If the pandemic has made anything crystal clear, it’s that the supply chain and logistics sector sorely needs qualified, knowledgeable and agile leaders. In these turbulent times, big unknowns bog the sector. When will demand patterns change? Will labour and parts shortages persist? How to operate in this new normal? And how to leverage data to be better prepared?
“The current situation is a complex, delicate and entangled series of events, which involve the pandemic, long term trends in the evolution of global industries and supply chains, as well as trade and politics,” writes Professor Benny Mantin from the Luxembourg Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LCL).
There seems to be no shortage of potential solutions. Blockchain, for example, is touted as the answer to eliminate inefficiencies and lack of transparency, as well as benefit the “invisible workers” of global trade. More sophisticated technologies to exchange complex data between supply-chain participants can help with the identification of quality issues and separating suspect parts when problems occur, among others.
LCL offers a Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management that addresses the challenges of the sector to ensure proper functioning of our interconnected global economy — from an academic perspective, yet deeply anchored in practice and addressing the sector’s needs.
From the get-go, students of the programme are taught the leadership and analytic decision-making skills they need to excel as future supply chain and logistics managers. In addition to their courses, professors are always accessible to provide personalised advice and supervision. Peers, who come from all over the world, supplement these with their insights.
More benefits can be gleaned from the cosmopolitan, cross-disciplinary environment at the University of Luxembourg’s Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance, which is well-connected to Luxembourg’s and the Greater Region’s logistics and supply chain management sector, giving students opportunities to build their personal networks.
“I came to the University of Luxembourg because of the Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management,” shares You Wu, a graduate of the programme originally from China. “The programme is part of the MIT Global SCALE Network, which is the leading supply chain community in the world.”
An advantage of being a member of this network includes a unique opportunity: participating in the three-week MIT SCALE Connect conference hosted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as part of the world-leading MIT Master in Supply Chain Management, ranked #1 worldwide by Eduniversal. Outside of this, students also get to learn from distinguished guest lecturers from MIT and the SCALE Network.
Anticipating the next market trends and challenges, the Logistics and Supply Chain Management programme has launched a Digital Procurement track. Research has shown that 92% of companies did not choose to halt their technology investments over the course of the pandemic. This validates the value of a digital supply chain in helping organisations navigate disruptive forces. Given this, it’s never been a better time for students to stand out with a unique combination of an academic education in operations management with the study of digitalisation and its impact on procurement.
All the while, students are given first-hand exposure into the industry. “The programme has good industrial connections,” adds Wu. “Weekly research and industrial seminars are conducted to give students better knowledge about leading-edge technologies, as well as information about select companies.” Plus, students get to work on their master’s thesis with an international organisation with headquarters in Luxembourg or local companies. The Kirchberg campus’s proximity to European institutions and leading industry players certainly helps in this regard.
All these connections help students build a network that makes it likelier to find their next job. Programme graduates are now working with major companies across a number of sectors, including transportation and logistics, biotech and pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, higher education, telecommunications, and more. Renowned names such as Amazon, Unilever, Ferrero, and ExxonMobil are only some of the many companies that have recruited LSCM graduates and partnered with the LCL.
The programme the perfect stepping stone for recent graduates or young professionals who want to develop their career in logistics and supply chain, working professionals who want to improve their performance and career prospects, or even financiers and analysts who aim for a better understanding of an industry undergoing a deep paradigm change. Every student at the LCL graduates with a deep awareness of how to address the challenges faced by industry — something which, in our time of struggle and strife, the world desperately needs.
The University of Luxembourg is a fairly young institution while the LCL has just recently welcomed its fifth cohort of Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management students. Still, the University’s international, progressive, and research-oriented outlook means that it has caught the eyes of some of the best institutions and organisations in the world. It’s ranked #3 for its international outlook in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2022.
Students can choose from a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across 13 departments. The university is inherently multilingual; programmes are generally taught in two languages. Some, including the Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, are taught entirely in English.
At the same time, the university is known for maintaining an intimate atmosphere among its student community. Classes are small, allowing every student to create meaningful relationships and connections with the university’s network of 1,420 academic staff. At the University of Luxembourg, each professor, assistant professor and lecturer is actively contributing to the research of their specialised programmes, ensuring that what’s taught in classes remain up-to-date and relevant to their industry.