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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Networking roundtable gives students business opportunities

Western students Cole Morgan and Jeremy McLaughlin at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Conference in San Diego earlier this year. // Photo courtesy of Cole Morgan
Western students Cole Morgan and Jeremy McLaughlin at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Conference in San Diego earlier this year. // Photo courtesy of Cole Morgan

Western is now one of only a few Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) student roundtables in the nation.

The roundtable for manufacturing and supply chain management students will host industry professionals from companies like Google and Microsoft.

The club has adopted an alternative approach to standard presentations; guest speakers won’t stand still in front of timed PowerPoint slides, roundtable vice president Eve Maher said.

The CSCMP sponsors roundtables around the world for industry professionals and students to connect and discuss supply chain management.

“We’re putting Western on the map when it comes to our program,” roundtable president Cole Morgan said.

The student roundtable, formed in June through the CSCMP, will allow students to actively engage and network with industry experts.

“We’re not doing any events where the speaker is just giving a presentation,” Maher said.

The club founders wanted an interactive way to get professional experience, and this was a perfect fit, she said.

The club’s roundtable structure means the president, five officers and 20 founding members deliberate together to brainstorm events. During regular club meetings, titles lose importance, Maher said.

“A lot of the time at meetings you’re just sitting and listening,” Maher said. “We wanted everyone to have a chance to talk and share their ideas.”

Morgan was one of the first Western students to attend the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ annual conference in September.

Morgan was sent on a department scholarship to San Diego for four days where he met with other student roundtables and professionals in what he said was a “career fair on steroids.”

Being a part of a professional organization has allowed him to make business connections while still completing his education, he said.

“Once I got involved, all these things started happening to me,” Morgan said. “I started getting invited personally by some faculty members to do these networking events, and that’s how I ended up with an internship. Next thing you know, I’m the founding president of a new club.”

The roundtable asks students interested in regularly attending events to pay $40 to cover part of the cost of becoming a member of their parent organization, Morgan said.

All of the money from membership fees goes directly to the CSCMP, he said.

In turn, students receive four main benefits: visibility, supply management certifications, access to an online forum and opportunities to attend networking events, Morgan said.

“You get the have the name under you, on your resume so people know you are associated with the [Council] and you can get that experience,” public relations officer Jameson Stromberg said. “Then, of course, we’re working on the actual experience here at Western.”

The club plans to host several speakers, workshops and professional dinners throughout the year, Morgan said. Part-time adjunct Denny Organ will instruct two workshops in winter and spring quarters on networking and LinkedIn.

The goal is to provide students with relevant, real-world applications outside of the classroom, Stromberg said.

“If you’re in Manufacturing and Supply Management-Operations, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of all the opportunities, including CSCMP,” he said.

The round table meets at different locations depending on the event, but students interesting in joining can email cscmpwwu@gmail.com for more information.

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