University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Intern Spotlight: Jack Critser

Jack Critser

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Episode Transcript

00:00 Jack Critser: And I actually stayed with supply chain, and then added my geography major, and it really worked out for me. And, now, I'm doing graphic design work and I have a supply chain management background. So, there's just a lot of different things you can do with supply chain.


00:32 Brian Fugate: We're here with Jack Critser at Modthink Marketing offices in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Jack is a supply chain major in the Walton College, and Jack has a pretty interesting story, a unique background, and unique interest in supply chain, unlike our traditional supply chain student. So, tell us something about that.

00:52 Jack Critser: Yes, sir. So, I started in supply chain because, actually, my dad is in the supply chain industry right now. I started with it because I'm just into the efficiency and all of that, all around, for procedures and anything that has to do with that within a business. So, I started with that and realized that mapping and the actual transportation side of things was more interesting to me. So I went ahead and did a double major with business supply chain and geography, with a focus in cartography. So, yeah.

01:26 Brian Fugate: So, cartography. What is that?

01:28 Jack Critser: Cartography is just map design, or designing maps in any way.

01:32 Brian Fugate: Okay. So you make maps?

01:35 Jack Critser: Yes, I do indeed. So the past year and a half, actually, I've been heavily focused on map design with a lot of work through class with logo and icon design. And so that just led me to this job and got me very interested in marketing and design all around.

01:57 Brian Fugate: Okay. So, can you tell me then, so supply chain management, geography and cartography, making maps, and then all of that, how do those fit together? I know that seems obvious to some supply chain managers but tell us how you plan on putting those together.

02:13 Jack Critser: Yeah. So, like I said, the transportation side of things is really what I'm interested in. And then as far as efficiency goes with routes and different lanes, and stuff for trucks, those kinds of things correlate with mapping completely, 'cause logistics is all mapping and routes, and everything that you need procedure-wise for all of that.

02:36 Brian Fugate: Yeah, it's interesting. In supply chain management, one of the best starting places, one of the foundational needs that we need in supply chain is actually to be able to see the supply chain. You wouldn't believe how many companies out there, it's hard for them to see beyond just their first-tier supplier.

02:54 Jack Critser: And so one of the first things we'll do when we're working with companies working on projects is ask them to go do a mapping process, to map out as best they can from the consumers all the way down to the original suppliers, to the beginning of it. And it's very challenging. But what we're seeing with technology today, and data connectivity is the ability to do that better for supply chains. We have data now that we can go seven tiers, eight tiers back for public companies. And someone with your background is gonna be very, very useful to pull those two together, because most supply chain managers probably don't know geography. They know geography, but not to the degree that you're going to or cartography. And so that's exciting and I think that's gonna be really good for the supply chain world. So I'm looking forward to seeing what you're gonna do with that.

03:45 Brian Fugate: So you're a supply chain major, and you're also here working at Modthink Marketing, and you're a graphics designer. So, I can see how that fits in but tell me a little bit what you're wanting to do here in this job, and some of your goals.

04:03 Jack Critser: Yeah. So, again, like I said, for the last year and a half, my focus has mainly been map design, but with this job, I'm really interested in learning the design side of the whole graphic design world with marketing. And so some of the stuff that I guess I've been working on would be infographics, blog posts, all sorts of stuff. Anything involving graphic design is really what I'm mainly trying to get outta this 'cause like I said, my background is in graphic design. So, yeah.

04:38 Brian Fugate: So, that's gonna be helpful too, right? So, today, data analytics is a big deal. But what's actually most important that we're finding when we talk to companies is the need to visualize the data. And so your background is gonna come in helpful that way as well. Jack, you got a lot of the courses in supply chain already. What are some of your favorite?

04:57 Jack Critser: I'd say my favorite's supply chain project management; and new product development. I had a really fun teacher and he just made the class. And so what we did was we partnered up with FedEx with their LTL and TL market, working with future contracts in the industry. And so we also did some work with FreightWaves, and it was just a lot of fun, overall. And so my part of the group was to be the designer for that. And so I made a big poster board, 2 x 3, laid it all out and got it printed actually at FedEx, and it worked out great.

05:36 Brian Fugate: That's fantastic. And I saw you give that presentation and you did a great job and then talked to FedEx afterwards and then they're pretty excited about what you found, as well as you guys did a really good job because they wanna do another project. So thank you for doing a good job and working on that. So, back to your internship here, your work here that you're working, how is your routine different working here really full-time versus when going to classes and all of that as a student?

06:08 Jack Critser: Yeah. So it's definitely a switch-up and I'm a lot busier now but instead of waking up and strictly focusing on school, now I wake up, do my school and then I come directly here right after that, and do this 'til 5:00. So really just the combination of doing real-world work and school, and combining both of those is the biggest switch in my routine.

06:32 Brian Fugate: Okay. It takes some good time management, then, to be able to juggle both of those now, right?

06:36 Jack Critser: Yeah.

06:37 Brian Fugate: So that's good preparation. Jack, if you're thinking about yourself younger, freshman, sophomore, or talking to some freshmen and sophomores, what advice would you give them looking back now?

06:49 Jack Critser: I would give them the advice to not have the mid-semester freak out, and don't question the supply chain major, necessarily, because at one point, I had that freak out and wasn't sure if supply chain was gonna be for me, if I should change my major or what I should do. And I actually stayed with supply chain and then added my geography major, and it really worked out for me. And, now I'm doing graphic design work and I have a supply chain management background. So, there's just a lot of different things you can do with supply chain. And I'd say just to those younger... The younger people to consider it. There's a lot more things you can do with it than just supply chain.

07:35 Brian Fugate: That's right, that's right. And I'm looking forward again to seeing what you're gonna do in the supply chain world with putting these two together: Your cartography and supply chain management. It's more than just making maps, isn't it?

07:49 Jack Critser: Yup.


07:51 Brian Fugate: Thanks for your time.

07:52 Jack Critser: Thank you so much, appreciate it.