Kelvin Akehurst often marvels at the complexities that make up a successful supply chain. Any number of processes and procedures must take place to advance the products, goods, and services that are a part of our everyday lives. Over the years, Akehurst has used his experience and education to understand and steadily improve these intricate practices.
He began studying supply chain at the University of California Los Angeles and was able to apply many of the principles to his work in the Port of LA. The more he learned, the more he realized that continued education would be the path to keeping up with the advances in the field. His advisor told him about the transfer credit agreement between UCLA and the UW-Platteville Integrated Supply Chain Management program. Like a well-maintained supply chain, the pieces seemed to fall into place.
“I had always thought about getting a master’s degree but was hesitant because of the time and money involved. The transfer agreement helped a great deal because I was able to take care of some core courses in the program, and the people at UW-Platteville made the transition really seamless,” Akehurst said.
Working closely with his UW-Platteville advisor to create a schedule that balanced courses with a workload that wouldn’t be overwhelming. While he said each course was valuable, ISCM 7510—Import/Export with instructor Wendy Brooke stood out for its real-world applications.
“Being able to work toward a final project, I was able to create a manual that helped provide guidance on import/export-related processes and policies,” Akehurst said. “The material in the class and the guidance of Wendy Brooke really helped me turn in a tangible product. Writing papers can be boring but being able to create a tangible product that can help people was really beneficial.”
Akehurst was able to apply concepts from many of his courses in his current role as an Analyst for an electronics manufacturer in San Francisco, California. As he prepares for graduation in 2017, Akehurst took time to reflect on how the transfer agreement and his advisor and instructors each played a part in moving him toward his goal. With these experiences and connections, he is excited for the future.
“My initial goal for the program was to get a well-rounded education in supply chain management. As I get closer to completion, I have developed new interests. I have become more interested in the field of manufacturing and manufacturing technologies,” Akehurst said. “I would like to add another master’s degree in manufacturing engineering when I am done with the program. I think I’ll give myself a semester off, though, to decompress a little bit!”