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EKU's Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM) Program Continues to Excel

Eastern Kentucky University’s Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM) program continues to excel with internships across a wide range of industries, and with globally leading companies such as Lockheed-Martin, Carhartt, Lexus, Walmart, Clark Equipment, and Disney.  The GSCM program is led by Dr. James Kirby Easterling, who spent 22 years in industry before transitioning into academia in 2014.  Dr. Easterling shared “We have outstanding students in our supply chain program here at Eastern Kentucky University.  I continuously receive positive feedback from employers that our interns are professional and contribute heavily to the organization’s success”.  Not surprisingly, over 90% of GSCM students who intern receive fulltime job offers from their employer upon graduating.  EKU’s Supply Chain students have earned over 150 internships since program launch in 2014, which is amongst the highest in the entire university.  Students typically earn $15-$25 per hour, but the on-the-job work experience and networking is even more valuable in terms of preparing them for highly successful careers.  Below we highlight a few of our current GSCM students and their amazing journeys.

GSCM Interns

EKU Global Supply Chain Interns (L-R): Sydney Closterman (Lectrodryer), Chandler Robbe (Clark Equipment), Tyler Canada (Thunder Manufacturing)

Kendrew Scott, a senior GSCM major, has interned with Lockheed-Martin since June of 2020. Lockheed-Martin is an aerospace defense contracting business, and Kendrew works with the logistics, material planning, and program management sectors of the company. What drew him to the company initially were the veteran-driven operations and support (60-70% of its employees are veterans).

Kendrew’s internship allows him the ability to utilize many of the classroom concepts discussed within the GSCM courses, including inventory planning, logistics, drop-shipments, frustrated materials, and end-to-end supply chain. He has created strong relationships with his employers and fellow employees, giving him a foundational network to carry with him when he begins a new full-time position with the company in Boulder, Colorado upon graduation. Kendrew’s biggest takeaway from this opportunity has been the overall exposure to the multi-faceted career that is supply chain management, saying “You can’t say I’m in ‘supply-chain’ without the understanding that supply chain is not a one-path career but a combination of multiple. This internship exposed me to a multitude of different elements that all create what we deem as ‘supply chain’, and that will serve me well as I move forward.”

Kendrew Scott

Autumn Robinson, a senior GSCM major, has been interning with Walmart Corporation since the summer of 2021. Autumn is the first intern that Walmart has ever hired from Eastern Kentucky University. Her internship consists of working with the first Walmart suppliers in Shepherdsville in the high-dollar product retention sector. Autumn has had many opportunities to use her GSCM expertise within this company, applying concepts such as asset utilization, inventory control, quality assurance, and project management skills overall. One of her most exciting assignments to date was heading a $20,000 project to assist in loss prevention and asset protection. Autumn has already accepted a position with Walmart in Pennsylvania starting June of 2022. When asked what her biggest takeaway from this internship and GSCM has been, she responded with, “The encouragement of failure to encourage growth. The market is always changing, demands are always changing, and flexibility is the key to a successful career in this field. This internship emboldened me to not only exceed expectations but underperform in them to ensure that I was growing throughout the entire process.”

Autumn Robinson

Chandler Robbe, a senior GSCM major, has been interning with CLARK Material Handling since October of 2021. His roles within the company consist of purchasing metal to make forklifts, sourcing parts for new suppliers, and handling the aftermarket division. Chandler works with numerous individuals within the company (including those in marketing, accounting, and finance) which has been a major contribution to his networking.  Chandler has already accepted a full-time job with CLARK upon graduating in May. He credits a lot of his success to the core classes included in the general business curriculum, including marketing, finance, and accounting, as well as many of the classroom concepts learned in GSCM-specific courses, such as warehouse management systems, ABC Analysis, sourcing, and inventory management, and the overall key vocabulary that is involved with marketing and supply chain management. When asked about his greatest takeaway from this experience, he responded, “This internship overall has made me a more equipped and well-rounded employee. The opportunities at CLARK have been second to none, and I’m grateful to them for allowing me to continue to grow after graduation.”

Chandler Rose

Shiloh DeVore has interned with Carhartt since May of 2021. This internship requires a data-driven mind, as Shiloh spends most of his time inputting the company’s data and data analytics into the Smartsheet programming workspace, as well as reporting consumer reviews and collaborating with other interns on various projects.  He has been able to apply different aspects of the supply chain to this internship, including data analytics and management processes. He credited Dr. Easterling’s cumulative approach to teaching essential content, and his manager, April Blevins, for continued support and guidance.   Upon graduation, Shiloh would love to continue working with Carhartt, as the company has offered him a substantial number of opportunities to grow and develop his expertise and abilities. The outcome of Shiloh’s time in GSCM and this internship is a greater knowledge and commitment to what the supply chain does for a company as one of its most crucial and integral gears, and a deeper understanding of what a career in supply chain entails.

Shiloh deVore

Keely Coleman, a senior GSCM major, currently works as a service operations and marketing intern for MAP Automotive Group with Lexus of Lexington. This company provides sales, marketing, and distribution services on behalf of original equipment manufacturers through the partnership with vehicle manufacturers, converters, importers, aftermarket distributors, dealers, and services. She has interned with them since late June of 2021. Her role within the company is service operations. This entails a variety of elements discussed within the GSCM curriculum, including marketing and logistics. One of the biggest outcomes of this internship is the network that Keely has been able to build with her employers, knowing that in the future she will be able to use them as references for other career opportunities and seek their guidance and expertise whenever it is needed. Upon graduation, Keely has already been offered a full-time position with this company, where she will operate as a marketing coordinator and assist in launching marketing campaigns and partnerships for the company.

Keely Coleman

Nikolas Smith participated in the Disney College Program during the Fall of 2021. This was a unique opportunity for the GSCM senior, as it wasn’t a typical “9-5” internship. Nikolas worked in the food and beverage sector of the program within Epcot and Magic Kingdom, and the people skills he developed being part of this program proved to be unique when compared to other internships. Nikolas was able to network with senior leaders within the company and will utilize those relationships when applying for the Professional Internship Program, where he can focus on more internal as well as international supply chains. Nikolas’s experience with Disney was so positive that he will be returning for the Fall 2022 semester. “Disney is a great place to get your foot in the door for other opportunities that include utilizing people skills.

Nikolas Smith

Per Dr. Easterling, “We are thankful for so many elite companies who are actively recruiting from EKU, not only for interns, but also our upcoming graduates.  Our goal is to be the leading Global Supply Chain Management program in our region.  When companies want top young talent, we want them to immediately reach out to Eastern Kentucky University.  Before a student starts an internship, I always share ‘you’re not just representing yourself, you’re representing me, our program, and Eastern Kentucky University overall’, and our students take that to heart. Many former interns are now actively recruiting from EKU, which is somewhat of a ‘circle of life’ experience, and a testament to the quality of our program.”

Published on March 24, 2022

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