Alumni spotlight: Nicholas Seeley

Determined to take his educational journey to new heights, Nicholas Seeley (B.S. ’13) packed his bags and headed to Poland to complete a seven-month internship with Crusar Logistics.

The value of networking

Seeley learned about the opportunity with Crusar from John Taylor, chair of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management and director of supply chain programs, during a classroom presentation. Taylor went to the company during a scouting trip for the School of Business Administration’s Vehicle Industry Study Abroad Program.

Seeley said that students need to take advantage of the opportunities that professors in the department put together.

"If it wasn’t for Dr. Taylor, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity," Seeley said. 

Seeley immediately reached out to Crusar.

While vacationing in Germany, Seeley decided to reach out to his contacts from Crusar, to schedule a face-to-face meeting.  The company representatives were impressed with his initiative and past experience, and they offered him a position. In June 2013, Seeley began a new phase of his career at Crusar’s headquarters in Wroclaw, Poland.  

Preparation meets opportunity

Seeley focused on improving optimization for the company with products Crusar was already incorporating in its management operations, like Google Maps. By utilizing the full capacity of the free application, he optimized driving routes through data visualization. The eager employee went to Google meetings and talked with developers to find out additional ways Crusar could use Google Maps to improve its day-to-day operations. To have a better view of how Crusar was doing, he used scorecards to compare the company and its competitors.

Culture exchange and supply chains

During his time Crusar, Seeley was able to meet a diverse group of people from around the world and enjoyed working in a country where the supply chain is still coming into its own. While being new to the region and not knowing the local language was a barrier, Seeley found that the core supply chain management principles are the same in the United States and Poland.  His global supply chain classes provided a foundation for what to expect with supply chains from the U.S. to Eastern Europe to Asia.

Helpful advice

While in Poland, the WSU Global Supply Chain Association member reached out to Lori Sisk, adjunct professor of marketing and supply chain management, and Michael Silvio, adjunct faculty of global supply chain management, for advice from where to find information to how long he should stay with the company.

Seeley thinks international experience is crucial in the supply chain field.

"When employers see you’ve had international experience it shows that you’re willing to take risks and can adjust well to situations," he said. "All supply chains are global to some extinct because they are always dealing with different countries and moving products back and forth."

His work with Crusar ended in December 2013. He now works for GKN Sinter Metals in Auburn Hills.

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