Global supply chain management (GSCM) alumna McKenzi Gebhard knows she wouldn’t be where she is now if not for the BYU Marriott School of Business. From influential faculty, valuable peer relationships, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, the “BYU Marriott family” and its values have helped Gebhard become the professional she is today.
When she first came to BYU, Gebhard was interested in fashion merchandising. Her father, who works in supply chain, was her first introduction to global supply chain growing up. During her freshman orientation week, she learned more about the GSCM program from a BYU Marriott representative and realized what a great fit global supply chain was for her. As a result, Gebhard changed her major to global supply chain and moved her focus from fashion merchandising toward general supply chain.
The immense help and support that Gebhard received from BYU Marriott faculty members helped solidify her desire to study and work in global supply chain. Two professors, Scott Webb and Simon Greathead especially influenced Gebhard. “I remember several classes with Simon Greathead where he became emotional talking about his students.,” says Gebhard. “You can tell how much he loves and is invested in the success of each of us.”
As a student in these professors’ classes and while working as a teacher’s assistant for both of them, Gebhard witnessed Webb and Greathead invest great effort in the well-being of their students. “They are like the ultimate coach. Through their teachings and confidence in me, they pushed me to excel. Their support made me want to learn and grow both educationally and spiritually. They instilled a desire within me to leave BYU Marriott and be a good example,” says Gebhard.
Not only did Gebhard build lasting relationships with the faculty at BYU Marriott, she also worked to become a valuable member of the student body in her program. “BYU Marriott is incredibly team-based, which is applicable to real-life situations,” says Gebhard. She learned the importance of teamwork from her peers, which is a lesson she has taken into collaborative situations in her career. Gebhard currently works with three other GSCM graduates from her junior core at BYU Marriott who also accepted job offers at Sunrise Technologies.
Along with her strong connections to the students and faculty, Gebhard found great value in the myriad of experiential opportunities offered through the GSCM program. “My favorite aspects of my undergraduate experience were the relationships I developed and the experiences I was involved in outside of the main core classes,” says Gebhard.
As a student, she quickly became involved in many of the opportunities at BYU Marriott through on-campus internships, competitions, and the Global Supply Chain Association. “By taking advantage of every opportunity presented to me, I became a competitive applicant and found the perfect career,” she adds.
Gebhard graduated in 2016 and soon after moved to Gainesville, Florida and joined Sunrise Technologies as a supply chain consultant, quickly advancing to project management. Much like BYU Marriott, Sunrise has a culture that fosters the progress and development of its employees. “Sunrise hires numerous students from BYU, and I think that’s because we emulate values that are most important to their company; hard work, honesty, and being kind.”
The impact of BYU Marriott still influences Gebhard today. She looks back with gratitude for the relationships she formed and the opportunities she received in the GSCM program. Gebhard reflects, “the values of BYU Marriott, including service, have led me to the life and career I have today, for which I will be forever grateful.”
Writer: Emily Atwood