Navigating the supply chain

(From left) Lee, Chong, Lim, Ng, Eau, Loh, Usaid, Vinod and Koay jump for joy in front of the Great Dome at MIT.

A group of Malaysian students from the Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation (MISI) travelled to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the United States to participate in the Independent Activities Programme (IAP) between Jan 8 to 26.

Nine of the students are currently studying in the part time Master’s of Science in Supply Chain Management (PSCM) programme at MISI.

They are Lee Ming Siang, Chong Kayn-U, Lim Yi Syuen, Ng Wei Sin, Eau Pay Loe, Loh Hon Yean, Usaid Othman, Vinod Balakrishnan and Koay Sin Guan.

They qualified to attend the IAP after meeting three key criteria which are a high cumulative grade point average, completion of half of the PSCM programme and substantial progress on their research project.

As a reward for their high achievements, MISI paid for their airfare and accommodation.

At the IAP, the students have met over 200 high achieving students from the MIT Global SCALE network centres in the US, Spain, Colombia, Luxembourg and China.

THE MIT Global SCALE (Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence) Network is an international alliance of leading-­edge research and education centres, dedicated to the development and dissemination of global innovation in supply chain and logistics.

The Global SCALE Network was launched by the MIT Centre for Transportation & Logistics (CTL) with the opening of the Zaragoza Logistics Centre (ZLC) in Zaragoza, Spain in 2004.

It expanded in 2008 with the opening of the Centre for Latin American Logistics Innovation (CLI) in Bogotá, Colombia in 2008 and then again in 2011 with the creation of the Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation (MISI) in Shah Alam, Malaysia.

The IAP is a unique three-week MIT semester, which gives students the freedom to choose from a diversity of programmes that include, exercises and simulation games, intensive interaction with industry, presentations by business experts, poster sessions and academic lectures and seminars.

World-class leaders in the field of Supply Chain Management have given academic lectures and seminars to students demonstrating a practical perspective on real-world and leadership issues.

There have also been a number of site visits with industry leading companies in order to view supply chain and logistics systems and processes.

“IAP was an undeniable precious experience for a student like me.

“This was the first time I travelled to the US for a conference. It is great networking with other students from different countries,” said Eau.

Chong described it as “54 countries in one room, three weeks of action-packed activities, with tons of networking opportunities”.

“This is just the tip of what the IAP at MIT really is. The PSCM programme did wonders in helping me understand fundamental supply chain concepts and improved my work performance substantially.

“Just when I thought it could not get any better, no additional costs were charged for this MIT experience,” said Chong.

Vinod said it was a truly memorable experience to meet around 200 students from about 50 countries in one room with one thing in common, which was the passion for supply chain management.

Koay said the IAP has helped to further enhance his leadership and negotiation skills as well as his knowledge in supply chain management.

“This unique experience helped me to step out of my comfort zone to explore and try something new.

The presentations given by the industry speakers were very engaging and intriguing illustrating meaningful ways in navigating the supply chain given the uncertain market environment,” said Usaid.

The PSCM programme is offered by MISI.

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