Name: Kaina Harris
Degrees Earned: Bachelor of Science, Master of Business Administration
Class Year: ’16 and ’19
Current Profession:Sr. Analyst, Production Scheduling at Aerojet Rocketdyne
We’d love to share more about your professional success with our current and future students – please describe your career path to this point as well as your current profession:
While in college, I began my professional career during my freshman year as an assembler for Baker Hughes. My responsibilities included building components on the production line and maintaining production schedules. This hands-on work opened my eyes to the hard work that goes into manufacturing. I worked 10-12 hours daily including several weekends. My dedication paid off when the following summer I was able to begin my career in supply chain management as a procurement intern at Aerojet Rocketdyne. This new role helped me gain insight and experience in how a supply chain functions in a large organization. During the following summer, I was able to intern at Aerojet Rocketdyne again as a Logistics analyst. In this role, I gained knowledge and experience of how the supply chain operates once materials are received and delivered to the production floor. After graduating from SAU in 2016, I was able to return to Aerojet Rocketdyne. This time as a full-time employee in Production scheduling. Thanks to the experience the Rankin College of Business gave me during undergrad and through the MBA Program, I have been able to use this knowledge to be promoted to Sr. Analyst, Production Scheduler in just 5 years with the company! Today, I create production schedules and rate increase scenarios to support various programs at Aerojet Rocketdyne. These schedules are imperative to ensure the warfighter gets the needed units on time to support missions.
How did your experiences in the Rankin College of Business prepare you for your professional career?
My experiences in the Rankin College of Business prepared me in that it improved my critical thinking skills. It also helped me understand the importance of the supply chain. Every link is important in its own way, yet they are also dependent to each facet to be successful. The Rankin College of Business helped me embrace other points of view in order to be successful in a team setting.
Were there any specific courses or areas of study that were especially useful to you?
- Organizational Theory and Behavior
- Leadership & Ethics
- Business Communications
- Professional Communication Strategies
- Supply Chain Management
- Human Behavior
Do you have any favorite memories from your time at the Rankin College of Business?
I enjoyed the real-world projects that were assigned throughout my time in the Rankin College of Business. Different courses require different projects, but they all gave hands-on experience to prepare students for their careers. The projects were extremely helpful when starting my career and I still refer to them when handling issues in my career today.
What advice would you offer to a new student beginning their course of study at the Rankin College of Business?
My advice to new students would be to speak up, show interest, and ask for help. Professors want you to understand the material they are teaching. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also, don’t wait until the end of the semester. At that point, it’s too late to show concern.