Note, all of you should be connected with me on Linkedin (just ask)…

Are you on Linkedin?  

Attached is a presentation on how to join Linkedin professionally and effectively (see below). 

I have a current supply student that has a received a dream job offer from Amazon.  Amazon found him on Linkedin.  Also, I have several former students at Apple that used to work at Whirlpool, Kraft, John Deere, and IBM Consulting.  Apple found them on Linkedin.  Employers are starting to expect you to have a profile on Linkedin.  Employers keep raising the bar but students prosper that rise with it.  Also, I had a great former superstar student that actually struggled to find a full time job upon graduation.  We think it was because his linkedin profile showed minimal effort on his part.  Once he cleaned it up and got his network to around 300 people, he started getting interviews and eventually a job offer.  Note, make sure you have a professional headshot.

Also, click:

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Here is a workbook to help build your brand:

This manual is loaded with career development information:

Become the Nike swoosh of your life! Most students put little effort into developing and promoting their brand.Here is a workbook to help build your brand, just click

I put the below video together for a group of college students in the Balkans.  You can begin at the “4:15” mark to avoid the details about the charitable organization.

Here is a website that is similar to MBTI and it is free:


Also, here is another free one.  So many companies do this that I think it would send the right message and protect you during a job interview if you made sure to do this at some point.

Contact me for material on how to interpret your results.

I make students do this – Do a SWOT analysis for yourself by identifying 5-10 traits for each category.  Strengths and Weaknesses might be obvious, but Opportunities and Threats might be less obvious (but do your best). For example, an opportunity might be that you are a millennial with lots of energy and a positive attitude that is not typically associated with older generations.  Another opportunity might be that you are open to and actually eager to live and work anywhere (and travel a lot).  A threat might be that for the next few years the baby boomers will still be in the workforce which might allow for fewer job opportunities or promotions because of your lack of work experience (and they have lots of work experience).

The purpose of this exercise is to be prepared for an interview where they ask questions to this affect.  You are basically trying to determine what your current brand and image looks like at this point in your life.  It is a self assessment of what you have to offer and what you need to work on.  This also helps you determine what might be the best fit for you professionally.  I will also be reading these in order to get to know you (but be forthright, there are no wrong answers).

Note:  One of the coolest resumes I have ever seen is a student from last year that took his personal SWOT and built it into the top of his resume.  He spent hours on developing his own personal SWOT (he took a personal self assessment to help with that) and then he spent several more hours creating an infographic of sorts that looked exceptional at the top of his resume.  He said employers ate it up and most interviews involved discussing his personal SWOT and his professional work experience.  Having said that, you still might need to do a personal self assessment and it is not that easy to do.  Our business college will actually pay for and interpret for you a personal SWOT type of self assessment.  Again, students that make the extra effort and do this are better prepared for job interviews because they can better describe their strengths and weaknesses in the context of the job they are interviewing for.  It makes for talking through the STAR interview techniques much more effective.  If you would like to take this personal psychological profile test called the MBTI, then please stop by our career services and they will guide you.

Note skill sets required of supply chain professionals:

Solid skills required in future supply chain managers include:

  • Project management
  • Technical understanding
  • Cost accounting skills
  • Ability to understand financial statements
  • Understanding of e-business / e-procurement systems
  • Troubleshooting, problem solving
  • Understanding of cross-cultural / global issues
  • Business ethics
  • Understanding of the legal issues involved in managing contracts

Soft skills and personality attributes required in future supply managers include:

  • Ability to communicate effectively through presentations, email, one-on-one, and team discussion
  • Ability to logically organize thoughts
  • Ability as a natural facilitator to enable team-based decisions
  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Understanding of customer’s expectations
  • Vision – creating the environment
  • Desire to learn
  • Ability to present oneself with confidence
  • Ability to think on one’s feet
  • Ability to pass on knowledge and mentoring


WMU Career Assessment Guidelines…

What is a career assessment?

In general, career assessments can:

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses, i.e. what you do well and what you could do better
  • Pinpoint your interests and match them with your skills
  • Clarify your values, specifically what is important to you
  • Examine the overlap among your skills, interests, personality, and values to identify corresponding majors or careers

These assessments are not a test of an individual’s abilities, but rather an examination of how their skills, values, personality and/or interests align with academic majors and career pathways. Career assessments can help you select or eliminate a major and/or career, as they are one way to start exploring different options available to you. Sometimes career assessments increase the number of options of interest to you, while other times they narrow your options. Please keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers when taking a career assessment.

Who can take a career assessment?

All Haworth College of Business students are welcome to take a career assessment. Yet, students who need assistance selecting a major or career pathway are strongly encouraged to take a career assessment.

What career assessments are available to business students?

The manual is loaded with information, just click:

  1. FOCUS – provides a description of your interests, skills, personality and values in order to explore careers matching your unique profile.
    2.  Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – provides an in-depth description of your personality preferences, including how you gather information and how you make decisions.

3.  Strong Interest Inventory
 (SII) – provides in-depth feedback on your occupational interests including “what” academic program and career pathway might be a good fit for you and characteristics of work environments that motivate you.

Do career assessments take a great deal of time and money?


  • FOCUS – Each assessment takes 10 to 15 minutes, for a maximum of one hour.
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator –Takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
  • Strong Interest Inventory – Takes approximately 35 to 40 minutes to complete.

How does a business student choose which career assessment to take?

The FOCUS is a self-administered and self-interpreted career assessment. You are not required to meet with a career development specialist to take the FOCUS, but students are welcome to schedule a meeting for assistance with interpretation and career. Internet access is all that is required to take the FOCUS.

To take the MBTI and SII, students are required to meet with a career development specialist. Taking the MBTI and SII is a three-step process that occurs over the course of at least two weeks:

  1. Informational appointment – to gather information to assess a student’s needs and to describe the process of taking a career assessment (20-30 minute appointment)
  2. Career assessment(s) – student takes career assessment(s) needing only Internet access
  3. Interpretive appointment – to interpret the results of the assessment(s) and create an action plan based on student needs
  4. Please contact me for more material on this.

Directions for taking the MBTI through WMU HCOB career services if you so desire…

Myers Briggs (MBTI) personality assessment.  The great thing about the SCM field is that there is ample opportunity for all personality types. The MB assessment will help you understand yourself much better. It only takes a few minutes to complete and WMU HCOB Career Services will actually help you interpret the results.  All of you will get that classic question from an employer where you have to identify your strengths and weaknesses.  This MB assessment will help you answer that question in the context of your personality profile. We are all born a certain way and predisposed to some extent, but that does not mean we cannot work on some things and just accept other things.  However, in order to do of all that you might need more awareness.  The MB assessment will give you that awareness. I took it last year for the first time because I thought it was psycho babble and it was spot on.  I am glad I took it and I think you will be glad if you take it.  Stop by the career services center if interested.
I had a student ask me the following question… 
If we consider something as our strength if it also presents an important part of our personal brand and overall personality, but our employer evaluates that it could distract us at some point and it could become our weakness, what should we do? 
For example, if we are empathetic and we embrace that quality because it helps us communicate better and understand people’s needs better. Should we try to change or hide that characteristic in order to adapt to the workplace or simply be ourselves in a slightly modified manner? 
I shared this question with a professional career services counselor at Western Michigan University.  His response is copied below.
It highlights how informative these career and psychological assessments can be.  Thank you.  
Sime, I always go back to what I learned in MBTI training and basic psychology.  Certain traits (even personality based traits) are not always under our full control.  Personality can adapt, but at some point, dominate traits take over.  Slightly modified without sacrificing self is the answer from me.  Concerning “Strengths” (I will use Clifton Strengths finder practice here) there could be 2 perspectives.  If someone’s empathy is considered a distraction to the evaluator, the evaluator either does not see the value in that strength or the person being evaluated is “operating out of the basement” of that strength and is being correctly evaluated.  This means their empathy is clouding good judgement and sound practice. Empathy is considered to be a relationship building strength.  It is an emotion based strength profoundly useful in bringing depth to relationships but can be very personally draining.  Since control lies in the individual, here are some steps a person with high empathy can take in order to “slightly modify” their approach to this tough situation. Practice refining words used to name the feelings this person experiences and observes in others Develop routines at the end of the day that allow this person to decompress (This one is VERY important) Practice silence and careful listening to show that this person’s emotions do not get the best of them in tough situations.  This also improves non-verbal communication and allows for more trustworthy and transparent conversation Empathy and sympathy are 2 different things.  Understand the differences and be aware that overly sympathetic individuals tend to be seen by others as “bleeding hearts”.  Some may see this type of person as incapable of making tough decisions.   The control aspect is very important.  We cannot control others.  We can only hope to know ourselves enough in order to adapt (when necessary and if possible) to the situation.  If the situation has become unhealthy and the evaluator has introduced toxicity into the relationship, then, in my opinion, it’s time to find something else.  I hope this makes sense and is helpful.

Here’s why people still take the Myers-Briggs test — even though it might not mean anything.

For details on how to build your brand (with a workbook):

I have way too many students failing their first interviews because they were not ready for STAR. Practice, practice, practice.


“Students who are able to build strong relationships with professors are far more likely to find engaging work after graduation, according to Gallup-Purdue polls.” -those who believe a professor cared about them as a person, made them excited about learning, & encouraged them to pursue their dreams had more than double the odds of being engaged at work & experiencing a higher degree of well being overall, these studies find.

…only 3% of grads reported having the kind of positive experiences in school that these studies find to be valuable.

At WMU, we do better than 3%. Why? My answer: faculty are obsessed with student success.

Another study:
Students who choose to specialize are having better experiences than those who stay generalist. They also found that professors have the most influence on major.

Tips/advice from a college professor:
1. Read. People that read a lot make more $ (2.3 times more?!)

2. Learn the job saving technologies (i.e., data analytics).

3. Learn to interview well (i.e., STAR). and
How to prep for virtual career fairs:
Being job ready…

4. Learn to negotiate ($). and

5. Learn to network & use LinkedIn.
For details on how to build your brand:

6. Delay graduation for experience.

7. Learn to problem solve –

8. Double Major?

9. Get a grad degree? Earn $3M more than someone w/ only a bachelor’s degree.

10. Job rotations?

11. 10 college majors that earn the most money:

12. Free tool for calculating degree ROI:


“There isn’t enough young people working in supply chain”… Note, there are not enough young people in general. Last year, deaths exceeded births in fully half of the US states. Michigan’s young population has shrunk the MOST at -14%. Birth rates have plunged in states where the 0-25 population is shrinking. What does the decline of young people mean to US industries?…

From Sime: Econ 101 says you cannot raise the standard of living unless you grow the economy, and you cannot grow the economy if there are not enough workers (especially young ones).

In the meantime…

The placement success & starting $ for WMU ISM is off the charts. *Median salary for all SCM degrees was $60K-65K (10% of grads hired on w/ one auto OEM at $78K!). “SCM” + “Degree” = jobs & $.

JOB SECURITY? U.S. News recently predicted that SCM jobs would expand by 25% w/i 10 years & identified SCM as one of the “20 Best Business Jobs.” SCM is also included in lists that rank top career fields for women (

“…it’s clear that SCM professionals are poised to become the most powerful executives in the world…” CEOs Will Come from SCM? and

10 college majors that earn the most money:
Doesn’t #2 & #6 sound like “Supply Chain Management + Engineering”? In other words, the WMU ISM supply chain program?

Per Fortune, “Over their lifetime, an MBA graduate can expect to earn $3 million more than someone with only a bachelor’s degree, according to GMAC.” When is the right time for grad school? The avg age is 33.

Common Theme from Grads: It’s a great career path because SCM jobs are everywhere. Additionally, SCM jobs usually pay great & there is a great room for career growth. The career path also offers excellent work satisfaction, & it’s hard to get bored.

Great read: – “Salaries in SCM are going up & avg $10K-20K higher than entry-level positions in other fields.” SCM, quickest way to six figures- Should college grads negotiate a higher starting salary?

$ Six Figures:

“SCM”+”Data Analytics”=jobs & $$. There are > 35K jobs on LI not filled which have these words in the job title – “supply chain” & “analyst” & “data analytics”.

There are >11M jobs not filled, many of which are in SCM. In fact, around 1/2 these jobs are in SCM. 

SCM Data Scientist (>171K jobs on LI).
Our Data Analytics minor:

Great job if you read this entire post! People that read a lot make more $ (2.3 times more?!). According to studies, business people who read at least 7 business books a year earn > 2.3 X more than people who read only 1 book/year.


Also, if you are on LinkedIn, connect with me.  Once you join, connect with me.  Thank you.  Sime

Sample Lectures & Should You Major in Supply Chain Management?

Dr. Sime (Sheema) Curkovic, Ph.D.
, Professor, Operations/Supply Chain
Western Michigan University, Haworth College of Business

“WMU Integrated Supply Management (ISM)…Nation’s best undergraduate SCM program (Gartner 2014); 2nd in SCM technology (SoftwareAdvice 2015);  2nd in top global SCM talent (SCM World 2017)”

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