Walter James - Supply Chain Management Alum
Walter James is a 2019 Southwest Wisconsin Technical College graduate of the Supply Chain Management Associate’s degree program. This program is delivered completely online allowing students from all across the United States to take Southwest Tech classes.
Where are you currently living and are you working in Supply Chain Management?
I live right outside of Columbia, South Carolina. I’ve been working in the transportation industry for 17 years and ran my own business for five years. I started shadowing Supply Chain Management at the manufacturing organization I work at two years ago and became a shift manager six months ago. I’ve been able to use so much of what I learned in the SPM program from Southwest Tech. I work on payroll and the production schedule, I’ve been able to work with the just-in-time (JIT) method and we use Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and safety measures.
I’m continuing my education and working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management from Bellevue University. I’m on the Dean’s list and will be graduating in summer 2021. It’s an 18-month program, so it’s definitely challenging balancing work, school and time with my wife and six-year-old son.
How did you find about the program at Southwest Tech?
When I decided to go back to school I started at a technical college in Columbia that had a business program. Once I got going though I knew I needed to find a program that was specific to Supply Chain Management. I just started searching online and found the program at Southwest Tech. My wife thought it looked like a really good fit with the logistics I needed. Everything turned out really well.
What was your experience like as a student in one of our online programs?
It was really challenging! When I started I was still running my own business and I needed to spend a lot of hours on my school work. What really helped though was my instructor Doris (Pulvermacher). I could call her anytime and even if she didn’t answer she always got back to me and gave me the assistance and tips I needed! If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have made it through! I give her two thumbs up! In fact, as I’m taking my classes now for my bachelor’s degree, I am really missing Doris!
What advice would you have for other students coming into the program?
The program takes time and that means you can’t wait until the last minute to complete your work. Don’t give up though, keep reaching for the rainbow! The program is like everything else in that it is achievable. I’m 48 years old and I’m proof that it’s never too late to go back to school!