Writers: Fiona Woticky (MSCM candidate 2020) and Lucie Wang (MSCM candidate 2020)

Editor in Chief: David Wang (MSCM candidate 2020)

Right before our Strategic Supply Chain Management class back in Term 2, we had the pleasure of interviewing Professor Mark Thomas. Apart from being an engineer and our business professor, we discovered he is also secretly an apple connoisseur and lead singer of multiple bands (not so secret anymore). Read on to learn more about Professor (and musician) Thomas!

“Dream On” Aerosmith

“Take on more than you think you can handle, because you can handle more than you think”

After graduating high school, Professor Thomas spent six years as a musician. Unfortunately, the road of music did not go as planned, so he decided to return to university to study engineering. He questioned whether he had wasted six years of his life, and he stopped playing music as a result. 

He worked at a warehouse while catching up with his knowledge in engineering. He also became a dad during his second year in university at the age of 26!

One day, he suddenly decided to pick up his bass again. He realized how much he had enjoyed playing and singing. Looking back at the six years he spent pursuing his music career, he now realized it was not a waste of time. It was a time he learned how to work with people to achieve a common goal.

Don’t end up “All by [Your]self”– Celine Dion

“You need to recognize that you will never learn everything and know everything. We all need to rely on each other to fill in the gaps. Don’t make school a competition, make it a collaboration.

Over the course of his career, Professor Thomas learned the importance of collaboration, and simultaneously growing your network. 

Here are three career and life lessons shared by Professor Thomas:

  1. After being assigned to an important project, he once asked his VP “Is there a raise involved?”. The VP answered him “Just keep doing your best – the rest will look after itself.” It has been a career philosophy he has held to all these years.
  2. When you are young, Professor Thomas says, you need to test yourself; to see how much you can take and not be afraid of doing something completely new. Learn to build the confidence to believe you’ll be able to figure it out.
  3. His career advice for supply chain management is threefold:
      • The buyer power has become much higher. That is the reason for the development of omni-channels. Suppliers must learn to keep up with the trends.
      • Make the supplier act as your warehouse.
      • Always maintain open cooperation between businesses, because you can’t do it ALONE!

Lastly, he would like to remind every student, if you have an idea, something you want to do, adventure you want to explore, don’t wait, Do it now!

 Listen to a sample of Professor Thomas’ music below!!