Supply Chain Student Association to Bridge Gap Between Study and Work
Supply Chain Management postgraduate students have taken ownership of their education and future career prospects by forming an association that aims to bridge the gap between academia and the business world.
The Supply Chain Student Association (SCSA) was founded by BCom Honours degree students, Ms Nontobeko Mtshali and Ms Nqobile Mhlaba (majoring in Supply Chain Management), after observing that final-year and postgraduate students are uninformed about what is expected of them in the workplace.
To address this challenge, the association aims to bring the industry to the students by hosting seminars to keep students updated on the latest industry trends, by organising workshops that will enhance the students’ research and writing skills, and by arranging site visits that will give the students a realistic view of how their qualification is applied in the supply chain industry.
The association recently hosted its first seminar which was attended by more than 150 students who were addressed by representatives from the Mr Price Group, Rand Merchant Bank, Aramex, Morrisons and Massmart on the role of supply chain management in different sectors.
Mtshali said the positive feedback received after the seminar was an indication that students need an initiative of this nature to enhance their academic career.
‘Through the seminar we were able to enlighten students further about the purpose and role of the Supply Chain Student Association. A lot of students appreciated the platform provided to them to expand their knowledge and engage with each other and various industry representatives,’ said Mtshali.
Mhlaba added that the success of the event was evident in the high numbers of new members who signed up on the day. Compliments were also received from invited guests who have requested that they be invited to future events, said Mhlaba. ‘We are grateful to our Lecturer, Dr Patmond Mbhele, for being our advisor and mentor.’
School of Management, Information Technology and Governance academic, Ms Nomalizo Dyili, who has been supporting the initiative, described the association as a “think tank” which enables students to come up with solutions to the challenges they face in their academic experience.
‘The SCSA constitutes a hub of ideas, a space or environment which students have created for themselves.’ She said it is different from other associations because it is a solution-oriented space which focuses on “the student agenda” on campus and beyond. ‘These students should be commended for not wanting to be part of yet another “talk shop” disguised as a problem-solving student association,’ she said.