Students at the Broad College, regardless of their major, gain exposure to numerous opportunities not only within the college and Michigan State University but also those on national and international levels.
The AWESOME Excellence in Education Scholarship is one such opportunity available to female students in supply chain management. AWESOME, which stands for Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply chain Operations, Management, and Education, has helped aspiring female supply chain leaders for the last decade.
Broad Spartans have been honored among the AWESOME Scholarship winners for many years, which connects them with a strong network of women in the industry. This year, rising junior Jenna Lewis was one of 20 recipients to receive a $5,000 scholarship. Lewis found out about AWESOME through the Supply Chain Management Association student organization and was nominated by Peter Estefan, supply chain management senior and SCMA vice president for 2022–23.
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“I am so excited about the great connections I will make in the AWESOME community. They are respectable women that understand the hardships of being a woman in business and supply chain,” Lewis said.
In addition to her major in supply chain management, Lewis is studying information technology as a minor. This summer, she is working at Meijer as a supply chain distribution intern, optimizing the warehouse space in their Lansing distribution center.
“The scholarship and my summer internship are the fruition of the hard work I have put into my classes and my on-campus involvement, especially with SCMA,” she said.
Lewis’s determination and involvement doesn’t stop there. Last year, she was recognized as an SCMA most-involved member and is eager to serve as the organization’s director of internal relations next year. Outside of SCMA, she is a marketing strategist for VIM Magazine, a student-run fashion and lifestyle publication at MSU, and a general member of the Women in Business Students Association.
As part of the AWESOME Scholarship, Lewis now also has plans to attend the AWESOME Symposium in May 2024. The symposium gathers women in diverse supply chain roles from all over the country to speak about their expertise and create relationships with fellow leaders. Lewis already had a chance to connect with fellow AWESOME scholars virtually, which she says is helping her build a community.
“Networking can be intimidating sometimes, but I am so glad we all connected prior to the symposium,” she said. “These young, inspiring women really gave me a sense of community and a support system because we all have similar career interests, hopes and dreams.”
Lewis also encouraged her peers to apply for scholarships and other opportunities: “Putting in the effort and actually giving something a try are really important for our growth as young professionals. Even if you don’t feel qualified enough, how would you know until you try?”
She credited her achievement to Chris Lussenhop, director of corporate and student relations in the supply chain department, and Simon Peinkofer, assistant professor of supply chain management. Since 2018, Peinkofer has been instrumental in selecting and nominating Spartans for the AWESOME Scholarship, alongside Judith Whipple, interim dean of the Broad College and Bowersox-Thull Professor in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
Peinkofer noted, “The AWESOME Scholarship is a unique and exciting opportunity for emerging female supply chain leaders. It is a privilege to be selected as a recipient, and Jenna is very deserving of this scholarship and recognition.
“The scholarship will open the door for Jenna to join like-minded female supply chain students and will allow her to build and grow a network of some of the most amazing women in supply chain,” Peinkofer continued. “Again, congratulations to Jenna for this outstanding recognition!”