Adam Guthrie, a native of El Dorado, Arkansas, began graduate studies in UAB’s MBA program in Fall 2007. He expects to receive his master’s degree this Fall. While in the Navy, Adam worked in logistics as a Supply Officer. He is furthering his interest in logistics by focusing his research here at UAB in the Industrial Distribution Department. He says that he is honored to have one of his research papers on Industrial Distribution Policy presented by Dr. Thomas DeCarlo at a conference in Arizona. Adam adds, “This is an ongoing project Dr. DeCarlo and another professor have worked on and it gave me a chance to conduct research on a topic that is of interest to a group of professors and business professionals.”

Adam put a lot of thought into choosing UAB. He explains, “UAB is one of the few MBA schools that offer classes in logistics, my industry of focus. Another reason is my uncle started a fireworks company, Supershow Fireworks, several years ago and moving to Birmingham gave me an opportunity to work with him and help develop his small business. Another great aspect of UAB is the capability for the students to learn from businesses within the community. On several occasions, we have had the opportunity to discuss specific issues with business leaders, a unique opportunity because of UAB’s location. After reviewing the experience of the faculty, [I found that] they have taught at the highest levels and maintain their outstanding credentials.”

Adam’s explains his motivation behind his research in logistics as a puzzle. “There are so many factors that play into getting a product to market and a manager needs to be able to piece each step together for that product to be a success and turn a profit.”

While most graduate students choose a professor as their greatest influence during their graduate studies here at UAB, Adam chose a fellow student. He elaborates, “I could list several professors that have taken the extra time to answer my questions outside of class and let me pick their brain for general knowledge. If I have to narrow it down to one person, it would have to be Joe Godwin, another student. He earned his bachelors from UAB and just completed the MBA program this past spring. He did 3 tours in Iraq with the Army. He has helped me study for the finance classes and has tied that information into real world situations so I could better understand the processes.  He is currently enrolled at Auburn in the PhD in Economics Program.”

Like the other MBA student in this month’s Spotlight, Li Fang, Adam believes that the diversity found here at UAB is extremely important for a well-rounded education, saying, “My most rewarding experience at UAB is meeting the other students with such a diverse background in the MBA program. The quality and merit of the students has been pleasantly surprising. It is interesting to learn what they do and their motivation behind furthering their studies.”

After graduation, Adam plans to continue to work with Supershow Fireworks on a part-time basis while starting a new career in the logistics industry.

Adam’s Advice for Other Graduate Students:
“Time Management. If you are working while attending graduate school, don’t take more classes than you can handle. A student must be able to devote ‘quality’ time to each class. If you don’t put the time and effort into the class, you won’t get as much out of the program and you will only be cheating yourself.”

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