Embracing the Journey Leads to Impactful Supply Chain Management Career: January’s aMAIZEing Alumni

Alumnus, Mahmood Al Madan, graduated in 2017 from UM-Flint’s School of Management with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance and Accounting with a minor in Economics. During his time as a student, he was a member of the Financial Management Association and worked part-time as a Research Analyst at the UM-Flint’s Office of Research and Economic Development. Mahmood is an Operation and Accounting Manager at Vision Transport Logistics where he handles the supply chain of the trucking company. 

As our featured alumni of the month, Mahmood gives advice on how to push through public speaking fears, talks about choosing UM-Flint because of the personal, smaller classroom settings and his career path from sales assistant/merchandiser to where he is now and how team projects at UM-Flint helped him prepare for his career. 

Q: Degree(s) and graduation year:
A:  Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance and Accounting with a minor in Economics, 2017

Q: Were you involved in any clubs or extracurriculars during your college experience?
A: Financial Management Association

Q: Where are you currently working and your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization? What is your job like day to day?
A: Currently working as Operation and Accounting Manager at Vision Transport Logistics. I have been working here since 2019. With a dedicated fleet of 15 trucks, Vision Transport Logistics, offers flexible and efficient drayage services.

Working in a trucking company and being part of the supply chains, which acts as the veins of the economy, makes our daily routines different and exciting. My team and I work closely with our fleet drivers to make sure the containers get delivered to warehouses in a timely and smooth manner. We solve different problems that arise every day with truck drivers, railroads, and equipment providers. Monitoring the arrival time of containers and arranging delivery schedules with warehouses. Also, keeping a watchful eye that each driver is following the department of transportation working hours efficiently and maximizing their productivity while following safety standards. Making sure, with top priority, our customers get updated on their shipment delivery and invoicing in a timely manner.

Q: Describe your career path
A: The first job in my career path was after I finished my English program in Canada for two and half years which was a Sales Assistant and Merchandiser at Kimberly-Clark. I was visiting many Supermarkets checking the inventory and talking to customers and warehouse teams. Working hand in hand with the sales, accounting, and finance team, I had built curiosity, I had the desire to start college and be able to work in the professional Accounting and Finance sector.

During my third year at the University of Michigan-Flint, I worked part-time as a Research Analyst at the UM-Flint’s Office of Research and Economic Development. During this position, I worked with a team in gathering data on businesses developments and economical needs in the thumb region of Michigan. We also were a part of asset mapping to identify regional assets and evaluate each asset’s impact on that region. After graduating, I had taken on a few jobs as a bookkeeper and Uber driver which have both helped me become more social and gave me practice becoming familiar with handling books for businesses, which lead to my current job in Vision Transport Logistics.

I was hired first as a Bookkeeper after the books were left for months without being managed. I have taken on the role and cleaned up the bookkeeping and brought things up to date. Taking on a role like that has helped me understand every aspect of bookkeeping and more specifically in the business. With that being said, I have been able to oversee day-to-day costs and be able to reduce the cost of the business most specifically during the pandemic. After being able to manage to reduce the cost, I was assigned as Operation Manager/Accounting Manager.

Q: Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?
A:   Working at Kimberly-Clark as my first job and talking with others from the accounting and finance team had built interest in this career path.

Q: Why did you choose UM-Flint for your degree?
A: I was originally advised by an academic agent overseas of the University of Michigan-Flint being a regional campus of the University of Michigan. Attracted to the living cost being cheaper in the Flint area. Being on a smaller campus makes the classes more personalized and instructors can give more attention to students on a personal level. This made it possible to build relationships with some of the instructors and get different types of advice and wisdom which has helped my personal and academic level.

Q: What is one of your favorite events you attended or classroom experiences at UM-Flint? Why?
A: One of my favorite classes I have taken at UM-Flint was a class called First-Year Experience. It was a course that examines real-world problems from a multidisciplinary perspective. In that, we were given many assignments that genuinely helped me understand and respect the difference in people who came from different social statuses, religions, economical levels, races, etc. I would say this class has helped me stay reasonably constant throughout life.

Q: What is the most important thing you learned while you were at UM-Flint?
A: I have learned many things at UM-Flint that have had a large impact on who I am today along with my career path. The two most important would be public speaking and team projects. In many of our business classes, we were assigned to give presentations as assignments. At first, I hated it because I had glossophobia, but after having to do it for a few classes it certainly helped me overcome my fear. These group assignments reinforced these skills that are relevant to both group and individual work. Many of these skill sets I still rely on in my current work such as strong communication skills.

Q: Who influenced you most during your time at UM-Flint and why?
A: My family and friends along with some of the instructors.

Q: How did your education at UM-Flint prepare you for what you are doing today?
A: Many of my business classes have given me the knowledge and fundamentals of accounting which I use in everyday operations from financial statements and cash flows. Group projects and presentations helped me become more confident and a better team leader by improving my public speaking skills.

Q: What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
A: If asked to give any advice from personal experience it would be socializing and building a network. When you socialize regularly in college, you tend to develop deep and lasting relationships. Studying abroad may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a college student. Last, but not least, seek internship opportunities!

Q: What is a long-term career or professional goal you have for yourself?
A: My long-term goal when I was a student is completely different from what it is right now, and I am also sure it will be different in a few years from now. However, the opportunities are endless, and my goal is to continue to grow.

Q: What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?
A: Studying abroad and owning my own business.

Q: What is something people may not know about you?
A: In my spare time I enjoy cooking and spending time with family and friends. I love going on road trips or traveling with my wife and exploring different countries, cultures, music, and food.

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