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Howard Bernstein Scholarships aid future supply chain leaders
Mary Glindinning
Mary Glindinning
Mary Glindinning

Scholarships from the industry students intend to enter are a boost financially, professionally and emotionally.

Investment in students who will keep the material handling industry moving reinforces their choice, and makes them feel like there will be a place for them in their chosen field, scholarship winners said. 

Here are stories from some recent scholarship winners.

“I knew going into college that I wanted to go into sales,” as did his father, said Ross Martin, an industrial distribution student at the University of Nebraska Kearney. His major is focused on finding solutions, and “in material handling, finding the best solution is key to satisfying customers and building a customer base.” When he tells people about his major, they ask questions because they don’t know much about it. “Material handling is not a huge part of the many industries UNK prepares students for, so oftentimes I find myself describing material handling to younger students. They oftentimes find it to be very interesting and usually ask for more information on how to get connected,” he said.

After he graduates in January, Martin intends to work as an inside sales rep in Nebraska. “From there, work into an outside position, and from there move into management role later in life,” he said.  His internship at Nebraska Machinery Company introduced him to many aspects of the material handling industry, Martin said. The $5,000 Howard Bernstein Scholarship sponsored by Gary Moore, Harrington Hoists and George Sefer that Martin received “helped me sell myself as an industrial distribution student,” he said.

Brian Bellin, a student at the University of Wisconsin- Superior, also won a $5,000 Howard Bernstein Scholarship sponsored by TEKLYNX, Material Handling Wholesaler Magazine, AK Material Handling and CMH Services. And that money made a huge difference.

“First of all, I was looking at working 40 or more hours a week to fund my senior year's tuition bill,” Bellin said. “I did not receive nearly as much financial aid my junior and senior years as I did in my sophomore year. I have been trying to maintain a 3.5 grade point average throughout my college career while working fulltime for most of it. Although I have come to realize that a high GPA does not count for much by itself, I feel that when it is combined with other extracurricular activities and accomplishments it can be of great benefit in both the short-term and long-term. So for the short-term, this scholarship has helped me both finance my tuition and reaffirmed that all the hard work that I put into my academics has not been pointless.”

He is double-majoring in transportation and logistics management and economics. “I chose these two because the world of business is highly competitive and the demand for transportation of goods and commodities is only going to increase. I want to work where the demand is. In the highly globalized world that we live in, virtually all the goods that we use are the product of massive supply chains. Supply chains require transportation. As a result, an effective, efficient transportation system becomes necessary for firms to stay competitive as the price of energy continues to grow,” Bellin said. He plans to work for a pipeline company, but would go another direction if an opportunity comes along.

Tina Zhao, working on her masters of business administration degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, received a $ 9,000 Crane Manufacturers Association of America Honor Scholarship. “It means a lot both financially and non-financially. It helps to reduce the burden of living cost, at the same time, it has strengthened my confidence in the career of supply chain management,” Zhao said. She is majoring in supply chain management, which she says is “a very important part in the whole value chain of a company. A competitive and efficient supply chain can impact the company positively on both bottom line and also top line.”

She saw the value of supply chain management during eight years of work as a sourcing engineer in China, and intends to continue her career in supply chain after graduation next year. “I want to know more about business culture and practice in the United States and I want to extend my knowledge area of logistics, so I choose Wisconsin School of Business to improve myself.”

Caiqin Wang is an industrial engineering student at Penn State and the recipient of a $5,000 Howard Bernstein Scholarship sponsored by EnerSys. The analytical part of industrial engineering appeals to him. “I love math and science. I am always curious about how all the machines work. Engineering is the best major that fits my interests. Compared with other engineering majors, industrial engineering is the one that is most related to real life. It can be applied in every aspect of life. I do not want to be a person who spends a lot of time in lab doing research. Instead, I want to make impacts and drive changes. I need to see the contributions I can make for the company, such as the amount of money I save for the company, the percentage increase in the production rate, and so on,” Wang said.

“Industrial engineering courses focus on improving students' analytical skills and also providing students with basic material handling and supply chain background. The design and analysis of manufacturing system knowledge can be applied very well in material handling. Industrial engineering is all about improving the efficiency and reducing the cost, which involves reducing inventories, demand forecasting, reducing lead time and so on,” Wang said.

He graduates in December and will join a Reckitt Benckiser graduate program. “I will do three rotations, which are all related to supply chain. This rotational program is a three-year program. After working in different positions, I will find out which suits me best. After I gain enough experiences, I hope I can start my own business in China. I want to have a consulting company in China to help the factories in China to improve their logistics systems.”

Alex Shuster is a Clarkson University student majoring in engineering and management. His $5,000 Bernstein scholarship is sponsored by the Atlas Companies. His major “integrates business management with engineering, science and technology. My sister, Morgan Shuster, inspired me to come to Clarkson and choose this major because she had already been through the program. I feel that it is important to have skills in both business and engineering because you can bring a broad business and technical perspective to complex industrial management.”

Shuster has a concentration in global supply chain management. He has worked for GE Power and Water as a lean manufacturing intern in Salem, Virginia, and then as a sourcing commodity leader in a co-op program in Greenville, South Carolina.

“Both experiences have helped me grow as an individual and as a professional giving me insight to shape my future career path,” Shuster said. “Next summer after my internship with GE Power & Water, I plan on applying for their operation management leadership program. It’s a two-year rotational program in which you experience a different job every six months. One of the required jobs is being a supervisor and leading a team of people. Another job deals with sourcing, where you could work as a commodity site leader or a sourcing quality engineer. I am very excited to apply for this program because it’s a great way to grow your career and test your leadership skills.”

Mary Glindinning is a freelance writer who has worked at daily and weekly newspapers for more than 20 years. She lives in rural Shullsburg, Wis. E-mail to contact Mary.