University of Tennessee

Haslam Supply Chain Program Launches Scholars of Distinction to Help Fill the Talent Gap

March 21, 2016

Higher volumes and greater operational complexities have caused a talent gap in the supply chain industry that many companies seek to fill with new graduates. In response to growing demand from employers to connect with potential candidates, the Haslam College of Business recently launched the Supply Chain Management Scholars of Distinction.

“More than 90 percent of CEOs recognize that they need to change their strategies for managing talent,” said Chad Autry, head of the marketing and supply chain management department. “If they don’t source talent like any other resource, then their supply chains will likely fall behind.”

The program identifies top talent in supply chain majors as early as their freshman year, providing them with career guidance, peer mentors and networking opportunities.

“Increasingly, we find our recruiters want to build relationships with our best and brightest students as soon as possible,” said Dianne Marshall, director of student career management for the department. “It’s wonderful for the students because the program provides them with one more vehicle to establish career goals, hone professional skills and learn more about the working world.”

Companies who are members of Haslam’s Supply Chain Forum engage with the Scholars of Distinction during bi-annual speed networking sessions and have the opportunity to host next-day meet and greets. The sessions allow recruiters to identify high potential interns prior to the regular fall and spring recruiting events.

The Scholars of Distinction are selected each semester on a graduated scale of their grade point averages based on academic year. The earlier they apply during their college career, the higher their grades must be. There are also minimum grade requirements for key classes within the supply chain major. So far, 37 undergraduate students have been selected across all academic years.