First Impressions and Orientation

Andy Brown Class of 2017

Orientation may actually be a bit of a misnomer; it’s probably more accurately of a reorientation to university than anything else. We had our famous day at Thompson Island, and then it was down to learning, relearning, and working. But when orientation was over, what I remembered most was making 42 new friends.

The day of orientation was what you might imagine: Bruce talked to all of us, gave us the requirements, and made a few jokes. We laughed, we ate together, we made as many friends as we could. The second day of orientation was our annual trip to Thompson Island. A clear, hot day in August, we all boarded a ferry and were treated to a different view of Boston and Cambridge than we had previously seen. Filled with leadership and team-building exercises, the day on the island was spent getting to know new people and trying your best to remember everyone’s name. Of course Maine Lobster was served afterwards, and we all laughed at everyone who had never had a lobster before struggle to understand how to eat it. By the end of it, tired out from activities and well-fed from the dinner afterwards, most people knew each other’s names and at least a little bit about them.

The following Monday, we were thrown into the deep end. Team work and individual homework assignments on both new and old subjects were assigned regularly; by the end of orientation, I had worked (or at least visited) with almost everyone else in the class. We had exercises on how to speak and write, and ultimately get the best job. We shaped our stories, got comfortable with each other and groups, and really spent time just learning the right way to speak to potential employers.

Even now, I don’t remember the exact assignments. I remember that some were harder than others, and that sometimes I felt short on time. I remember studying for the final test and realizing that I had to remember how to actually study. But what I remember was working with my new friends for the next year, procrastinating about the work while pretending to do it, instead getting to know each other better. I remember getting hot pot for the first time with a few experts. We made time to do some exploring in Boston, like walking the freedom trail.

Ultimately, orientation is about working together as a class. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and everyone had assignments in both columns. Teamwork made everything achievable and friendship made it fun and worth it.

First Impressions and Orientation

Hello from the SCM Class of 2017!

We (Caroline Bleggi & Patrick Scott) cannot wait to share the perspectives and experiences of this year’s Supply Chain Management cohort.

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We could not have a more diverse or talented group of professionals. We have students from Kazakhstan, Finland, Singapore, China, and Brazil – and that’s only the start. Prior to joining the Supply Chain Management program, one classmate was leading sailors under the sea while serving as a submariner in the United States Navy. Another was assembling a team for a new tech startup. While our classmates are undoubtedly accomplished, they are also welcoming. Bruce, Kirsten, and Sue do an excellent job of building community within the SCM family and the Center for Transportation and Logistics as a whole.

The great strength of the program is the SCM family. You will hear ideas and analysis from classmates with a foundation that ranges from oil and gas to Disney. Each individual brings a unique perspective that shapes our cohort. Although we came to MIT from different countries, educational backgrounds, and cultures, the connection and friendships began before first day of orientation. We frequently have Salsa Fridays and Dim Sum Saturdays This past Saturday we even went apple picking as a class.

From Day 1, the program is packed with action. Outside of classes, thesis sponsor presentations, recruiting activities, and events around Boston leave no down time. This program creates a truly tight knit group with close friendships developing almost overnight.

We hope to share the community within the SCM program through our blog posts this year. Expect to see posts about the application process, SCM vs MBA (as well as MBA + SCM), orientation, life in Boston, thesis experience, and more.

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The MIT Sustainability Certificate: Unlocking the True Power of Supply Chains

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Tao Zhang, SCM Class of 2016

Rishi Gohil, SCM Class of 2016
Rishi Gohil, SCM Class of 2016

The world is at a crossroads – populations and economies are growing on pace to exceed the resources available. Yet despite human ingenuity and an ever-changing technological landscape, on a planet with finite resources, this growth is inevitably unsustainable. In fact, the grave social and environmental effects emanating from these growth dynamics are already inescapably evident. Such a complex and critical problem demands a swift and coordinated response by governments, private enterprises and individuals alike, to ensure that future generations enjoy just as much promise and opportunity as we do today.

Continue reading “The MIT Sustainability Certificate: Unlocking the True Power of Supply Chains”

The MIT Sustainability Certificate: Unlocking the True Power of Supply Chains

Student Profiles: Nathan Stempel

Nathan Stempel, SCM Class of 2016
Nathan Stempel, SCM Class of 2016

Name: Nathan Stempel

Tell us a bit about yourself: I am from Upstate New York and enlisted in the US Navy directly after high school. Having completed the Navy’s Nuclear Power Training pipeline, I was selected to attend college at Auburn University on a Navy scholarship to get my commission as an Officer. I served three years on a submarine out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii before coming to MIT to teach as an instructor in the MIT Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program.

What led you to this program? Having the amazing opportunity to be on campus as part of the MIT NROTC program allowed me time to explore all the incredible programs MIT offers. Pound for pound, the SCM Program was the best value that would challenge my analytic skills and help me develop practical business acumen.

How’s it going so far in the program? Great! The curriculum has enough structure to make sure you come out as a talented supply chain professional, but leaves enough flexibility to allow you to study any topic you want. I have chosen to take a lighter course load to focus on generating a high-quality thesis. I have been able to take a passion of mine in one of my entrepreneurial ventures and study it in great depth. This has given me direct personal impact and the opportunity to improve an industry I care a lot about, Brewing! I am very excited to release it to the public.

Where do you want to go after this? Part of the allure of the program was that I could join some of the most dynamic and change oriented companies around. This promised a fresh opportunity that represented a completely different view of life and operations than I had in the US Navy. Ultimately, I decided to join a consulting firm to get the largest breadth of corporate America I could and to ensure I was involved in impact projects that I knew I could feel proud of.

What is your favorite thing about the program? The direct interaction with staff and professors. There is a very humble air around the faculty that makes them approachable, and having the opportunity to discuss my ideas on a one-on-one basis is invaluable.

Most Memorable Moment in Your SCM journey? Over IAP (Independent Academic Period), you have an incredibly intense month of projects and group work. MIT supports logistic centers from around the globe that send students to participate in these activities. You expand your network and learn about leadership and group work in a diverse environment.

Part of the focus is on diversity of personality types. This translated directly into action and better understanding of myself and how to work in a team as I disagreed on a course of action for one of the projects. I had developed a mathematic proof for the direction the team should be going. The argument did not appeal to a team member who related more emotionally to subject matter. I was stumped as to what to do. I am a very analytical person and I could not believe that my logically-driven mathematical approach did not win the teammate over to my side. Reflecting on my recent training in emotional intelligence, I was able to empathize with their position and come to a cooperative plan of action. Realizing the depth of diversity and human reactions has stood out to me as the most salient lesson in reality thus far.

Favorite thing to do in Boston? There are many old traditions in Boston. Take advantage of attending some of the events that have been long standing and are embedded in the culture here. Some example are the Dragon Boat Races, The Head of the Charles River, free shows in the Boston Common, and of course, the sporting events!!

Any advice for prospective students? “Think you can, think you can’t; either way, you’ll be right” – Henry Ford. Here at MIT, you will be surrounded by people who think they can! Take the opportunity to inspire, and be inspired by, how many people around you are trying to change the world. From your classmates to MBA students to doctoral candidates, establish your network and get involved with the amazing projects going on here.

Student Profiles: Nathan Stempel