The COVID-19 pandemic had an upside for Broad junior Syed Zaidi, who was on the hunt for a major that allowed him to combine his creative and technical skills.
“For me, supply chain is the foundation of everything,” Zaidi said. “The foundation of a company, an economy, a country. Without supply chain, we wouldn’t have economies running.”
Zaidi, a member of the Honors College, was recently named as a recipient of a national award for his accomplishments and aspirations in the field of supply chain management, continuing a tradition of excellence for the Broad College of Business.
Zaidi was one of six students across the country to earn the Institute for Supply Management’s R. Gene Richter Scholarship Award, joining a list of 125 students since the program’s beginnings in 2004. Highlighting Michigan State University’s acclaim within the scholarship, Zaidi is now the 27th MSU student to earn the prestigious scholarship, which provides $10,000 in tuition assistance, unique executive mentoring and networking.
MSU’s recipient last year, Julia Lower, encouraged Zaidi to apply, he said. The application and interview process “tests your IQ in supply chain,” he said, and was 100% worth it.
“It opens up a huge network for me to learn from,” he said.
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Award recipients participate in the ISM World Annual Conference. Zaidi said he most enjoyed talking to people at the conference, networking with chief procurement officers for Fortune 500 companies, learning about their careers, knowing “I want to be in their seats one day.”
Zaidi said he has a passion for learning, and the opportunity to participate in the scholarship’s mentorship initiatives was a major appeal.
“The Richter Scholarship truly represents the cream of the crop when it comes to supply chain management students across the United States, and we’re so proud of Syed’s achievement,” said Kelly Lynch, director of corporate and student relations for the Department of Supply Chain Management. “He continues a tradition of excellence within our department and our students, and we know he will represent the university well in this and future endeavors.”
During his time at MSU, Zaidi has served as president of Spectrum Consulting Group. He is a consulting summer analyst at Accenture, with previous internships at Stellantis and Abbott. He was also the vice president of marketing for Spartan Blockchain Solutions as well as a recent president of the Broad Student Senate.