Creating innovative business solutions

August 5, 2020

Scholarships supported College of Business graduate Angela Elizando as she gained valuable experience for her future career in Supply Chain Management.

Angela Elizando with her team
Angela Elizando with her team
Angela Elizando ('20 B.B.A.) with her team at the 7-Eleven Spain Business Case Competition in 2018, where they received first place

College of Business (COB) graduate Angela Elizando (‘20 B.B.A.) knew UM-Dearborn was the ideal place for her to pursue her degree because it ticked all the boxes that were important for her. In addition to being drawn to the smaller class sizes “because they created a sense of comradery amongst faculty and students,” she was also impressed with the faculty. “The professors at UM-Dearborn possess a strong degree of knowledge and experience spanning across a wide variety of work industries. Their passion for teaching brings a level of richness to the classroom setting. I was aware that such a powerful combination of attributes would help me become a valuable asset to any employer,” she says. 

She notes that her classes gave her helpful guidance in choosing her field of study. “My first semester at the College of Business gave me a well-rounded glimpse at the financial, technological, industrial, and social expectations of business,” she says. She initially intended to major in Finance, but shifted her focus after taking an Operations Management course. 

“The financial assistance provided was a blessing that offered me a sense of peace during uncertain times,” she says. “I knew that I had people believing in me. They shared my vision and were rooting me on from behind the scenes.”

“That support network helped motivate me to succeed during the sleepless nights and stressful times encountered along the way,” she adds. “I am forever grateful for all they have done to help me get to where I’m at and where I am going in the future.”

This turned out to be the right decision for Elizando, as it introduced her to professors and presented her with opportunities that had a major impact on her life. She credits Supply Chain Management Lecturer Gerald Holowicki and Operations Management Professor Young Ro for being “the driving forces behind my desire to pursue a degree in Supply Chain Management.” 

She took Holowicki’s class her first semester at UM-Dearborn and admits that although the class was really challenging, “a spark had ignited within me.” She adds, “I could sense that spark growing each time (Holowicki) would share his stories about operations management with the class. I wanted to be a part of the synergy he spoke of.” As she discovered her passion for the subject, she was eager to learn more and Holowicki “strongly encouraged us to participate in the Supply Chain Association meetings in an effort to shed additional light on the industry.”

Taking this advice led Elizando to meet Professor Ro, as she began attending the Supply Chain Association meetings and later participated in the annual Supply Chain competition held at the College of Business. “Professor Ro provided additional mentoring to students seeking to understand the supply chain process. My team took first place amongst the teams to present at the COB and went on to represent the University of Michigan at the National Undergraduate Supply Chain Case Competition,” she says.

Elizando has already seen the benefits of this experience, which she says “helped me land a co-op position with American Axle & Manufacturing in Detroit. I reported directly to the Director of Global Procurement Operations at AAM for over a year and a half.”

Elizando is grateful for the support of the Tarik Daoud Management Scholarship and Ken and Kelley Kettenbeil Scholarship, without which she “would not have been able to obtain my goal of achieving a B.B.A. from UM-Dearborn” and would not have had the opportunities that have already been valuable for her future career.

“The financial assistance provided was a blessing that offered me a sense of peace during uncertain times,” she says. “I knew that I had people believing in me. They shared my vision and were rooting me on from behind the scenes.”

“That support network helped motivate me to succeed during the sleepless nights and stressful times encountered along the way,” she adds. “I am forever grateful for all they have done to help me get to where I’m at and where I am going in the future.”

Looking towards the future, Elizando feels confident that the skills she has gained at UM-Dearborn have prepared her for a successful career. “I want to create innovative solutions, strategies, and profitability for my employer,” she says. To increase her career prospects and to ensure she achieves her goal she plans to continue her graduate studies at UM-Dearborn in Fall 2020. “My long-term goal is to relocate to Florida and start my own business,” she adds.

As she reflects on her college experience, Elizando expresses her appreciation for the campus that provided her with the opportunities and support to excel. Now that she has completed her undergraduate education, she has a message for other students: “If you’re struggling financially or academically, don’t give up. UM-Dearborn can connect you to the resources you need to help you achieve your dreams. I am proud to call myself an alumni of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Go Blue!”

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