Outstanding Graduate Student prepared for supply chain career at crucial time
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable fall 2021 graduates.
While the current state of the world supply chain is a topic of endless headlines and conversation, this was not always the case. In fact, a couple of years ago most people didn’t think about the supply chain at all. Luckily, W. P. Carey Outstanding Graduate Student Christian Plesca was ahead of the curve.
“When I was graduating high school back in 2014, I had no idea what I wanted to study,” Plesca said. “My father told me to ‘walk the path less traveled’ and nudged me into the field of logistics and supply chain management. He saw the potential 10 to 15 years ahead, that this field would have a scarcity of professionals, and he sacrificed a lot supporting my undergraduate studies in the Netherlands with a double degree in logistics engineering and economics. I’m happy I listened to him!”
Plesca is graduating with his Master of Science in supply chain management. He is part of a groundbreaking program in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Students complete a micro master’s coursework at MIT before completing their “stackable” master’s degree from W. P. Carey.
“I chose ASU because it opened the door for me to the truly global supply chain, thanks to the supply chain faculty and their relentless passion and wealth of knowledge, and especially when it proved the most crucial, during COVID-19,” Plesca said.
We caught up with Plesca to learn more about what made his experience at ASU special.
Question: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
Answer: At ASU, I learned the value of cross-cultural communication and how important it is to be sensitive to the cultural background of our teammates and colleagues at W. P. Carey. This enabled me to create strong bonds with my colleagues (both professional and personal) and enabled me to have some unforgettable conversations at 4 a.m. in the morning during project work.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?
A: Think about all the past generations in your family, the sacrifices they made, the work they put in, dedicated to the purpose that one day their grandchildren would live a better life. Dig deep into yourselves and bring that light of potential in you to fruition, no matter the obstacles. We are here on a journey to create and grow; never let that light extinguish.
Q: What was your favorite spot to study, meet friends or just think about life during your coursework?
A: My favorite spot was online on Zoom and Slack; thanks to ASU for making them available to us. My classmates connected seamlessly, either for project work, sports or to enjoy happy hour. Through these tools, we made great connections. I’m excited to truly meet my classmates during the on-campus graduation ceremonies!
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: My plan after graduation is to use the knowledge and best practices in supply chain from W. P. Carey and further develop my career at Ernst & Young in the Product Lifecycle Management in Supply Chain and Operations.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: It’s hard to pick just one! I would create a few startups and charity foundations. I have a passion for the environment, so the startups would focus on refillable consumer products and recyclable clothes. The foundations would be for: 1) planting trees, 2) supporting elderly people and 3) access to education.