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Jan. 19, 2024

Student view: Growing the future of supply chain

Abeeha Zaidi is a junior studying supply chain management at the Broad College of Business. She writes about her experience founding a new student organization.

MSU student Abeeha Zaidi wearing a blazer with a white shirt
Abeeha Zaidi. Courtesy photo

During your daily commute or air travel, you likely notice the constant flow of trucks and the presence of containers and ports. This dynamic environment is the world of supply chain — ever-present, constantly evolving and crucial for our daily lives, especially after the pandemic highlighted its essential role in the economy.

With a background of moving from Pakistan to Dubai and then to New Jersey in 2017, I've always been drawn to the interconnectedness of countries. This led me to choose to study supply chain at Michigan State University.

During a spring break trip to San Diego my sophomore year, I saw containers and seaports up close — supply chain in action. Despite interning at Toyota and gearing up for a summer at Intel, seeing those critical elements led me to want to learn more about current events and the real-world challenges faced by supply chain professionals today. Eager to expand my knowledge, I sought opportunities through MSU.

In my search, I discovered that others shared my desire for growth. Jason Miller, interim chairperson of the Broad College’s Department of Supply Chain Management, caught my attention due to his reputation for excellent teaching and extensive knowledge in current events and predictive modeling for supply chain understanding. Taking a chance, I proposed an idea for a new student organization that would facilitate student-led research, address supply chain questions and encourage integrated learning with other fields like finance and economics.

In fall 2023, with Miller as the advisor, I founded the Interdisciplinary Supply Chain Research Organization, or ISCRO. Our inaugural semester involved establishing ourselves within Broad and learning together as a group of 15 members. We successfully concluded the semester by publishing three articles, showcasing our diverse knowledge across various topics and the latest events in supply chain.

Looking forward, ISCRO will be dissecting new topics as they arise in supply chain, predicting and analyzing events that the industry will face. ISCRO plans to grow its membership, resources and expand the learning opportunities for students within the organization.

I am grateful to the university for providing me the opportunity to establish ISCRO, a community for Spartans, and for the resources that enabled me to become a female leader in supply chain. The supportive community at MSU has given me the courage to start this organization, succeed professionally and be an impactful leader for fellow students.

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