CIPS Congress student representatives set out priorities

14 October 2015

Promoting procurement to younger people, introducing a graduation ceremony for Australasian students and improving the experience of study in Africa are among the priorities of the three student representatives elected to Congress.

Joseph McCracken, supply chain specialist in the Global Operations Organisation at BP, said he wants to look back at the end of his three-year term knowing that more people regard procurement and supply chain as a prospective career.

“I work with many US-based colleagues who have undertaken procurement and supply chain degrees at university and have entered the profession knowingly,” he said. “Unfortunately this isn’t the case in the UK and I would like to take steps to change that.”

McCracken will represent the UK, and is joined by Fiona MacDonald, for Australasia, and Naomi Kinyanjui for Africa. “It is a wonderful opportunity to work with the other representatives, learn about their cultures and procurement in other regions,” he added.

MacDonald, procurement specialist at the Inland Revenue in New Zealand, hopes to get students’ concerns heard by CIPS. “Studying for CIPS on top of full-time work becomes such a huge part of every student’s life that small frustrations can quickly build over time,” she said.

“I’m keen to find ways to bring students together, and I’ve started a LinkedIn Group for Australasian students,” MacDonald added. “I’ve invited ideas for what students would like to see there – course books or exam tips.”

MacDonald also hopes to establish an Australasian graduation ceremony. “It would be wonderful to have that recognition and celebration at the end.”

Kinyanjui, a supply chain and procurement professional in Nairobi, also hopes to use her term to improve access to books for CIPS students and encourage networking. “Some countries in Africa struggle with getting books,” she said. “They are not available locally and if ordered online students can get charged taxation in some countries.

“My journey in CIPS has been exciting and I have realised many other African students are experiencing challenges but no one is sharing their experiences online,” she added.

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