Gaining Knowledge and Perspective: Student Pursues Graduate Degrees in Supply Chain Management, Finance

Xinyu Wang ’20 M.S. had two main reasons for coming to Syracuse University for graduate school. First, the view. “To be honest, at first I was attracted by the fabulous view of campus,” she admits. However, her plans were solidified when she applied to the Whitman School of Management to supply chain management. She says, “This program offered me the exact courses I wanted to take.”

Wang grew up in Chengdu, China. She then relocated over 1,000 miles to pursue an undergraduate degree. She attended Nanjing University of Technology and Science and earned a bachelor’s degree in new energy science and technology. It was around that time that Wang discovered that she wanted to work in business, and she knew that applying her undergraduate degree to a career in business would not be a seamless process. “Studying overseas was a more streamlined and efficient way to go,” she explains. “I also wanted to try something new and different to broaden my vision, like living in a foreign country and learning new things.”

Upon coming to Syracuse, Wang decided to earn not one, but two master’s degrees—the first in supply chain management and the second in finance. “After I finished my supply chain management degree, I felt like I had just taken my first step into the world of business.” She decided it was not enough, she says. “I wanted to know more. There of tons of interesting things behind the next door.”

During her time at Whitman, Wang immersed herself in her studies and took advantage of the experiences the School has to offer. When it comes to skills learned inside the classroom, she notes the importance of Microsoft Excel and other analytics software. “Excel is used in almost every class,” she explains. “As well as other software like Project and Minitab. I also received the Google Analytics certification after my first semester here.”

Wang also values the perspective studying supply chain management has given her. “I now have the ability to analyze one supply chain in an overall view or analyze more details at each checkpoint, like how to control inventory levels.” 

In addition to course content, another important aspect of classes for Wang is how they can give real, hands-on experience. She remembers Professor of Supply Chain Practice Gary La Point’s ’79 ’87 MBA six sigma certification class, during which she was on a team assigned to work with a local catering company to improve food packing efficiency. “That was my first real-life experience solving problems with strategies we learned in the classroom,” Wang says. “The company took our suggestions when they were packing Thanksgiving meals for international students. The results were great!”

As for her time as a finance student, Wang explains that she still has a lot to learn, as she only has one semester completed. However, she kept busy during that semester, taking classes in managerial finance, fixed income securities and a case-study course that focused on managerial strategy. Though she has just begun her studies in the program, Wang says, “One thing I can tell now is finance is extremely interesting!”

Wang is not only dedicated to learning in the classroom, but outside of it as well. She spent time as an inclusion student leader intern, making her one of a select group of students who work with Executive Director of Institutional Culture Diane Crawford on various diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. “Together with the other student inclusion leaders, we facilitated student and faculty learning sessions, Whitman fireside chats and One Whitman Talks,” Wang explains. “Working with Diane Crawford on those projects really broadened my vision.” 

Wang’s time at Whitman has helped her develop a new perspective, as well as knowledge about the industries she is interested in. “Professors Zhengping Wu and Rong Li taught me not only knowledge in the classroom but also lessons about my future career,” she says. “With their help and guidance, I am able to think about ‘What is business?’ from a different perspective. In my old mindset, business was all about how to make money. However, I learned that business strategies can also help lower the cost of a service or product to allow more people to enjoy it. This is a very important message to me.”

After finishing her master’s in finance, Wang plans on relocating to Southeast Asia. “I hope to work with a local NGO or investment and logistics corporation,” she says. 

Learn more about the M.S. in supply chain management and finance.

Mallory Carlson
Latest posts by Mallory Carlson (see all)