Name: Veronica Stolear
Tell us a bit about yourself: I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. I moved to the United States and attended the University of Florida, where I graduated with a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering in 2012. I then worked at an oil and gas company in Houston, TX. I worked in Procurement, where I was responsible for the sourcing and acquisition of technologies globally. My grandparents immigrated to Venezuela from Romania after World War II. Coming from a family of immigrants and being an immigrant myself, I have always wanted to get a higher education. I believe that education is something that will always stay with me; it gives me confidence.
What led you to this program? One of the major challenges that I found in Procurement was logistics. We could find a great product that had all the specifications needed and we could negotiate effective terms and conditions with the suppliers. However, getting the right product at the right time and to the right location in remote places around the world was always a challenge.
As I thought about what type of Supply Chain master’s degree I wanted to pursue, I looked for a curriculum that would provide me with a mix of technical and managerial skills. I wanted a program that would emphasize the leadership aspect as I had learned that, to be effective in supply chain, one needs to have a strong influence on the different stakeholders (e.g., suppliers, distributors, clients, etc.), when a lot of times we don’t have direct authority over these parties. MIT’s SCM program was a perfect fit.
How’s it going so far in the program? It is going well! It took me some time to readjust to the “student life,” but now I’m all set! I am amazed every day by all the opportunities that SCM and MIT have to offer; I think the biggest challenge is choosing what to do! Recruiting is hectic: we have heard from a wide variety of companies, from drone manufacturers to chocolate makers and everything in between — very exciting! We have started our thesis projects. I am very fortunate to be working on a thesis related to network optimization for the supply of food products, an industry that I am very passionate about.
What is your favorite thing about the program? My favorite thing about the program is the practicality of its curriculum. For example, in one of the logistics classes, we estimated the demand for an upcoming movie and we were actually very close (even though forecasts are always wrong!).
Favorite thing to do in Boston? There is nothing that I enjoy more than my commute to class or my commute home. I cycle by the Charles River and the colorful fall trees never cease to impress me, I feel like a tourist every day. Sailing on the Charles River is also a magical experience.
Any advice for prospective students? Show your passion in your application.