As a first-generation college student, the diploma that Wiley Stidham will receive in December not only creates the foundation on which he will build his career, it impacts the lives of his family and future generations of UT graduates.
“I have gained so much from my time at UT and the Haslam College of Business,” Stidham says. “During my time here, I hope to have helped someone feel more at home at UT like my professors and friends have done for me, and I hope to give back even a small portion of what I have received.”
Stidham already has impacted underclassmen through his service as a resident assistant, in living learning communities and in leadership positions on student organizations like the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, as a Haslam Ambassador and as CEO of the Hands Across the Water charity walk. He credits the guidance of his network at Haslam for helping him look beyond the classroom to build his resume before he graduates as a supply chain major with a collateral in international business.
“I have been fortunate to have had some amazing professors and faculty members who have helped me to grow both personally and professionally,” Stidham says. “I have taken full advantage of the wealth of resources and opportunities afforded to me by the Haslam College of Business and in turn, the faculty and staff have helped prepare me to succeed in supply chain and differentiate myself as a prospective employee.”
Through the generosity of college donors, Stidham was able to study abroad in both Australia, with the supply chain and marketing program, and Dublin, Ireland, where he studied global management strategies and practices. He also undertook an internship in procurement operations with International Paper.
Though the Haslam community provided many of the vehicles for Stidham’s success, none of it would have come to fruition without his outstanding work ethic, which he says his parents instilled in him and his sister—also a UT student—from a young age. After graduation he plans to apply that value of hard work in a global sourcing and procurement role and to improve the lives of those around him by taking an active role in corporate social responsibility.
“I am now always striving to be better, learn more and to help others,” Stidham says. “Haslam has definitely helped me make that a reality.”