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Smith School Students Network with Recruiters, Person of the Year at 18th Annual Industry Day

Oct 15, 2010
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Hallway space was limited in Van Munching Hall, as recruiting booths and enthusiastic students alike packed the Pownall Grand Atrium for Industry Day. Swag-covered tables, bright signs and information-laden booths attracted students who were eager to network with recruiters and learn about exciting internship and job opportunities in the supply chain management field.

The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park, hosted its 18th annual Industry Day on Oct. 15, 2010. The event was organized by Smith School students, faculty and staff, and included an award ceremony, a networking lunch and a career fair.

The award ceremony took place in the morning in Frank Auditorium. During the ceremony, Smith students in the Supply Chain Management Society and the Supply Chain Club recognized Mark Holifield, the senior vice president of global supply chain for the Home Depot, as the “2010 Person of the Year.”

“We are pleased to honor Mark Holifield for his significant achievements in the field of supply chain and logistics,” said G. “Anand” Anandalingam, dean of the Smith School. “Mark joined Home Depot in 2006 and has more than 25 years of experience in the fast-paced, high-volume retail and supply chain management, transportation and logistics operation.”

Holifield explained to the 200 students, faculty, staff, and recruiters in attendance how he helped revamp the Home Depot’s supply chain strategy, explaining that he is responsible for retail logistics, import and domestic distribution, delivery, transportation and inventory planning, and replenishment operations.

MarkHolifield“We are doing a major overhaul of the Home Depot’s supply chain. To obtain optimal flow distribution, we are switching from a supply chain where 80 percent of our product goes right to the stores, to a supply chain model with rapid distribution centers receiving 75 percent of the products,” Holifield said. “Rapid distribution centers save time, reduce overstock inventory and empty shelves, maximize efficiency, and reduce transportation costs.”

Following the award ceremony, students had the opportunity to eat lunch and network with Holifield and recruiters. Afterward, recruiters filled the Pownall Grand Atrium with booths representing more than 30 employers, including the Home Depot, Pepsico, Lockheed Martin, the CIA, Target, Black and Decker, and many more. Many of the recruiters were alums who had participated in Industry Day when they attended school at Smith.

“I am a University of Maryland graduate and I got my co-op and full-time job at Industry Day six or seven years ago,” said Jackie Doyle, who came to Industry Day to represent Dupont. “Dupont comes to Maryland to recruit because we find the students here offer diverse backgrounds, in terms of their experience and academic backgrounds. We are looking for motivated students who have leadership skills, work well in teams and have a strong analytical background – and we found a lot of great candidates while we were here.”

Allison Schulz, the vice president of internal relations for the Supply Chain Management Society, said she thought the day was a huge success and was a great experience for her and her fellow students.

“This event brings together supply chain-specific employers and supply chain students,” Schulz said. “Students seemed to be getting a lot of great contacts and networking with a lot of employers.”

Phil Evers, associate professor of logistics management, commented that “one of the things that make our students and our program different is the vast amount of opportunities that come with being located in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore area. There are so many places for internships and hands-on experiences, and Industry Day really showcases the many opportunities that students can take advantage of.”

Jessica Bauer, Writer and Editor, Office of Marketing Communications

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business 

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, MS in business, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.