Grad finds passion, career success with UW-Platteville MSISCM program

Kristine Knautz

Some career paths are easily navigated – with a clear, straight road ahead. However, for recent Master of Science in Integrated Supply Chain Management graduate Kristy Knautz, her career path included a sharp right turn.

Knautz stumbled upon her career by happenstance. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from UW-Platteville in 2010 and initially worked as a legislative assistant at the Wisconsin State Capitol. But when her now-husband had a career opportunity on the west coast, Knautz began looking for a new job. A friend suggested the supply chain field because Knautz had a strong skill set in developing working relationships.

"I took a buyer job in aerospace and defense on a whim and ended up finding a true passion in procurement. There's a very strategic mindset that really fits with my personality," Knautz said. "So, I made a career out of, to be honest, this crazy world of the supply chain. No day is ever the same, which is my favorite part of my job."

What started as a job quickly became a passion. Knautz developed a thirst for knowledge about the field. She gained her Certified Professional in Supply Management certificate in 2018 but immediately knew she wanted to learn more – which is why she decided to get a master's degree.

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, I believe companies are better understanding they must have a robust supply chain management system and strategy, or the company will struggle," Knautz said. "The importance of supply chain management is not going away; it's becoming bigger and bigger year after year."

As she began exploring online supply chain management programs, UW-Platteville was immediately on Knautz's radar because of her positive experience as an undergrad and the legacy of her mother and grandmother both earning degrees at the university. The integrated aspect of the degree cemented the program as the right choice.

"The integrated supply chain management degree is a program that expanded my skill level. UW-Platteville classes equip students with a foundation for project management, supplier management, global supply chain management and operations management. It has given me a global view of all aspects of supply chain management."  

Knautz said she has seen immediate benefits from earning her degree. She said the program has given her a great foundation to be a subject matter expert, with the ability to turn supply chain theory into practice. The degree also helped her land her current role as a strategic sourcing manager at Accuray, a medical device company that builds radiation therapy machines to treat cancer patients worldwide.

"I would not be in the leadership role I am now or be able to influence my organization and suppliers strategically without this master's degree," Knautz said.

To learn more about the Master of Science in Integrated Supply Chain Management degree program, click here.

About UW-Platteville's Online Programs: 

UW-Platteville offers ten undergraduate degrees online, including Associate of Arts and SciencesAssociate of Science in Business AdministrationAssociate of Science in Hospitality and Tourism ManagementBachelor of Science in Applied Computing; and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice; plus Bachelor's of Business Administration in FinanceHuman Resource ManagementIntegrated MarketingIntegrated Supply Chain Management and Management. The ten online master's degree programs are Applied BiotechnologyCriminal Justice, CybersecurityEngineeringHealthcare AdministrationIntegrated Supply Chain ManagementOrganizational Change Leadership, Project ManagementSport Administration and Strategic Management. The university also offers 16 graduate and undergraduate certificate programs.

Click here to apply and learn more about UW-Platteville's online programs.