As the eighth oldest institution for higher learning in the United States, Rutgers is celebrating its 250th anniversary on November 10, 2016. To celebrate this monumental milestone, I Am Rutgers will be featuring Rutgers’ most involved and accomplished students in a new series, “250 for 250.” This year-long series will serve as a reflection of Rutgers’ diverse student body and status as a premier national research university.
Radha Patel applied to Rutgers as a high school senior knowing that she wanted to pursue a career in supply chain management. Rutgers’ undergraduate supply chain program was then ranked number 9 in the country according to Gartner’s 2014 ranking of the Top 25 programs in North American universities, but Radha’s interest in supply chain extended beyond her desire to be a part of a highly ranked program:
“I choose to major in supply chain management because it was a field in business where I knew I could make a tangible difference in people’s lives. Supply chain affects all industries and coordinates processes behind the scenes to ensure that the right products are delivered to the right places at the right time to satisfy consumers.”
Now a third year student at the Rutgers Business School, Radha couldn’t be happier with her decision to come to Rutgers. She will graduate next year with a degree in supply chain management and a minor in management information systems from a program that is even more highly ranked now than it was two years ago; Rutgers’ supply chain program has since risen in the rankings and now occupies the number 5 spot according to Gartner’s 2016 report.
Since coming to Rutgers, Radha has worked hard to gain experience in her major and minor. During her sophomore year, Radha joined Diaspark, an IT services and solutions provider, as a Software Support Executive. She worked within the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) side of the business and also provided software support to over 60 jewelry manufacturers and wholesalers.
Last summer, Radha interned at Verizon as a Data Analytics Intern, part of the company’s Global Supply Chain Internship Program. Through this role, Radha worked with the Sustaining Operations and Reverse Logistics teams to strategize ways to reuse, resell, and recycle business assets. She also converted and analyzed metrics into monthly reports utilizing Tableau, a business intelligence software system.
“Verizon allowed me to work cross-functionally with others and also allowed me to gain hands on experience by visiting work sites that were focused on the sustainability efforts that my projects focused on. It was a really great experience that allowed me to learn new skills and cultivate my network with Verizon employees and executives.”
Next summer Radha will join Unilever and intern within their supply chain operations. Since Unilever is one of the largest consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies and was recently ranked as the number one supply chain company by Gartner’s 2016 ranking of the top supply chain companies (‘Gartner 2016 Supply Chain Top 25′ Report), Radha’s excited to see what this experience has in store and to learn even more about how supply chain processes differ between industries.
Despite all of her success within supply chain, Radha considers being an RA her biggest accomplishment. Rutgers’ Resident Assistant program is extremely selective and has an acceptance rate of less than 6%. She was first selected to be an RA for her sophomore year, where she oversaw first-year residents and helped them get adjusted to life at Rutgers. This year, Radha is an RA in the Quads and oversees upperclassmen.
“This is my second year being an RA and it has allowed me to grow so much both personally and professionally, while at the same time, being able to give back to others. Each year was an unique experience, given that I’ve had the opportunity to oversee first-year students as well as upperclassmen.”
On campus, Radha’s actively involved with Phi Chi Theta (PCT), a professional co-ed business fraternity. Radha joined PCT in the fall of her sophomore year:
“i joined PCT to develop professionally, but I ended up making a group of friends that became my family. My brothers motivate and support me to reach my academic and professional goals.”
Radha currently serves as the Director of Internal Affairs and represents PCT as their fraternity’s delegate at the Professional Fraternity Council (PFC). Through her role, Radha is in the process of helping to organize the first annual Alumni Banquet that will serve as a networking event for all fraternities within the PFC.
This spring, Radha will participate in Phi Chi Theta’s Dance Marathon group.
“Dance Marathon is a great way to raise money and awareness of illnesses affecting children and it gives Rutgers students the opportunity to give back. I’ve had a lot of fun working with my brothers to raise money for the cause and it’s been a very rewarding experience. We have adopted a child this year named Molly, so I am thankful to be able to support her and those like her.”
Radha is often seen walking around the Rutgers Business School giving tours to prospective students. She enjoys sharing what experiences have made her time at RBS so rewarding and encourages high school seniors to get involved during college, regardless of which school they end up attending.
“I love getting to display our school to prospective students and getting them excited for the chance to be a part of a school as great as ours. Rutgers offers an endless number of opportunities and I always emphasize that the people who are most successful here are the ones who take advantage of opportunities. There are so many opportunities to get involved in clubs, organizations, sports, greek life, and those opportunities are what make such a big school feel like a home. I am proud to attend Rutgers and I’m so thankful for all of the experiences I’ve had here so far.”