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Having other people in the classroom who are in commercial settings—from pharmaceutical to transportation to telecommunications—gave me insightful perspectives on these different industries.

Beth Wangerin, MS in Supply Chain Management Alum

On how learning from your classmates expands your expertise

Beth is a model for other graduate students who need to balance work, school and family. In two years, she secured a promotion and leadership appointment at Lockheed Martin, had a baby, endured an unexpected hospital stay—and completed her TCU master’s degree.

A professional—and personal—atmosphere

TCU’s evening program format enabled her to learn high-level skills, continue earning a salary and have a life. “The professors really understand that we are working professionals. I was in the hospital at the end of last year, while I was still taking classes. I was really moved and overwhelmed at the response I got from my professors saying, ‘We understand that you are a person first—and you’re a student also.’”

Building expertise through consulting

TCU’s supply chain students develop deep expertise by tackling problems at their own companies. Acting as a buyer, an intermediary between Lockheed Martin and its technical consultants and suppliers, Beth improved the company’s commercial contracting process. For this integrated field project, she teamed with a TCU professor and Lockheed’s senior leadership to define a new procedure requiring commercial contracts to include similar cost and pricing data that is standard in its government contracts. “It was a really good experience. It was a good way to pull in the Lockheed leadership and the TCU leadership. The new process requires commercial suppliers to provide enough detail so we can make a better decision and give our buyers the tools they need.”

Staking your claim as a leader

The skills you learn at TCU prepare you for opportunities you didn’t know were possible. After Lockheed Martin identified Beth as a “high-potential employee” and chose her for its supply chain leadership program, she worked one-on-one with a supply chain VP to identify affordability issues in the company’s supply chain over the next several years. “I certainly didn't see myself in a leadership group at work, but my TCU experience has greatly impacted my career.”

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