You are here: Home / News Release Archives / 2013 / March / Smeal Program Improves Supply Chain Education at Local High School

Smeal Program Improves Supply Chain Education at Local High School

Thanks to help from Bob Novack, associate professor of supply chain and information systems at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, the State College Area High School in State College, Pa., offers a series of supply chain courses to introduce high school students to the profession.
March 1, 2013

Thanks to help from Bob Novack, associate professor of supply chain and information systems at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, the State College Area High School in State College, Pa., offers a series of supply chain courses to introduce high school students to the profession.

The program began several years ago. “Supply chain was one of the fastest growing careers in Pennsylvania, and State High is one of the single highest suppliers of students to Smeal,” said Novack.

But, he said, the demand was growing faster than the supply of professionals, partly because of a lack of familiarity with the industry.

“High school students don’t generally understand supply chain,” Novack said. “Often, even our Smeal students don’t.”

So in a bid to get more high school students thinking about supply chain as a career path, Novack pitched a series of supply chain courses to be taught at the high school level.

Developing and teaching the courses fell to State High teacher Sarah Griffith, who said that, at first, she thought supply chain would be a tough sell to high schoolers. But she soon found that once they learned a little bit about the opportunities a career in supply chain could offer, they got really excited.

“The students are surprised by how much it relates to their lives,” said Griffith.

One example is Anthony Dong, a State High graduate who always thought he wanted to go into marketing. He was taking the marketing courses offered at the high school when his adviser told him about the fast-growing field of supply chain.

“I knew a little bit about logistics,” said Dong, “but I hadn’t heard the term ‘supply chain’ and all it implied.” So he joined the inaugural supply chain course at State High in his senior year.

Dong is now a sophomore at Smeal majoring in Supply Chain.

“I liked the analysis of making things efficient,” he said, “and there are so many opportunities.  There’s just a lot you can do with this degree.”

Novack and his colleagues at Smeal work closely with State High to offer students opportunities to learn more about the profession and the major. The students take field trips to Smeal, attend Careers in Supply Chain night, and visit the supply chain career fair in the fall.

“There are companies out there offering internships to some seniors for the summer before their first year of college,” said Novack, representing the great demand for people in supply chain.

Now that the program has been up and running for several years, Griffith says that former students are its best salespeople. And, like Anthony Dong, the courses are encouraging some students to commit to supply chain as a career.

“This is a great pipeline for students to come into Smeal and into supply chain,” said Novack.

The Supply Chain program at Smeal is ranked number one by Gartner Inc.’s Ranking of U.S. Supply Chain Education Providers at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Recent News
Female and Minority Junior Partners More Effective in Building Business From Outside Firm 22 Apr

Female and minority junior partners in professional service firms may benefit from using different clientele-building strategies than their white male counterparts according to recent research co-authored by Forrest Briscoe of the Penn State Smeal College of Business. By encouraging and supporting these varying strategies, firms could increase both revenue and diversity among senior partners.

Annual Kohl's-Sponsored Case Competition Utilizes Students' Teamwork, Presentation Skills 22 Apr

More than 60 Penn State students—including teams from campuses at New Kensington, Greater Allegheny, Berks, Lehigh Valley, and Altoona—participated in the 2014 Smeal College of Business Case Competition, sponsored by Kohl’s Department Stores.

Smeal Students Invited to Register for April 24 PricewaterhouseCoopers Leadership Series 21 Apr

Penn State Smeal College of Business students are invited to register for “Aspire to Lead: The PwC Women's Leadership Series," PricewaterhouseCoopers’ first global forum on women and leadership, featuring U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner Bob Moritz. The event, which is free and open to Penn State students and faculty, will take place on Thursday, April 24, from 12:30-4:00 p.m. at the Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park campus.

Baker Tilly Representatives Talk to Students About Transitioning to the Workplace 21 Apr

As many students prepare for summer internships or their first full-time job in their industries, Baker Tilly representatives Patrick Welteroth and Karri McClellan spoke to students in BA 297 Career Planning and Strategies about the transition from college to the workplace.

Smeal Students Encouraged to Investigate Hiring Companies' Core Values 21 Apr

Penn State Smeal College of Business Director of Honor and Integrity Jennifer Eury encourages students to use a vast array of resources to learn about a company’s culture and to find an organization whose values also align with their personal values, especially as they plan their careers.

More Recent News... More Recent News...