York College Supply Chain Operations Management senior links opportunity to employment
Nick Hopwood already knew his choice for a major when he entered the Graham School of Business at York College of Pennsylvania as a freshman – or so he thought.
It wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary, either Finance or Accounting, a choice he easily could change in case he wanted to move into something else.
But change he did, to a lesser-known degree: Supply Chain Operations Management, an under-the-radar major that’s rapidly growing in importance.
What’s supply chain operations management?
Supply chain operations managers coordinate the plans and activities of the various supply chain members to deliver a quality product/service at the lowest total cost. For example, think Amazon and how a product gets from Point A (the warehouse, after your order is placed) to Point B (your house, most likely), and all the steps in between to make that happen. That’s supply chain.
Turns out, Nick naturally found himself interested in the industry.
“My dad was in purchasing, an area of supply chain. After reading about how the field was projected to grow and really be in demand, I just went for it,” he says. “My major wasn’t yet set in stone, but after a few initial low level classes in supply chain, I found it an interesting field to study, and that’s only grown ever since.”
York College benefits
Nick chose to attend York College because it was a perfect fit in a number of ways.
“Big enough, yet small enough,” he says. “I didn’t want to only be a number in a lecture hall full of hundreds of students.”
It also had a growing Supply Chain field.
“Four years later, the program is continuing to evolve, with more students entering the program and shaping them to land jobs way before graduation,” Nick says.
Another benefit of York College that Nick gushes about is the variety and number of clubs and organizations available for students to join.
He’s taken different leadership positions in the school, from being a student ambassador tour guide to becoming the vice president of the APICS Student Chapter.
“It’s given me the opportunity to lead and talk to different levels of students and interact with professors,” he says. “With the small class sizes, you can really develop some relationships with your professors.”
Initiative leads to results
Nick took the initiative his sophomore year to reach out to TE Connectivity, a technology company in Harrisburg that designs and manufactures connectivity and sensor products. He landed a global logistics internship position, which, involves inventory, warehousing and transportation.
“To be able to get some experience after sophomore year is something not a lot of students get,” he says.
He went back for a second internship the following summer, this time in the procurement department, where he broadened his supply chain knowledge even more.
It’s because of those internships that Nick was placed into TE’s two-year leadership program, where every six months, he’ll rotate into a different area of the supply chain. Essentially, Nick already has a job and solid career path even before graduating.
Keeping an open mind
From interacting with the professionals within the Graham School of Business and listening to guest speakers, Nick says students can really get a look outside of the classroom experience to see what businesses are currently doing.
“They tell us what we need to have in our skillset – not only in business but also in life,” he says.
Nick encourages incoming freshmen to keep an open mind when they get to school.
“What you enter college as may not be what you leave as,” he says. “Don’t be afraid to take leadership positions and take the opportunities that are offered to get involved.”