Before she began her graduate business degree program at Santa Clara University, Amy Yao was working in the high tech industry as a global logistics project manager. Today, as an alumna of the Leavey School of Business, she’s a data science supply chain strategist for Seagate Technology, partly due to the challenging courses and inspiring faculty at the business school.
A self-described “renegade” whose heroes include Margaret Thatcher and the underdogs described in Malcom Gladwell’s David and Goliath, Yao was eager to take on more responsibility and found the MBA program in the Leavey School of Business a good fit. She says her coursework at SCU, including one exploring neuroscience and sales and one called “Spirits of the New Workplace,” continues to open doors to new fields. “Learning regression analysis in John Heineke’s class has paved the way to my involvement in data science today,” she notes.
As supply chain strategist at Seagate, she is deploying big data methods to ensure the hard drive leader is the first to utilize Advance Planning Systems (APS), and was recently a speaker for the Gartner Supply Chain Forum.
She also sees the supply chain management function becoming central to profitability, especially in the global technology capital of the world. “Supply chain management is so much more than the traditional notion of warehousing and physical distribution. It’s an exciting discipline that has matured over the last few decades, and is about to be even more complex and interesting with the emergence of IoT (“Internet of Things”) and data science application for operations.”
Yao thinks SCU is perfectly positioned to create an emerging generation of supply chain managers, offering the only graduate degree in the discipline in northern California. “Silicon Valley is teeming with companies that are competing in the high tech industry, which has characteristically fast product life cycle and thrives on innovation. Supply chain management is a great skillset to have to be an operational caretaker as well as a growth partner,” she says.
She received her B.S. in business administration from the University of Southern California, and her MBA from SCU in 2011.