of what it is like working in industry, how the entire supply chain connects end to end, and how it is vital to be mindful of how things have a ripple effect - both within the supply chain and externally on the environment,” said Caci.
Her team successfully created a sustainable end-of-life process while minimizing disposal costs for Hexagon’s Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs), including the machine’s large granite slabs, which is something that most granite manufacturers are still struggling to do. Thanks to their work, Hexagon plans to roll out changes world-wide to all of their divisions soon.
“I have just begun a 3-year rotational supply chain program at Dell and already can see how my experience working with the Hexagon team and being challenged has given me practice.”
She says the experience is paying off today in her role at Dell.
“This experience has prepared me for my career substantially. I have just begun a 3-year rotational supply chain program at Dell and already can see how my experience working with the Hexagon team and being challenged has given me practice,” said Caci.
“The course opportunity has been more valuable than I could have ever imagined.”
A regulatory perspective
For Marisa Andreozzi '21, who graduated with a degree in International Business - Global Supply Chain Management and a second degree in Chinese plus a concentration in Applied Analytics, understanding how to overcome a big learning curve was one takeaway that she appreciated from her work with thermoplastic compounds company Teknor Apex, noting “it was challenging, but there will be many steeper hurdles I’ll face in the future.” She is now employed as an Application and Program Analyst at Deloitte.
In the course, Andreozzi's team was tasked with helping the multinational company perform a gap analysis on their Export Compliance Program to identify areas where it could be strengthened or better organized. “This was a very unique project — the regulatory side of supply chain isn't something undergraduates are usually exposed to.”
“It helped me land my current role at Deloitte. During the interviews, I was able to speak about what I was doing in real time—challenges I was facing and how I was overcoming them.”
The company implemented changes during the semester and was very pleased with the results, as was Andreozzi. Experiential learning in the course added to skills learned from a prior IB Practicum course, and she was able to discuss the GSCM challenge in interviews while it was ongoing, which helped her launch a consulting career at a Big Four firm.
“It helped me land my current role at Deloitte. During the interviews, I was able to speak about what I was doing in real time—challenges I was facing and how I was overcoming them. Things like managing ambiguity, setting achievable goals, providing value even when the client has nothing but positive feedback really stood out to them. Now I understand why, because all of that is my day to day.”