AWESOME Scholar Spotlight

Hayley Peterson

Meet Hayley Peterson, a 2020 AWESOME Excellence in Education Scholar and a 2021 Pennsylvania State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management. Hayley is currently participating in a Global Supply Planning Co-Op with Johnson & Johnson and will graduate in December.

Supply chain has always been a part of Hayley’s life; her dad studied business logistics at Penn State and has worked in the supply chain industry since before she was born. When Hayley applied to Penn State, she knew she wanted to be in the business school, however, she had not declared a major yet. In the fall of Hayley’s sophomore year, she chose to take an introductory supply chain class. She remembers on the third day of class, her professor showed a slide with eleven different common career paths for supply chain graduates. Because of this interesting set of diverse supply chain opportunities, she quickly decided to be a Supply Chain Management major.

Throughout Hayley’s experience at Penn State University, some of her most important learnings were supply chain concepts, communication strategies, and critical thinking skills. Her classes taught her an end-to-end view of the supply chain solutions. In addition to classroom learning, Hayley researched emerging supply chain issues for the Center of Supply Chain Research at Penn State during her junior year. As a team leader, she further improved her communication skills. More recently, through her internship experience, she developed her critical thinking skills to solve problems. Hayley will be able to implement the skills learned in class, research projects, and internships throughout her career.

Although Hayley has not entered the workforce yet, she has gained real-world supply chain experience through co-op programs. As soon as Hayley decided to major in Supply Chain Management, she interviewed for and accepted a demand planning co-op position with Hershey. While working at Hershey, she realized how her role as a demand planner affected the entire supply chain. After this experience, Hayley decided that she wanted to start working in a rotational program to get additional professional and leadership experience in various disciplines.

“The co-op program at Hershey allowed me to learn and explore all parts of the supply chain after graduation. The biggest surprise was how important flexibility is in supply chain careers. Each day was different, and I learned how to adjust and react quickly.” She now is broadening her experience through  the Johnson & Johnson Co-Op.

One of the main reasons Hayley chose supply chain was because it offered career flexibility. There are so many different parts of a supply chain (procurement, operations, planning) and Hayley wanted the opportunity to rotate through every department and continuously learn new parts of the business in order to gain a wider perspective. Hayley’s excited to start a profession in supply chain management and make an impact.

“In the supply chain professional industry, each day is different. Especially in today’s world where COVID-19 is forcing supply chains to change their processes and the way they work. I believe companies will need to become more resilient and more flexible in the future. For them to survive, the critical factor will be balancing resilience and optimization. I’m excited to learn the new processes for effectively managing supply chains, and to be in an industry where I learn something new every day.”

Congratulations Hayley! Learn more about the AWESOME Scholars program.


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