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Advice for Employers and Recruiters

Top schools for hiring warehouse / logistics students and other early career candidates

Anita Jobb AvatarAnita Jobb
June 26, 2024

In the quest to discover the most fertile grounds for recruiting the next generation of warehouse and logistics talent, we’ve gathered insights from CEOs and Directors. They reveal their favorite schools for sourcing interns and recent grads, from the top schools for supply chain talent to strategies for tapping into local talent pools. Explore these ten expert perspectives to refine your recruitment strategy.

  • Top Schools for Supply Chain Talent
  • Park University’s Logistics Programs
  • Michigan State’s SCM Excellence
  • University of Alabama’s Diverse Skills Training
  • Recruiting from Local Talent Pools
  • Prioritizing Renowned SCM Programs
  • Michigan State’s Practical SCM Education
  • Fuel Logic’s Recruitment Success Stories
  • Sourcing from Top SCM Programs
  • Internship Strategies and Preferred Schools

Top Schools for Supply Chain Talent

University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Arizona, and University of North Texas are my top choices to recruit in this space. These institutions have been producing graduates with a commanding knowledge of supply chain management and logistics that has never been felt in many parts of the world.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is differentiated by its top-ranked Supply Chain Management program in the Wisconsin School of Business. The program is so all-inclusive that graduates learn everything they need to know about the inner workings of the industry, from supply chain operations all the way to logistics. The university significantly focuses on real-world skills, with internships and group projects emphasized, so students are work-ready.

Another hotbed is the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Most of the students applied to the school for Logistics and Supply Chain Management—the strongest program in innovation and logistics sustainability. This ensures students learn to use cutting-edge technologies and data analytics that are essential to improve efficiency and create innovative solutions in our industry. This, combined with ASU’s strong industry partnerships, leads to invaluable, resume-building real-world experience for students.

The University of North Texas G. Brint Ryan College of Business features a logistics and supply chain management program. The program takes a comprehensive view with a goal of covering all the bases, from strategic procurement to distribution logistics. With a foundation based on practical, resume-building experience along with knowledge from the classroom, UNT graduates are well-equipped… Experiential learning is so important to the University that by the time a student graduates, they have literally lived many of the experiences that give them a competitive edge.

Adam Bogle, Senior Marketing-Coordinator, Richards-Wilcox Canada

Park University’s Logistics Programs

When I’m looking for students for internships or recent graduates for warehouse/logistics jobs, Park University in Parkville, MO, is always at the top of my list. One great thing about hiring Park University graduates is that they offer a variety of logistics degrees. Those starting out in their careers can use the school’s easy online learning options to get a logistics minor, a logistics major, or an associate’s degree.

The school also offers an online BSBA in Management/Logistics. This degree includes three electives, a solid business core, and 24 credits that cover basic logistics topics like transportation and distribution systems. Students can choose to learn more about contract law and management, cost accounting, or even take a logistics job to get more out of their undergraduate experience. Park’s courses cover a lot of ground, so graduates are well-prepared and can even pursue APICS certification.

Park also has a program called 4+1 that allows students who have completed at least 60 hours of coursework toward an undergraduate degree in logistics to take graduate-level classes that count toward both their bachelor’s degree and a related master’s degree. This accelerated program not only gives them more options after they graduate but also helps them start working faster.

Sam Hickson, CEO, TG Wireless

Michigan State’s SCM Excellence

Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, is one of my favorite places to recruit for early-career warehouse/logistics jobs. The school is ranked as the #1 undergraduate program in Supply Chain Management (SCM) and offers three levels of degree programs in this field. The SCM department is recognized as a leader in supply chain management education, research, and outreach, with faculty who are global industry leaders. The bachelor’s program integrates subjects like manufacturing operations, purchasing, transportation, and physical distribution.

Students in the B.A. program can also join the University’s Supply Chain Management Association, which helps them make connections and gain experience in the real world. People who have graduated from the Supply Chain Management school work for well-known companies like Amazon, FCA North America, C.H. Robinson, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Kellogg Company, Boeing, and many more.

Arturo Gutierrez, Director of Merchandising, Todays Wholesale Closeout

University of Alabama’s Diverse Skills Training

When recruiting students for internships or recent grads for early-career warehouse/logistics jobs, one of my favorite schools to target is the University of Alabama in Huntsville. They offer a top-notch BSBA in Supply Chain Marketing. This program is comprehensive, blending liberal arts and sciences with core business competencies and specialized knowledge in supply chain management. Students here are trained to efficiently handle supply chains, and they develop a wide array of skills that contribute to their professional success.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville stands out as a research-driven institution recognized for its innovative approaches and technological integration. It offers a significant return on investment, ensuring students receive considerable value for their tuition dollars. Additionally, the university maintains relatively small class sizes, providing a more personalized educational experience compared to larger institutions.

Rizki Kadir, Automotive Writer and Software Engineer, Our Own Cars

Recruiting from Local Talent Pools

Recruiting from schools close to our operations has always been a strategic move for us. The University of Georgia, for example, is a goldmine. Their supply chain management program is top-notch, and the students come with a solid grounding in logistics and warehousing. We’ve also built strong relationships with professors and career services there, making the recruitment process seamless.

Another favorite is Dalton State College, right in our backyard. Their students have a unique advantage because many of them already understand the local carpet industry. They’re familiar with the nuances of manufacturing and distribution, which makes their transition into our operations much smoother. Plus, hiring local talent helps us contribute to the community, creating a win-win situation.

Connor Butterworth, CEO and Owner, Southwestern Rugs Depot

Prioritizing Renowned SCM Programs

In our experience, when recruiting students for internships or recent graduates for early-career warehouse/logistics roles, we usually prioritize universities known for their strong supply chain management and logistics programs, such as Pennsylvania State University, Michigan State University, and Rutgers University. 

These institutions have provided us with a consistent stream of well-prepared candidates who possess the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in our warehouse and logistics positions. Additionally, they offer valuable resources like career services and networking opportunities, which have greatly facilitated our recruitment efforts and ensured a steady influx of qualified talent for our team.

Charles Veprek, Director, It-Amg

Michigan State’s Practical SCM Education

When recruiting for early-career warehouse and logistics jobs, I often target Michigan State University. Their Supply Chain Management program is among the best in the nation, producing graduates with a solid grounding in logistics, operations, and supply chain dynamics.

MSU students benefit from hands-on experience and strong industry connections, making them exceptionally well-prepared for real-world challenges. The university’s focus on both theoretical knowledge and practical application ensures these graduates can quickly adapt and excel in a fast-paced warehouse environment.

Roman Zrazhevskiy, Founder and CEO, MIRA Safety

Fuel Logic’s Recruitment Success Stories

Attracting students for internships or young graduates for entry-level positions in warehousing and logistics has been a critical strategy at Fuel Logic. We particularly enjoy tapping into the University of North Texas (UNT) for recruitment. Their logistics program is exceptional, providing graduates with a solid understanding of supply chain management and hands-on experience.

We’ve also achieved significant success working with Texas A&M University, especially their industrial distribution program. The students are well-prepared with technical expertise and practical experience, making them perfect for our requirements.

Our approach to hiring includes working with these educational institutions’ career departments and participating in their employment events. Additionally, we’ve organized workshops at the schools for students to experience firsthand some of the logistics challenges in the professional world. For instance, we’ve arranged a practice activity where students were tasked with overseeing a fuel transport route while facing time limits, reflecting the tasks we routinely encounter.

A story from our own experience: we brought in a talented learner from UNT who began as an intern and swiftly advanced to a leadership position in just one year. Her skill in using what she learned in school to tackle real-world issues was outstanding and shows the importance of these collaborations.

Data backs up our strategy: the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reports that internships result in job offers 56% of the time, highlighting the significance of these initiatives in our hiring process.

By concentrating on educational institutions that excel in logistics and provide practical learning opportunities, we guarantee a consistent flow of skilled people prepared to contribute quickly to our warehouse and logistics activities.

Eliot Vancil, CEO, Fuel Logic

Sourcing from Top SCM Programs

Our flagship is Michigan State University. Many understand that MSU has a top-ranked supply-chain program through its Broad College of Business. With a background in logistics, procurement, and operations management, students from MSU are well-equipped to man our warehouse and logistics roles.

Another beloved university is Penn State University. The Smeal College of Business has a very strong program in one of the best supply-chain and information systems schools in the country, Penn State. This is greatly supported by the university’s focus on practical experience, which comes in the form of internships and co-op opportunities, guaranteeing that graduates can immediately tackle the challenges of the logistics industry.

We also have a strong preference for candidates from Georgia Institute of Technology. The H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech is known for both its demanding coursework and its practical application. Georgia Tech graduates have a solid analytical background and deep logistics system knowledge that is essential for warehouse operations optimization.

Finally, we source heavily from Purdue University. Purdue’s Krannert School of Management ranks among the best in supply-chain and operations management. The university’s commitment to technology and innovation fits perfectly with our desire to hire the next generation of talent capable of leveraging new tools and techniques to drive efficiency and performance within our warehouses.

Staci Anderson, Director of Marketing, Raynor Garage Doors

Internship Strategies and Preferred Schools

Internships, like normal job hunting, are a numbers game. I remember during my junior year hunt, I probably put in about 300 applications, and for full-time, well over 1,000. 

My favorite schools to recruit from for warehouse and logistics roles are Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Arizona State University, and Georgia Institute of Technology. These schools are known for their strong supply chain and logistics programs, which produce graduates who are well-prepared and ready for the industry.

I know a decent amount of people whose first internship was with [big prestigious company], but they had tons of extracurriculars, a high GPA, lots of networking, and interviewed very well. It’s much easier to get experience when you already have some.

Johanna Brown, SME Tutor, Essay Embassy

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