Some students come to college having always known what they want to study, others take a slightly longer path. For Brooke Merchant ’20, it all came together in a flash.
In the second semester of her first year, Merchant took part in Bryant’s MyPath Showcase, a day-long event where students can explore the wide variety of academic programs the University has to offer and begin to think purposefully about their future. She scrutinized the business offerings and attended a session on Supply Chain Management hosted by the program’s director, Professor Teresa McCarthy, Ph.D.
“I literally saw my future flash before my eyes,” Merchant says, “and I was like, ‘wow. This is what I’ve always wanted to do, even if I didn’t know what it was.’ Professor Teresa McCarthy gave this wonderful presentation about what the field is all about – and I knew right then what I wanted to study.”
Since then, Merchant has excelled in her chosen field, which involves analyzing production networks to see the big picture across businesses, industries and, oftentimes, countries. She’s interned with companies like Arbella Insurance, worked with Bryant’s Office of Institutional Planning and Research on large scale research projects, and earned a prestigious scholarship from the American Production and Inventory Control Society.
Merchant’s success can be attributed to her hard work, business acumen, and the lessons she’s learned as a Bryant student. “There are so many great resources at Bryant that you can take advantage of and make your own,” she says. “There are so many wonderful people, offices, clubs and organizations that provide you with everything you could possibly need.”
Professor McCarthy has continued to aid Merchant in discovering new paths. “She’s helped me find and take on so many opportunities, like the Supply Chain Leadership Association,” says Merchant. “I’m working with her now to help grow the club.”
She’s hoping to spark that flash of lightning she experienced for others, “Not everybody knows what supply chain is. I know I didn’t,” Merchant says. “So we’re trying to change that.”
IT Business Analyst I, Arbella Insurance
• Gathered and wrote business requirements within the IT Claims Department
• Utilized Microsoft Excel to create readable test cases
• Tested the updated coding in different testing environments to receive user approval
Bryant University Research Analyst, Office of Institutional Planning and Research
• Interpreted both internal and external data to improve Bryant’s current systems
• Analyzed thousands of data records and prepare professional reports for Bryant and public to accurately represent the university
• Used analyses to make recommendation in order to gain competitive advantage
Executive Board/Treasurer, Supply Chain Leadership Association
• Learns about and discusses issues and trends in the Supply Chain Management field
Technology and Applied Analytics Organization
• Develops analytical skills through software and programming tutorials (Python, Java, Tableau, 3D Printing)
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