In her senior year at Indiana State, Neily Stough worked on a project with MasterBrand Cabinets to gain “real-world experience.”
She also visited the business on spring break as part of the Operations and Supply Chain Management (OSCM) program at Indiana State. “The experience and connection gave me a competitive advantage, I feel, in the market place,” said Stough, who graduated cum laude in May 2016.
It certainly did. Stough was hired as a buyer for MasterBrand Cabinets of Jasper, one of the largest cabinet manufacturers in North America.
“ISU most definitely helped me get this position,” Stough said. “I am very grateful to ISU for the opportunities I was given. Without ISU, I do not know if I would be in the position I am today.”
Born in Brazil, Ind., Stough said her childhood ambition was to become a professional ballet dancer. “I danced for about nine years,” she said. “But that dream changed when I got older and involved with other hobbies. It faded as other things fell into place.”
When it came time to go to college, Stough said that was an easy choice. “In the beginning, I had decided to attend ISU because of the close proximity to my family and affordable education,” she said. “Now, I would highly recommend ISU to all for the one-on-one education and the time and effort spent from all my professors in making sure I was successful.”
At State, Stough was a member of the cheer team and was involved in the American Production and Inventory Control Society and Business Professionals of America. “The best memories I have are with my OSCM classmates. We were all very close and spent a lot of time in and out of class together,” she said.
Among those memories is attending 24-hour case competitions where teams are presented with a case study and must come up with solutions within 24 hours. “We were all exhausted by the end of the case competitions, but the experience was completely worth it,” Stough said. “Of all the years I have attended school, my best years are when I joined OSCM.”
While at State, Stough served an internship with Wurth Service Supply Company and spearheaded a student team for a supply chain management class with MasterBrand. The company implemented the class’ findings and recommendations. Then they hired Stough.
Her professors in the Operations and Supply Chain Management program were particularly helpful in her time at State, Stough said. “Every OSCM professor — Dr. B, Dr. Schikora, Dr. DePaolo, Dr. McLaren and Mr. Wyeth. I can count daily the number of times I use information they taught me,” she said. “I still keep in touch, and still ask for their advice on situations.”
For students who might be interested in the Operations and Supply Chain Management program, Stough said she would encourage others to research the program and see if it fits their educational goals.
“I really cannot put into words my appreciation for the connections, experiences and opportunities that OSCM provided me,” she said. “My advice to students who are interested in OSCM would be to start as early as possible, and I can guarantee you will not regret it.”