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When you think logistics, you usually think of moving materials from place to place on time. For Masana Noma, anything could use a little speeding up.
Noma is finishing up an associate degree in Supply Chain Management while working full-time for American Bank, a Bethesda, Md.-based lender. She’s using her Supply Chain background at the bank, helping it streamline its loan process. Leads become “raw materials,” loan closings become the “finished product” – and the whole bank becomes more efficient.
“I love it. I find that supply chain management isn’t only for manufacturing, but also for services,” Noma says.
Noma, 24, has long been interested in efficiency. She graduated Dublin-Coffman High School a year early so she could work full-time to pay for college.
She’s following her mother into a logistics career. Her mother worked as a logistics coordinator, then a buyer, for an auto parts supplier, and the two women often talk shop.
Noma came to Columbus State because of the low tuition, but she’s been impressed by how rigorous the program is. She says she’s learning more about the technical side of logistics than her peers at four-year schools.
She’ll show off that Columbus State education at the national Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals in October. She’ll present a paper entitled “E-Commerce: Impact on Supply Chain Operations and Logistics” at the conference and compete against other students.
She’s the first Columbus State student to compete at the conference. To reach the national conference, she had to compete against other students from Columbus, including one master’s student from Ohio State University.
“It’s definitely going to be a great opportunity, not just for knowledge, but also for networking,” Noma says.
Supply Chain Management students learn to integrate supplies and manufacturing processes, both domestically and internationally. The program offers majors in Strategic Procurement and International Commerce, as well as a number of certificates. Also, the college’s Community Education and Workforce Development division offers a short-term training program for entry-level logistics workers called LogisticsART.
Logistics has been identified by the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce as one of the region’s hottest fields. The area is home to many distribution centers and it’s home to the only “Free Trade Zone” with customs clearance in the state of Ohio.