Last Reflections from the Class of 2015

Dan Li, SCM Class of 2015
Dan Li, SCM Class of 2015

Editor’s Note: Last August, we 41 SCMites started our 10-month journey from Thompson Island. This August, we scatter all over the world, with the majority staying in the US. Most of us already started working in various companies including Apple, Amazon, Dell, McKinsey, and Microsoft. Some will start soon in August. One exception is our class’s party king – he is taking a road trip around the world, visiting SCMites, and will start his next journey at Deloitte in October. Reflecting on the past ten months, this journey made a significant mark on many of us. Here, the Class of 2015 would like to share our learnings with the future SCM fellows.

ONE: Things I Would Do Differently if I Started the SCM Program Again:

As a PhD in Genetics with not a lot of supply chain related work experience, I wasted a lot of time swinging back and forth in deciding to apply for consulting jobs or industry jobs in fall semester. My resume and experience was perfect for consulting jobs, but my heart was not into consulting at all. This unsettlement drained much of my energy in fall, and I ended up losing opportunities for both. In spring, I turned it around and dedicated myself to applying for industry jobs. Looking back, I would have started earlier in figuring out my true interest, and focused on it.
Dan Li

As one of the “elder” students, I would enroll in a resident Khan Academy before attending MIT. Seriously, the SCM Program was challenging and very well organized. From a military perspective, the SCM curriculum was quite rewarding as it provided me a different vantage point of logistics–Supply Chain Management. SCM is a critical component to any business framework; I would strongly recommend attendance to the SCM Program to any mid-career professional as an alternative to the traditional MBA.
Colonel Eric Robinson, US Army War College Fellow

Enjoy the fall in New England. Not sure if it would be possible, but if I could do it again I would definitely take advantage of the festivals, holidays and other great things to do on the east coast.
Jordan Nelson

I would be more adventurous! I would sign up for non-SCM courses that have personal appeal. I would recruit with companies that do not usually recruit from the program, but are interesting from the supply chain perspective. I would socialize more and travel with my classmates!
Mayurpankhi Barooah

Live off campus instead of Westgate dorm.
KD Kim

For career changers, really try to figure out what industry you want to get into, what companies within that industry you want join, and what positions you want to get. Figure out if you want to go into industry or consulting. Also figure out whether location really matters for you. From there, take the list of companies that hire from this SCM program and figure out which companies you want to target. There will be a lot of companies who come to recruit students from SCM and MIT, so knowing in advance which companies to target will put you way ahead. Whether you are going into industry or consulting, you should be polishing up your resume and practicing your interview skills prior to the program. When you get here, you will be bombarded with so much going on that interview preparation will be another heavy workload on your plate. If you’re interested in consulting, start reading up and practicing your case interviews prior to the program.
Jaspar Siu

I would take more classes outside of my wheelhouse. Don’t go for the class in which you can get an A, go for the ones with the passionate professors and with the material you know nothing about. Stretch yourself to learn and grow outside of your comfort zone this year.
Ann-Marie Chopyak

Scheduling time is not like a Tetris game. Prioritizing is much more important than managing time perfectly. If I were the newly admitted student again, I would plan my next three years and then prioritize my time accordingly to reach my goals.
Gloria Bai

TWO: Biggest Lesson I Learned from The 10-month Journey:

If you don’t get a job in fall, don’t panic. Some people may need more time to hone their interview skills; some may need more time to build up their confidence. Or sometimes you just need a little bit of luck. For myself, I spent the whole fall semester accumulating my knowledge in supply chain, which eventually helped me to nail down three job offers in spring. In the end, all of my patience and perseverance were rewarded – I got a position at Amazon, which I like very much. And this opportunity came in very late in April.
Dan Li

There are so many positives that I’ve gained from this experience. The many people, places, and things that I’ve encountered cannot be replaced. With all of the challenges that we have in society today, I truly believe the health of our future is in good hands based on the talents of the X-Y gens. While the old saying still holds true, “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” you still should conduct some critical analysis and “take a walk down by the river.”
Colonel Eric Robinson

You can’t do it alone. Every aspect of the 10-month journey hinges on teamwork; to succeed in even the perceived individual activities of interviewing and homework, you need to rely on classmates for second opinions and feedback. Course-correcting is key!
Jordan Nelson

Actually I learned three lessons: 1) It is never too late to learn. One just needs to be open and receptive. 2) It is better to try and fail than not try at all! Failures teach you so much more. 3) Surround yourself with bright people and you will never have a dull moment in life!
Mayurpankhi Barooah

MIT is not for the faint of heart.
KD Kim

The biggest lesson I took from the 10-month journey is that to really understand what is going on in any situation, it is crucial that you understand the numbers, but it is even more important that you understand the story behind them.
– Marcos Machado Teixeira

Be open minded and active throughout the 10 months. There are lots of opportunities everywhere and 10 months is really short. Try to make the most out of it.
Jaspar Siu

I am not as industrious, as ambitious, or as dedicated as I can be. My classmates’ hard work, inspiration, and commitment to life goals has proven to me that I can be much more. I graduate SCM with a renewed vitality and hunger to be better.
Nipun Patel

You must fight for what you want with all of your passion. Passion is a major differentiator when all else on the field is even. Don’t be afraid to let people in so that they can see that.
Ann-Marie Chopyak

I felt more confident and learned how to control my emotions better. During the first five months of my MIT journey, I went through a very tough period due to the high pressure of classes, culture shock, language lag, and heartbreak in my personal life, which had destroyed my previous plans. I had no more set plans, lacked confidence, and felt depressed, but I still believed that I came to MIT for a reason. I am lucky I had the time and friendly environment to permit me to make mistakes. And I wasn’t alone. Before the program, the majority of us had been successful in their respective professional fields. Coming back to school meant leaving our comfort zones. It’s normal to doubt yourself. Fortunately, I never gave up, because we came to MIT for a reason.
Gloria Bai

THREE: This 10-month is the Best Investment I Ever Made to My Education Because:

I became much more confident in myself. If you can graduate from the SCM program with a job you like, you will be capable in dealing with any challenge in life and work. Before I went to MIT, I heard the life would be intense and stressful, both mentally and physically. I was not confident in the beginning, and thought that either my physical body or my spiritual mind would melt down sometime during this journey. Actually: I survived. There were tears along the road, but thanks my dearest friends from the class, I was able to smile most of time. What I took from this experience goes beyond knowledge, network, or a decent job. It is all about love, limit-testing, and self-assurance.
Dan Li

The Army War College Fellowship Program selected 94 Army Officers to be part of the Academic Year (AY) 2014-2015. As one of the 94 personnel selected, this fellowship experience at MIT has been nothing short of phenomenal! I plan to re-emphasize the significance of critically analyzing a problem or issue not only with my subordinates, but with those supervising me as well. The MIT fellowship experience has been a first class adventure; I intend to use the MIT journey for the rest of my military career and for those endeavors I pursue once I leave military service.
Colonel Eric Robinson

It gave me the confidence to compete at any level. After working with so many talented and brilliant classmates, I know that I can be part of a team that changes an industry!
Jordan Nelson

It helped me achieve my short term goal of switching careers, it provided with excellent learning and credentials in supply chain and gave me a set of friends I will treasure all my life.
Mayurpankhi Barooah

Because of the SCM program I now feel citizen of the world. Thanks, family.
Panagiotis Andrianopoulos

MIT gives you a new-found knowledge, network, and confidence that you can carry with you to make an impact in the future.
Jaspar Siu

I ended up at my dream job. It took a lot of work to get the offer, but I can’t wait to begin contributing there.
Ann-Marie Chopyak

These 10 months have been the best investment I ever made in my education. Having the opportunity to receive guidance from highly intelligent and talented faculty, participating in the lectures of world-class professors, discussing the real risks and advantages of companies’ logistics and supply chain management, has been uniquely beneficial. I had real-life learning through case discussions and team projects, and from many people with many years of business experience. We worked on research projects exploring the current business issues of leading companies in the industry. MIT taught me to see the strategy and dynamics of different views through the eyes of different stakeholders in a business. I learned not only from faculty but also from my amazing peers who came from different backgrounds and countries. It was a great 10-month journey to spend time with many positive, talented, and motivated students who are now my friends. In addition to studying quantitative models and advanced analytics tools, we learned about each other’s traditions and languages and had a great time together from the coldest winter in Cambridge to the tropical climate in Panama. I am grateful to know all of my MIT SCM 2015 Family members.
Nane Amiryan

I got to see the most advanced ideas and technologies, and find a good job! Yes, because I am at MIT! A warm hearted Family and powerful MIT Network – the SCM and MIT alumni are my life-long treasure. I enjoyed the time with my SCM fellows very much.

I also learned how to work with international teams. Teamwork assignments were initially tough because my teammates came from different cultures and working styles. In the beginning, it hit me hard because I felt like I had no contributions to make, but gradually, I learned how to communicate and cooperate with people, when to compromise and when to speak up, and how to allot time to multiple team assignments. I also learned that everyone has value and I should trust my teammates.

Find a way and commit to it. Focus on curiosity and passion, and surprises may come. Because of my passion for humanitarian work, I took the course Humanitarian Logistics. Apart from my passion, I was surprised to find that this course was closely connected with what we learned in the Logistic System class. Thanks to the assignments in the latter class, I learnt how to mind important information from big data, and use that data to test concepts in the former.

Experience the best year in Boston. Boston is one of my favorite cities. One can get free access to most local museums with a student ID. Students can get discounts for the symphony and opera. You can also enjoy the nature through activities like jogging along the Charles River.
Gloria Bai

In Conclusion:

Your class is your family, and treat it as such. This is a tough year ahead and you will all need support and friendship from each other to make it enjoyable and make it through the journey.
Ann-Marie Chopyak

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Last Reflections from the Class of 2015

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