Alumni of the Week: Ashley Keyes ’14

FullSizeRender-1Originally from Michigan, I never anticipated that I would end up graduating with a business degree from Syracuse University. I was recruited to run for the track and field team, however, once I took a tour of the business school I knew that Syracuse University would become my new home for the next four years.

During my first year as a business student, like many of my peers, I was unsure what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The curriculum at Whitman opened my eyes to a plethora of business majors. During my sophomore year, I was able to take marketing, supply chain management and finance simultaneously. This exposed me to three major fields in business all in the same semester.

I developed a strong liking for supply chain management my sophomore year when I took my first course with Burak Kazaz. He was so insightful and his enthusiasm about the subject rubbed off on all of his students. It was very obvious how passionate he was about supply chain management. After a great first week of class with Burak, I learned that Whitman was home to the nations first supply chain program. I declared my first major the next day and I never looked back. I was so excited to be a part of a program with such a rich history.

Career fairs, resume workshops, case competitions and personable faculty are just a few examples that show Whitman truly cares about its students and how successful they are after graduation. During my senior year, I was able to compete in the General Motors Case Competition with three other Whitman students and Professor Penfield. We were given a sourcing scenario and had the opportunity to present our results to a few of General Motors’ executive directors. This opportunity led me to an interview, and a job offer followed. Interning with Wal-Mart and conducting research with professors from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University are just a few of the experiences I had during my summers as a student.

There is nothing more satisfying than putting my degree and experiences to use on a daily basis. The course work at Whitman gave me the opportunity to use SAP (a global enterprise software). SAP is a system that I use every day as a buyer at General Motors. The Whitman curriculum also gave me a chance to take masters courses as an undergraduate student. Public speaking and networking are also essential skills that I was able to develop inside and outside of the classroom.

Whitman prepared me to be very competitive in the workplace. The support and resources that were available were more than enough to help me land job offers with some of the world’s largest companies. I graduated with a supply chain and marketing degree, however, my experiences and coursework helped shape me into a business savvy individual who considers all aspects of business before making a decision.

When I walked across the stage to receive my diploma, I was confident that I was equipped to tackle any business obstacle that I may encounter as a professional. I will forever bleed orange and be a proud graduate of the Whitman School of Management.

Connect with Ashley on LinkedIn.



Ashley Keyes
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