Max Clarke shares his views on the future of Supply Chain Management and talks to us about how he feels his dissertation could make a difference...


Why did you choose to study MSc Supply Chain Management? 
The MSc Supply Management degree gave me the opportunity to not only learn more about a subject area that I was interested in but, also build my network and find a succesfull career for the future. 
What attracted you to come to Aston, and what really stood out for you?
Reputation and accreditation were very important to me – I wanted to join an institution that offered a variety of opportunities and therefore support me in obtaining a job after graduating. At the time I was applying to Aston and the university was one of the top performers in the UK for my specific course with triple accreditation and many links with the industry which ticked all the boxes and I knew it was a good stepping stone for me to develop on my skills and enhance my employability. 
How have you found the support you received at Aston?
I got the opportunity to interact with a lot of knowledgeable people that supported me through the course. Many of which I hope to keep in touch with as I progress on with my career. Some lecturers that come to mind have really left a long-lasting impact on me. You can really tell that not only do they have an academic appreciation of the topics that they teach, but they also draw on their own personal experiences from their career that really help to support the learning. I'd say that the majority of people that I met throughout my time at Aston cared about how I performed and supported me when I needed it. 
What projects have you worked on that you think will make a difference in the future?
Whilst at the time of writing this blog I had only just submitted my dissertation research project which I believe will create an impact on not only the research area that I worked within but also on how businesses perceive social sustainability and the importance of looking after people within an organisation.  

Through networking with industry experts, I formulated a weighted scoring ranking criteria that any initiative can be ranked against. My hope is that as social sustainability demands grow within consumer bases, more organisations will be looking for how they can address social sustainability challenges, many of which I have identified as part of my research project. This will then allow organisations to use my research to support their decision-making process by adapting some of their own strategies.  

How do you think you can create positive change with your degree?
Well, although it is early days yet, I have aspirations of climbing within the supply chain industry into a position where I can influence how operations are run and people are treated to ensure we are doing the best job possible whilst looking after our employees. I think the modules that I covered throughout the course, have set the foundation to be able to do this in the future. 
What do you think the future is for Supply Chain Management?

Whilst it is still in the early phases, there are already great strides into automating much of the Logistics process that fits within the term of supply chain. Beyond this, I think there is going to be a massive rise in stakeholder demand for sustainability. Whilst there is already a push for fair pay and human rights, as generations progress, people will no longer tolerate unsustainable practices in business. Achieving this on the other hand is quite a challenge indeed. 
What advice would you give to students thinking about studying Supply Chain Management?
Be open-minded.

This sector in particular is one that often gets overshadowed by other business functions. It is just now coming into the limelight and people are becoming more appreciative of Supply Chain knowledge. I may be biased, but I think it is a great and very profitable industry to move into and if you're good at it you'll have a job for life. Start networking as soon as you can and apply for jobs early.

Also, utilise the careers team- they work wonders.