Attracting over 80 students and faculty members, the first annual National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA) panel event, held at the Smith School of Business on Nov. 12, 2003, was a huge success. NDTA members, along with student officers of Smith's Logistics, Transportation, and Supply Chain Management (LTSCM) Society, organized the event as a means to establish a closer relationship between students and the Washington, D.C., chapter of NDTA. The six Washington, D.C., NDTA members in attendance were Mary Ann Wagner, past president, Ray Schiable, current president, Irv Varkony, Mark Victorson, Barb Doornink, and Joe Torsani.
For many years, NDTA's Washington, D.C., chapter has offered strong support for Smith students, providing academic scholarships, as well as a range of professional networking opportunities for students in the logistics field. But varied student class schedules made it challenging to forge a more active and lively interaction between NDTA professionals and the Smith student body. To solve this problem, Wagner and the LTSCM Society decided to turn the tables. As opposed to dealing with the difficulty of organizing students to join the noontime meetings in Washington, D.C., NDTA chapter members agreed to come to the university.
Smith students' interest for "real world" insight was made evident when the LTSCM Society was forced to conduct the NDTA event on a first-come first-serve basis. Over 80 students and faculty members arrived at the event, packing the room full before the panel began.
At the start of the panel discussion, NDTA members introduced themselves, delivering a brief presentation on their individual career experiences. The panel members then dispersed, joining students at six round tables. Over dinner, inquisitive groups of students took full advantage of the opportunity to converse with NDTA professionals, learn of challenges in the logistics industry, and seek advice for their own career paths.
"The event proved a smashing success," said Rachel Harris, vice president of special projects, LTSCM Society. "NDTA professionals broke new ground in forging closer relationships with the "future" leaders in the logistics industry. Meanwhile, students left that evening feeling not only more informed, but also encouragednow better able to claim an empowering perspective towards life and their future career decisions," said Harris.
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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 flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, 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.