The Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC) will cap off its 40th Semi-annual Conference on Dec. 5 with the famed Gallery Walk, a showcase of SCRC students’ corporate-partnered practicums.
Starting at 4:30 p.m., Duke Energy Hall in the James B. Hunt Library will be brimming with colorful project displays, eloquent students expounding on their results and chances to meet the next generation of thinkers and doers.
The practicums give supply chain students the opportunities to perform real-world projects — building their current and future job skills in the process — and provide corporate partners valuable data collection and baseline work to improve their supply chain systems.
“The companies get projects completed that are important to their business and they get access to the talent of the students,” wrote Tracy Freeman, a teaching assistant professor in operations and supply chain management, who teaches BUS 479 and MBA 541 and advises their corresponding practicum teams.
“The practicums are essentially internships and provide the students with experiences that they can add to their résumés and anecdotes for their interviews,” Freeman wrote.
One of her (BUS 479) teams conducted the Contract Reference Guide project for Duke Energy. Mary Ann Hylton (Business Administration ‘19), who serves on the Duke Energy team (along with Casey Hogeboom and Richard Wachowski), found applicable skill training in the practicum course.
“The project overall has been a really great experience because as a college student sometimes it can be intimidating applying for internships and for an entry-level job, and this is really great preparation for that,” Hylton said. “Just being able to work on a real project with a real company has been eye-opening because we have faced different challenges.”
The (MBA 541) American Red Cross Contract Compliance Initiative team, taught and advised by Carol Kozar, will also be at the Gallery Walk. Conducted by professional online students Rachel Stone, Vercie Gant and Jason Foley, the Red Cross project focused on assessing the company’s current contract-compliance risk exposure and recommending optimal ways of reducing that risk.
The practicums are essentially internships. – Tracy Freeman
“From a supply chain professional standpoint, a large part of your role is mitigating risk — whether that’s financial risk or contractual risk, something within operations — you’re constantly managing and mitigating risk,” Stone said.
The aspects Stone enjoyed most about the practicum experience were her team’s cohesion — despite all three members working in different states — and the outcomes the team was able to achieve for its corporate partner.
“We were able to bring together our diverse working backgrounds and our cultures while also gaining that exposure to another company’s best practices,” Stone said. “On top of that, we’re being provided the opportunity to add value to their supply chain.”
As for the big show itself, Hylton is looking forward to presenting the work her team has done.
“It’s going to be an exciting way to showcase everything that we have been able to … accomplish this semester,” she said, “and be able to show people that what we have done is actually going to be impactful for Duke Energy.”
For Freeman, the SCRC Gallery Walk is about two things: business education and improvement.
“I enjoy helping the students with their projects and assisting them navigate the business world and working with the companies to solve their business issues,” she wrote. “Another great aspect is that each project is different and I enjoy the variety of projects and SCRC partners.”