Apurva Chaubal

Apurva Chaubal, MSCM '24

Connecting Supply Chain and DEI

After graduating with a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Mumbai in India, Apurva Chaubal, MSCM ’24, received an offer from the logistics company Maersk to join their global logistics team for oil and chemical products. After starting this role, she soon realized she wanted a formal business education to help advance her career.

While she applied to four different business schools and was accepted to all of them, Michigan Ross stood out due to its robust alumni network and hands-on curriculum. With only one semester under her belt, she knows she made the right choice. 

“My intention to do a master’s in supply chain management was to get more exposure to business subjects and to know the rest of the supply chain of a product,” said Chaubal. 

The summer term has already taught me more than I could have learned in one year of working in the industry.

The Michigan Ross Difference

Since coming to the Michigan Ross Master of Supply Chain Management Program, the most prominent aspect that has engaged Apurva has been the diversity and opportunities to work with and learn from people from different backgrounds and at all stages of their careers.

“We have people here who are straight out of undergrad and have zero experience, to people with eight years of experience, from all these different countries, all these different industries,” said Apurva. “Whenever we get a case study in class, it is so interesting to see the point of view of everybody as we approach the problem. You get a broad understanding of how many ways you can handle a situation and what is the best outcome.”

Apurva enjoys the real-world, interactive nature of her classes and the support that she has received from her professors. Her favorite experience so far has been participating in the supply chain business simulation, part of the Supply Chain Management Colloquium course taught by Jun Li, associate professor of technology and operations.

As part of the simulation, each student assumes a different role within a fictional company with the goal of taking the company from a loss to a positive return on investment. The exercise allows the students to make changes to the way the company functions by changing how many warehouses are kept, how resources are allocated, the number of employees hired, and the vendors the company works with.

“The simulation was so good that we went back to the professor and asked if we can have more rounds so we can refine how we are approaching the problems,” Apurva said.

Focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Before coming to the University of Michigan, Apurva had been involved in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work for many years. She believes it is a shared responsibility of the entire industry to ensure there is equal access to opportunities for people from diverse communities. Considering that the world of supply chains spreads beyond borders, she believes it is important to attain a deeper understanding of DEI principles through experience and education. At Maersk, Apurva worked closely with women seafarers and wrote an op-ed about the importance of sensitivity training and inclusion for the better mental health of everyone in the industry. 

When she arrived at U-M, she was impressed with the DEI initiatives through the university and Michigan Ross and wanted to be involved. Seeing an opening for a transdisciplinary fellow in the Munger Graduate Residencies, she decided to apply and was accepted. In that role, she supports the development and delivery of transdisciplinary programming for Munger residents.

“The transdisciplinary position is to promote interdisciplinary learning amongst different branches of studies. So you have to create programming in such a way in the community that you can get people from different disciplines involved in one thing,” Apurva said. “This promotes how you interact with people who have a different qualification than you and develops you as a good citizen and better employee.”

Going After What She Wants 

Apurva isn’t sure where her degree will take her, but she knows new doors are opening and looks forward to exploring an array of possibilities and career options. 

To others who are considering applying to the Masters of Supply Chain Management Program, Apurva has this advice: “The program has something to offer for everyone. Know what you want out of the program, and just go for it. Be certain of your goals and what you want to get out of the program.”