Degree: MS, Supply Chain Management
Class Year: 2020
Hometown: Beijing, China
About five years into her career, Jingxian Zhang felt the need to make a change.
After studying labor and social security at Renmin University, one of China’s top universities, Zhang worked in HR, first at a technical company and then an international trade company, with increasing levels of responsibility.
“After some time, my boss told me she wants me to be her assistant,” she says. “It was a big change.”
That experience motivated her to learn more about logistics and supply chain: “I thought it would be good for my career to find a master’s degree program where I could improve myself.”
On the advice of a friend living in Maryland, she looked at schools on the East Coast and ultimately decided on Drexel LeBow, coming to the United States for the first time in September 2018 to enroll in Drexel LeBow’s MS in Supply Chain Management & Logistics program.
The program’s STEM designation – a key point for international students looking to study in the United States – and its connection to her previous work in international trade made it a good fit, and upon entering LeBow, Zhang says she was surprised to discover such a sizable population of international students among the MS programs. “They’re all so friendly, and we all help each other,” she says. Making those connections, along with discovering Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood as a destination for Chinese food and culture, made the transition to living here easier.
Her studies in supply chain management, along with a graduate minor in business analytics, have led her in some exciting new directions: “Business school here is amazing and more focused on practical skills,” she says. “We do a lot of case studies and presentations, we have simulation games to help explain the concepts and we use data for analysis.”
“I really love the professors here,” she adds, citing both Associate Clinical Professor of Decision Sciences and MIS Matthew Reindorp and Associate Clinical Professor of Operations Management Min Wang. “They give us the space to learn and answer any questions we have.”
These new experiences both in the classroom and outside it have helped Zhang identify a new approach to her career and the next steps she’ll take after completing her MS in Supply Chain in 2020. “I didn’t do much networking before I came to Drexel,” she says. “Here I’ve learned to network, make new friends and find jobs.”
She’s also teaching herself both SQL and Python – essential for business analytics projects – through online courses. “If I had not started my master’s degree,” she says, “I don’t think I would be doing this.”