SCLM Student 2016-17
“I learnt about making decisions from a strategic viewpoint that aligns with the overall business strategy”
Han Yu joined WMG in 2016, shortly after finishing his B.Eng in Logistics Engineering at Dalian Maritime University. During that time he also completed internships in the supply chain and logistics functions of two major international businesses in China. “My internships showed me just how important these areas are,” he said. “Particularly in China where business is growing ever-more competitive. Managing the supply chain effectively is core to driving that competitiveness.
“My internships also showed me that the knowledge I gained in my degree course was more theoretical than practical,” he continued. “And while I wanted to deepen that knowledge with a masters programme, I was looking for a strong practical focus. It was important that what I learned would be grounded in the way businesses operate in today’s world.”
When we asked Han to talk about his WMG course, he stressed how it changed his perspective on supply chain and logistics operations. “That was one of the biggest things for me,” he explained. “I began to think about making decisions from a strategic viewpoint that aligns with the overall business strategy. Before, my perspective was more short-term and I’d never thought at that higher level before. It became clear very quickly that this course is all about preparing people to become future leaders.”
Bringing the theory to life
Han talked earlier about that practical focus that brought him to WMG, so we asked him to describe anything in particular that encapsulated this. “During the Storage and Warehouse Techniques module, we were taught by an experienced consultant who seemed to know everything there is to know about designing, optimising and running a warehouse operation. He described recent projects and the technologies and processes behind them. This is extremely valuable information that you can directly transfer to your career and professional life.
“I was initially puzzled at why we would be studying financial analysis. Now I understand the vital contribution it makes to the supply chain and see how important that this learning is. During this module we worked through a simulation which brought all of the theory to life and made it real. You can only learn so much from textbooks and lectures, but you can’t understand the full meaning until you actually use it in a business situation. The simulations we did throughout the programme let you do that - and it’s why they’re such an important part of the overall learning experience.”
At the forefront
For Han’s dissertation project, he is exploring how the Internet of Things can support supply chain performance. “The fact that you have from October to the finish of your course to complete the dissertation is good,” he said. “It gives you the time you need to thoroughly research your subject, and all through the programme you’re getting information from your modules that add to it.”
Once he completes his MSc, Han is planning to return to China to put the knowledge he has gained to work. “I feel that I am part of a small group of people in the world who are right at the forefront of current supply chain and logistics thinking. I’m really excited about the future and can’t wait to put everything I’ve learned into practice.”