UMGC Advances Diversity in the Field of Certified Financial Planners

In the last decade, financial businesses and organizations have put an emphasis on hiring more women and people from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) is helping in this effort by opening doors to new generations of certified financial planners (CFPs). 

In 2020, UMGC joined the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) School Voucher Program, an initiative of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to encourage careers in the securities industry. It is coordinated for educational institutions with enrollments that reflect high levels of diversity. The vouchers pay the entire cost for students to participate in SIE exams. Minority students make up more than half of UMGC’s total enrollment, and 52 percent of all UMGC degrees and certificates awarded in 2020 went to minority students.

Last year, UMGC gave away nearly 30 SIE vouchers and this year FINRA presented the School of Business with 50 more opportunities for students to take the SIE test. By passing the SIE exam, students distinguish themselves from their peers’ when seeking internships or jobs.

“What the FINRA voucher and SIE test does is the first step towards a jump start. If someone shows up and says I passed the SIE exam, then their resume goes to the top of the heap because the employer does not have to pay for training,” said Department of Finance and Economics Director Kathleen Sindell, who also leads UMGC’s CFP Program.  

The SIE test, FINRA’s general industry exam, assesses basic knowledge of financial products, risks, the structure and function of the securities industry and its regulatory agencies, and regulated and prohibited practices. The majority of FINRA voucher participants are finance majors or graduate students in the MBA program.

“FINRA plays a critical role in ensuring the integrity of America’s financial system—all at no cost to taxpayers,” according to the website of the government-authorized nonprofit. Working under the supervision of the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA writes and enforces rules governing the ethical activities of all registered broker-dealer firms and registered brokers in the United States. It also examines firms for compliance with those rules and fosters market transparency. Investor education is a component of its work.  

According to studies by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, fewer than 3.5 percent of the 80,000 certified financial planners in the United States in 2017 were Black or Latino. Another CFP board study, citing reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, found only 23 percent were women. The same reports noted that fewer than a third of all U.S. financial advisors are women.   

“I know in the long run for our students, if they take the SIE exam and pass, they will get more attention from the employer, frequently receive a hiring bonus, and we’re going to see a more ethnically diverse financial services industry,” Sindell said.

UMGC Doctor of Business Administration Program Recognized by CEO Magazine

Adelphi, Md. (March 1, 2022)—CEO Magazine recently recognized University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) School of Business as home to one of the world’s best Doctor of Business Administration programs. UMGC was ranked among more than 100 of the top DBA programs for the third year in a row.

“Our DBA program’s continued recognition is driven in part by our desire to shape executive-level working professionals by engaging them in research and analysis of real-world management issues,” said Ravi Mittal, PhD, chair of the Department of Business Administration at UMGC.

CEO Magazine’s rankings assess a college or university’s quality of faculty, geography and international standing. 

“It is also a testament to our outstanding faculty who are deeply committed to the academic success and lifelong learning of our students,” added Mittal.

UMGC’s DBA program, formerly the Doctor of Management program, attracts scholar-practitioners who excel at leadership roles in the for-profit, nonprofit, government and nongovernmental organizations, including higher education.  UMGC’s cohort-based DBA takes a minimum of three years to complete, which includes in-person residencies and a dissertation.

For more information about the Doctorate in Business Administration program and its course requirements, visit umgc.edu

About University of Maryland Global Campus 

Celebrating its 75th anniversary, University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) was established in 1947 to serve adult students outside the traditional campus, including military service members and veterans. Today, UMGC enrolls some 90,000 students annually, offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs, as well as certificates in more than 90 fully online programs and specializations.

UMGC was the first university to send faculty overseas to teach active-duty military personnel at installations in Europe, beginning in 1949, expanding to Asia in 1956 and to the Middle East in 2005. UMGC faculty have taught in the war zones of Vietnam, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.   

UMGC now offers classes to military service personnel and their families at more than 180 locations in more than 20 countries. More than half of the university’s student body are active-duty military personnel and their families, members of the National Guard and veterans.  

After Career in Drama, 75-year-old Navy Veteran Finishes One Degree, Starts Another  

When 75-year-old Bruce Taylor decided to complete his bachelor’s degree in humanities at University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) three years ago, he never pictured going straight into another degree program. Nonetheless, three weeks post-graduation he was pursuing a master’s degree in educational technology. 

Taylor completed his service in the Navy in 1972 and went on to graduate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London with a stage management diploma. He spent most of his career in opera, dance and theater, eventually finding his passion by sharing with others just how important it was to combine the arts with K-12 education, especially in the age of Common Core, the state grade-level standards instituted in 2010.

Taylor held workshops for school districts all over the country, teaching them how to integrate arts into reading and writing within Common Core. Once the workshops were completed, he embarked on his next adventure: to complete his college degree.

“I thought if I want to [continue] working with teachers and kids, why don’t I try the humanities, where there are several domains of learning in that. I already know the music and art part,” Taylor said.

As a young adult in Alaska, Taylor had completed a few years of college but had no idea what he wanted to do. He decided to make a change in 1967 and join the Navy. He trained as a Navy Russian linguist at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and attended Security School in San Angelo, Texas. He was first stationed outside Istanbul, Turkey employed as an analyst, and his last stop in the Navy was Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska.

In Turkey, Taylor’s involvement with an amateur theater group persuaded him to go to drama school. During a tryout with Hugh Cruttwell, an influential English teacher of drama and principal at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), Taylor was encouraged to pursue the stage management program.

“At RADA, you did every job in stage management that you find in the theater. We did props, makeup, built sets, and crewed them. There was also some acting, lighting—we did it all with no books,” Taylor said. “It was all practicum. I loved it and felt I could walk into a room and I would plugin, and I knew what to do.”

Upon graduation from RADA, Taylor wrote 300 letters seeking employment at every theater, dance, and opera company he knew. He accepted a job with the Seattle Opera, where he spent five years.

“My biggest achievement there was [that] I was the production stage manager for the first full Ring Cycle ever done outside of Germany. Now everyone is doing Wagner’s Ring Cycle,” he said.

In Seattle, he became interested in education and started going to schools to conduct workshops. That experience helped him in the next step of his career: the Opera Company of Philadelphia as both the production manager and the education director.  

“A colleague I had worked with in Seattle became the director of education at the Metropolitan Opera Guild, so she hired me to do programs since I was so close by in Philadelphia,” Taylor said. “I developed a project called Creating Original Opera, and the premise was you take a group of kids with a teacher and the kids create, compose, write, design, manage and perform their own original 30-minute musical theater piece.”

“That became a very big deal. At one point, there were more than 400 schools all over the world in about a dozen countries and 30 states all creating an original opera program,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Taylor published three books on arts and education: “The Arts Equation: Forging a Vital Link Between Performing Artists and Educators” in 1999, “Common Sense Arts Standards: How the Arts Can Thrive in an Era of Common Core” in 2013 and “Common Sense Common Core: Finding Common Ground of Clarity and Simplicity” in 2015.

Taylor moved from the Opera Company of Philadelphia to the Pennsylvania Opera Theater, and he completed his career in the professional performing arts at the Washington National Opera as director of education in the U.S. capital.

“One of the nice things about the arts, and [what] I try to do with kids in reading and writing, is to provide them a real ownership piece in what they’re doing and why it should matter to them,” Taylor said.

Since starting at UMGC, where the courses he took in Alaska were credited toward his degree, Taylor said it took him a year to get into the groove of remote classes. He now spends hours and hours on research.

“I don’t know how a lot of the students at UMGC who are full-time parents or military personnel are able to do this because I make my own schedule and use my time anyway that I want,” said Taylor. “I’m in awe of what these students are doing and the fact that UMGC gives them the chance. That’s the biggest thing about UMGC. It gives people opportunity who want to engage in lifelong learning, which is awesome. “

Once Taylor graduated in December, he enrolled in UMGC’s master’s program in educational technology. He also began working on a paper titled “Reductionist Approach to English Language Arts.” He plans to submit the paper to the Journal for Educational Research and Practice for publishing consideration.

“Bruce is an exceptional humanities student, hardworking, intellectually curious, with a broad range of life experiences to draw upon,” said Steven Killings, PhD, program chair of humanities and philosophy at UMGC.

Alumnus Credits UMGC Degree for Shaping Federal Career

Thomas Brandt ’19, a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve, lives in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks to his degree from University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), he has switched from a job marked by tough physical labor to a career as a financial analyst. 

“Without having gone to the University of Maryland Global Campus graduate program, I would not have been afforded the opportunity to have shifted gears from doing hard work as a field service engineer into training to be a financial analyst so easily,” Brandt said. “I have nothing but applause and praise for the program that I went through and all the programs at University of Maryland Global Campus.”

Brandt is employed by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Energy. His current post as a GS-9 employee is a one-year temporary position, which Brandt is optimistic will develop into a permanent job in 2022.

In his role as a financial analyst, Brandt coordinates and trains on how to calculate the federal budget, capital expenditures, rate case development, and understanding the deep nuances and financial partnerships and memorandum of understanding (MOU) that BPA has within the Pacific Northwest environment.

Brandt joined the Navy as an electronics technician (ET) shortly before 9/11 in 2001 then switched to an information technology specialist (IT). Growing up in Binghamton, N.Y., he saw the Navy as a pathway to something adventuresome and fulfilling. He was stationed on an aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, and participated in the tsunami relief effort in Indonesia in 2005. He switched to the Navy Reserve in 2006. He has mobilized and deployed to Iraq, United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Djibouti and Bahrain while in the Reserves to aid in the Global War on Terrorism efforts. 

During his time on active duty, Brandt developed shoulder and back pain and sleep apnea, and his injuries were exacerbated by 12-hour shifts working on lab equipment in Hillsboro, Oregon. He deployed to Bahrain for a year, took a brief graduate study pause, and came back to work on his Master of Science in Financial Management and Information Systems Integration, which he completed in 2019.  

“I just had to dig deep and find that internal motivation because coming off of deployment can be very exhausting and you want to take more time off,” Brandt said. “I knew that I had to get through this.”

After beginning his UMGC studies in 2016, he relocated because of his job with ABB to Portland, Oregon, from North Carolina. Brandt also has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Excelsior College. Additionally, Brandt has a second bachelor’s degree in electrical technology from Thomas Edison State University. 

After 20 years in the Navy, Brandt will retire later this year as a Chief.

As he reflects on his years studying at UMGC, he remembers fondly his last capstone project, which incorporated the financial management and information systems skills he received in the master’s program. The final project divided students into teams and had them come up with a business. Each team then had to design its website and create a portfolio spreadsheet for investors and others interested in the business.

“He really cared about his education and kept it a priority in his life,” said Randy Kuhn, adjunct professor of business at UMGC. “I am very proud of him for his persistence and dedication to finishing his program despite what was going on in his life.”

UMGC’s Maryland Theta Chapter of Pi Gamma Mu Stands Out at Triennial Convention 

University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) students, alumni and faculty from the Maryland Theta Chapter of Pi Gamma Mu (PGM) received multiple accolades at the international honor society of social sciences’ Triennial Convention. 

The Maryland Theta Chapter was honored with the Joseph B. James Chapter Incentive Award at the convention, which was held virtually in November. The award is presented every three years and recognizes a chapter that excels in its membership or activities. Maryland Theta was recognized as a Top 10 Chapter for recruiting 183 members in 2021.

The chapter also received the Roll of Distinction, Pi Gamma Mu’s highest chapter honor, for the third year in a row.

“I think the PGM convention was important for UMGC because it highlighted the excellence of our students as scholars and leaders on an international stage,” said Katherine Im, faculty co-sponsor and program director of behavioral sciences and gerontology at UMGC.

“Since UMGC doesn’t have a traditional campus, it can be difficult to find opportunities for our students to stand out, but the PGM convention demonstrated that our students are eager to showcase and develop their talents beyond the classroom,” she added.

Im along with Emma Bate, UMGC program director of social sciences, are co-sponsors of Maryland Theta Chapter’s of PGM. 

Two UMGC alumni and one student shared their papers with an international audience of social science scholars during the convention. The presenters and their papers were:

  • Margareth Ojetola-Mead ’20, “Cognitive Impairments and Online Learning”
  • Jessica Dassler ’18, “Women in Literature: The Impact of Feminism on Fantasy Literature, 1950-1990”
  • Cynthia Glynn-Dindial, “Vivekānanda and Nivedita as Ardhanārīśvara: Why an Indian Svami Chose an Irishwoman as His Lioness”

Both Dassler and Glynn-Dindial received special recognition for Top 10 Papers, making them eligible for publication in the International Social Science Review. Dassler’s paper will appear in the review in December, and Glynn-Dindial will submit her work for publication next year.

“The students who represented Maryland Theta Chapter did an excellent job of raising the visibility of the social science programs at UMGC,” Im said.

During the Poster Session at the convention, Im offered an overview of the chapter’s annual social science essay. As the society’s Northeast Regional chancellor, Im was elected to a three-year term as Pi Gamma Mu’s first vice-president. In addition, Melissa Riggs ’22, a UMGC psychology major, was elected Pi Gamma Mu student trustee and will join Im on the national organization’s board of trustees.

“Being a member of Maryland Theta is a legacy, a distinction and an honor. I am very proud to stand among the brightest minds in the social sciences here at UMGC,” Riggs said.

Through the Pi Gamma Mu Leadership Development Institute, UMGC undergraduate students Courtney Peasley and Bethany Hanford completed a seven-hour program focusing on leadership in the social sciences. Peasley and Hanford learned about leadership in literature, under special circumstances and in academia. Maryland Theta Chapter of PGM sponsored the students.

“It meant I had the opportunity to learn from some of the most accomplished alumni in Pi Gamma Mu and at UMGC,” Peasley ’22 said when describing what the convention meant to her.

Edith Vinson-Maitlandt Completes Bachelor’s Degree to Support Work at FEMA 

Edith Vinson-Maitlandt, or “Edie” as she is known by her colleagues and professors, is closing 2021 by completing her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management, with a minor in business administration. The new credential will add value to her position at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Even in the online asynchronous environment, one could see that Edie is a thoughtful person and a good listener,” said Sabrina Fu, program director and collegiate professor for UMGC’s Environmental Science and Management Program. “Often she integrated her life experiences and observations to deepen concepts and provided thoughtful perspectives.”

Fu most recently taught Vinson-Maitlandt in the Stewardship and Global Environmental Challenges course (EMT 365). The course provides a brief history of how we got to the present environmental crisis, the role of human behavior in that journey, especially as it relates to population growth, use of technology and affluence, and system changes needed to be stewards of our earth.

Since Fu and Vinson-Maitlandt’s first meeting in class, they have developed a friendship outside UMGC through Citizens Climate Lobby, an organization focused on national policies to address climate change. Fu invited Vinson-Maitlandt to attend a conference through the organization two years ago to speak as a representative of FEMA.

“One of the workshops talked about the impacts of climate change to the Mid-Atlantic and specifically New Jersey,” Vinson-Maitlandt said. “I did flood house-mapping when I worked for contractors of FEMA, so I understood the coastal impact and wanted to share how FEMA responds to all sorts of events, such as a hurricane like Sandy that devastated the coastline, and what the expectations are.”

Today, she still supports the Delaware chapters of Citizens Climate Lobby by identifying what is happening in that state regarding clean energy. She also keeps elected officials and other groups in Delaware informed.

In Vinson-Maitlandt’s current role as emergency management specialist with FEMA, she resides in Dover, Delaware, but travels 90 percent of the time to help with emergency recovery response in the United States and its territories. Vinson-Maitlandt’s team writes grants to assist communities seeking financial recovery. She recently was in Kentucky—the site of an early 2021 ice storm and flooding—to help the police, road and fire departments, and other public entities, with their financial recovery process.  

Vinson-Maitlandt’s experience with FEMA began in 2012 in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Without power for nine days, she felt the need to lend a hand. Even then, while working full-time, Vinson-Maitlandt continued her UMGC classes toward her bachelor’s degree.

“The journey Edie took to keep going with academics, amid serving communities one emergency after another, is inspirational,” Fu said.

Looking to the future, Vinson-Maitlandt plans to use her degree by applying in 2022 for a position on a FEMA strategic group created to focus on climate change.

“It would be really exciting for me if I could get this detail and contribute a little bit of what I learned and what I see happening with regards to climate change and helping our agency formulate a message,” Vinson-Maitlandt said. “By incorporating these concepts and policies into what FEMA does and how we respond, it will benefit people with a little more thought.”

Ramon Perea Uses His UMGC Degree as Springboard to a Master’s in Security Studies at Georgetown University

Ramon Perea embarked on a new adventure with the U.S. Air Force when he was just 21 years old and left his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Today, he calls Hyattsville, Maryland, home.

He is still on active-duty status with the Air Force—but something important has changed.

Perea officially completed his Bachelor of Science in Computer Networking and Cybersecurity and Political Science this month. Thanks to the flexibility and virtual learning offered by University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), he was able to maintain his full-time job as a network analyst in the Air Force while expanding his knowledge of the cybersecurity field and exploring political science and computer networks.

“The first few years while I was studying at UMGC, I was working shift work and I wanted to continue my higher education. An in-person program would not have been feasible,” Perea said. “Recently, with COVID, most programs had to shift toward online. We already had a model set [with UMGC] and I felt like I just kept going as I was.

“I think for what UMGC does, they do it very well,” he added.

Since Perea enrolled at UMGC five years ago, he has joined Pi Gamma Mu, an international honor society for the social sciences, as well as two other honor societies. He is a member of SALUTE, a nationally recognized organization for military and veteran students, and he belongs to Alpha Sigma Lamba, which celebrates the scholarship and leadership of adult students in higher education in the United States.

“From Day One, Ramon was fully engaged in my American Foreign Policy class. He interacted constantly with his colleagues in the course and showed in-depth understanding of the readings and discussions and solid insights into relevant areas, enriching the class for everyone,” said Mary Frances Lebamoff, PhD, collegiate professor and program director of the Department of Political Science and Government. “His two papers were among the best in terms of research, outstanding thesis statements and mature, well-considered conclusions.”

Perea first heard about UMGC at the education office on his base, Fort Meade. The rest is history.

“I initially started at UMGC with the intent to study cybersecurity to gain more knowledge for my current job, but along the way I discovered how much I like political science, so I added another major,” Perea said.

While in the Air Force, he has lived in California, Texas, Florida and now Maryland. His first role was as a linguist. Eventually he shifted to become a network analyst.

In January 2022, Perea will pursue a new opportunity by beginning a master’s degree in the security studies at Georgetown University.  That multidisciplinary program is designed to prepare graduates for positions within the defense and security fields.

“I want to take the technical side of what I learned through UMGC and through my experience in the military and then apply it to a broader picture. I’m very excited,” Perea said. “I hope to find a job in the foreign policy field where I’m working with other nations or policies with a cybersecurity focus.”

UMGC’s Gerontology and Aging Services Program Educates Tomorrow’s Leaders

November is National Family Caregivers and Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness month, and University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) is proud of its role in educating tomorrow’s leaders in the gerontology and caregiving fields.

UMGC’s Bachelor of Science in Gerontology and Aging Services provides undergraduate students with a foundation in the physiological, social and psychological aspects of aging, coupled with an understanding of programs, services and policies that impact older adults and how they age and live.

“As a society we continue to ignore the issue of ageism. I think it has a lot to do with personal fears about getting older, which in and of itself is a form of ageism,” said UMGC Collegiate Associate Professor Katherine Im. 

Im, who has served as program chair of sociology, behavioral sciences and gerontology at UMGC for more than a decade, noted that 10,000 Baby Boomers a day are now turning 65. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that by 2030 the elder population will number 1 billion, or 12 percent of the projected global population. 

In an interview last year focused on COVID-19 and the pandemic’s impact on the aging population, Im pointed to the ageism on display in our social institutions, with long-term care facilities suddenly short staffed. 

“There was a heavy reliance on family members to provide informal care and to support the staff that was already there,” Im said, “[and] that suddenly got shut down because no one could enter the facilities. It led to a real crisis … and we’re still amid COVID.”

Before turning her attention to the aging population, Im had initially planned to focus on pediatrics. While pursuing graduate studies in clinical community psychology, her outlook changed.

“I did a year of externships in geriatrics/gerontological placements where I learned about the functional and neurological aspects of Alzheimer’s and dementia. I also spent some time in an adult daycare center, and it was there that I realized that we, as a society, don’t pay enough attention to caregiving and the caregiver burden,” Im said.

She added, “Professional caregivers aren’t given nearly enough respect – or compensation – and informal caregivers like family members provide care without compensation at great risk to their own health and well-being. We need better models, and we need leaders in gerontology to make this happen.”

Im joined UMGC in 2005 as an assistant director of psychology and social sciences and was later invited to oversee the gerontology program while pursuing a doctorate in gerontology at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Im is a strong advocate for UMGC’s bachelor’s degree in gerontology and aging services. She pointed to two required courses in the program that she feels could benefit the broader population: End of Life: Issues and Perspectives (BEHS 380) and Retirement and Estate Planning (FINC 355).

“I think students of all ages would benefit tremendously by thinking about and planning for later life,” Im said. “Being better informed about finances and retirement, health care, and the laws and policies that impact older adults helps us all to be better advocates for our loved ones and ultimately, for ourselves. We all deserve to live and age optimally, and education is central to this endeavor.” 

UMGC requires students in the program to find a relevant internship that will help them prepare for a career in the field. One student volunteered for an organization that helps keep seniors in their homes by assisting with yard work, cleaning and meal preparation. The internship led to a full-time position after graduation.

Another student started her own geriatric care company in Pennsylvania after graduation, working with people to protect their assets while also ensuring that they get necessary care. 

“What a great business opportunity to turn that into something where you’re helping people, using the knowledge that you’ve gained through this program, through practical work that you’re doing,” said Im.

For more information on UMGC’s gerontology and aging services program, visit umgc.edu.

UMGC Business Professors Weigh in on Global Supply Chain Disruptions and Holiday Shopping

Supply chain disruptions are making the headlines again, in large part because of the way they are affecting the traditional end-of-year shopping and shipping season. Three business professors from University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) in the United States, Europe and Asia offer perspective and advice for consumers in advance of the upcoming holiday season. 

One big takeaway: Planning and patience are essential.

From UMGC stateside:

Sandeep Patnaik is professor and program director of the marketing program in the Department of Business Management at UMGC School of Business. He previously served as the program director in the MBA Marketing Program and, later, as program chair of marketing specialization in the Graduate School. His advertising strategy research at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania resulted in the publication of the handbook “Persuasive Advertising.” Dr. Patnaik is a past research director at Gallup and Robinson, a leading market research firm affiliated with the Gallup organization.

In his marketing courses, Dr. Patnaik offers insight on issues related to pricing and customer satisfaction. 

  1. What advice do you have for holiday shoppers when it comes to U.S. supply chain issues?

The supply chain challenges have grown acute in the last few months and are likely to persist by most estimations, at least until the first quarter of 2022. These are some of my key pieces of advice:

  • Holiday shoppers will do well to complete the purchase of major items by Thanksgiving, and no later than the end of November. 
  • There is no need to overstock or hoard in anticipation of future shortages. 
  • It may not be possible for businesses to adhere to the same delivery timelines as earlier. Allowing for a delivery cushion and being patient are the keys to dealing with this unprecedented situation. 
  • Prices of gift items are likely to go up significantly, so it will be a good idea to budget ahead to avoid last-minute surprises. Credit card interest rates have increased so racking up debt is best avoided.
  1. As demand increases, do you think prices will also rise?

Yes. More demand and fewer supplies lead to price inflation. The current situation is not, however, a case of product shortage. Rather, goods are stuck in transit as opposed to not being produced at all. However, the impact at the consumers’ end is the same. Goods are not available as readily as before.

Consumer anxiety leads to excess demand which, in turn, spikes up prices. This has already happened in the last few months. Halloween costumes were much more expensive this year. The shortage of computer chips has led to fewer new cars and an increase in the price of electronics. Rising energy cost, a shortage of workers and reoccurrence of COVID-19 cases are other key factors that resulted in an increase in the cost of production and a consequent rise in prices. 

  1. Where did the supply problems begin? 

An abundance of demand, together with other factors, contributed to the current supply chain situation. At the beginning of the pandemic, people hoarded toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc., as no one had a clue as to how long the situation would last. In reality, there was no shortage in the production facility, but retailers did not have adequate reserve stock. The sight of empty shelves in the stores created a panic situation and led them to order a lot of goods, far more than what they needed. 

The manufacturers, many of them in far-off global locations, could not fulfill the U.S. orders as they were either closed due to COVID-19 or forced to operate in a limited capacity with restrictions. When they did start functioning a few months later, they shipped the accumulated orders in giant shipping containers. The arrival of a massive amount of cargo resulted in severe congestion in the ports. The shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. has also meant that even offloaded cargo is taking much longer to reach distribution centers and, ultimately, the consumers. 

Even now consumers are ordering far more than they need, as they are anxious about availability in the future. That has caused excess demand and resulted in what is termed as a “bull-whip” effect. The instability in both demand and supply has severely impacted the supply chain.

From UMGC Europe:

Bert Jarreau is an overseas collegiate professor in the MBA Program in the UMGC Europe Division. In recent years, he served as the subject matter expert for digital marketing in the MBA Program, where he maintained the digital analytics project for all MBA classes. Dr. Jarreau also taught in the stateside MBA Program as an adjunct from 2011 to 2017. He received both his Doctor of Management in 2010 and his MBA in 2004 from UMGC and started his career as a technologist in the Air Force.

Dr. Jarreau has studied holiday supply chain issues in his course, MBA 640: Innovation through Marketing and Technology.

  1. What would you tell holiday shoppers about supply chain issues in Europe?

My advice for holiday shoppers is to shop early and have contingencies to buy alternate products.

  1. How do you think demand is going to affect prices?

Prices will inevitably increase as demand increases and supplies decrease.

  1. Where did these supply chain disruptions begin? 

Supply chain issues were greatly exacerbated with the pandemic. Due to the lockdowns and convenience of buying online, e-commerce has grown two to five times faster than before the pandemic, as demonstrated by an article published by McKinsey & Company on March 5, 2021, at www.mckinsey.com

From UMGC Asia

Gregory Evans, an overseas collegiate professor in the UMGC Asia Division, is a veteran of the U.S. Navy who currently lives in Okinawa, Japan. With more than 25 years of marketing and marketing research experience across several industries, he has taught at the university level since 1995. Today, he teaches MBA 610 Organizational Behavior and MBA 640 Marketing and Innovation, where he touches on the supply issues to help prepare MBA students with global experience.

  1. What advice are you offering holiday shoppers in Asia given current supply chain issues?

Worldwide shipping delays and other supply-chain issues are causing shortages in seasonal holiday shopping that will last from Christmas and beyond. As supply chain problems cause product delays, marketers are starting more holiday promotions earlier than ever to get consumers spending before inventory sells out.  

  1. Do you think as demand increases, prices will also increase?

Salesforce projects a 20 percent increase in prices this holiday season due to supply chain issues. Retail giants such as Amazon, Target and Walmart are encouraging early Christmas shopping to ease future panic. The lower supply will have other consequences including fewer Black Friday discounts and less variety among children’s toys and other goods.

However, this disruption in the supply chain is larger than just seasonal demand. China was traditionally the primary source of many goods. However, the manufacturing base was already moving to other lower-wage countries like India, Vietnam and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.  

In addition to increased prices for goods, there is a delay in rolling out products. Nintendo revised its Nintendo Switch sales forecast for the fiscal year down by $1.5 million on Nov. 4 because of the global semiconductor shortage. Sony reportedly expects to make fewer PS5s. The company originally forecasted it could assemble 16 million consoles in the current fiscal year, but now it plans to make “about 15 million,” according to Bloomberg. The PS5 has been incredibly hard to find since it launched in November 2020, and that’s likely not going to become easier soon.

And the issue goes far beyond gaming hardware makers, with Intel saying that the chip shortage could last until at least 2023 and Apple, which is renowned for its mastery of its supply chain, taking a $6 billion hit last quarter because of constraints. Despite that, you can still get many Apple products by Christmas if you order them now from the company’s website, but that is still dependent upon the distribution channels. 

3. What’s behind this supply disruption? 

The supply chain issues began long before the pandemic started. The supply chain has grown steadily for decades, which manufacturers and shippers could manage accordingly. Now the supply of goods has been halted or delayed. This created lags in the system, which meant the typical waves of supply and demand went from ripples in the system to larger and larger disruptive waves. It took longer for manufacturers to finish goods, and shipping companies had to wait for orders. Consumers waited for delivery, and stock-outs and back orders grew. Prices were increased and insecurity crept in, creating anxiety and tension within the system. Further anxiety was created by the false expectation of when “we get back to normal.”  

There is also pressure on the supply chain because many workers have quit their jobs during the Great Resignation of the last six months. Many who worked from home have asked why they wanted to return to the office environment.  

Japan, India and Australia’s trade ministers have met to officially launch the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative, following reports that the three nations are working together to counter China’s dominance on trade in the Indo-Pacific. The three nations are seeking to build stronger supply chains to counter China’s dominance as trade and geopolitical tensions escalate across the region.

Student Finds Home at UMGC and Connects with Fellow Veterans

Gibril Bangura moved to the United States in 2009 after winning a spot in the Diversity Lottery, a visa program focused on individuals from countries with low rates of U.S. immigration. Born and raised in Sierra Leone, he relocated to take advantage of new opportunities, first by serving in the U.S. Army and now by attending University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC). 

Growing up amid a civil war in Sierra Leone, Bangura was determined to make a change for his future. He attended a few university classes in Sierra Leone before moving to the United States.

“I felt like I had to move from Sierra Leone to find a better opportunity because I always had bigger dreams of being successful and helping others,” Bangura said.

Bangura arrived in the United States in 2010 and immediately joined the army. He served as a financial technician performing payroll duties. Unfortunately, a cracked tibia injury that occurred during a training exercise worsened, and he officially retired from the military in 2015, ready to focus on his education.

Bangura attended two universities before finding his new home at UMGC.

The flexibility that UMGC offers with remote learning attracted him. Bangura has long-term effects from his injury and still uses a cane. With UMGC, he can participate in classes in the comfort of his own home, which helps on days his leg bothers him. Another key reason Bangura selected UMGC was its long history with veterans.

“I have taken general education classes, including accounting, where I learned a lot. This has given me a strong foundation to continue my studies as a veteran who was out of college for some years,” Bangura added.

Bangura decided to pursue a major in cybersecurity with a focus on business. He plans to graduate in 2023 with a B.S. in Computer Networks and Cybersecurity.

“Attending UMGC, being a veteran and feeling like I’m at a military home has helped me professionally,” Bangura said.

Today he builds on his military experience by aiding fellow veterans at the Office of Veterans Initiatives and Outreach (VIO) at UMGC.

“As a student worker in the VIO, I’m the first line of response. It is not easy transitioning to civilian life, so I’m happy to help veteran students,” Bangura said. “We work hand in hand with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).”

The VIO offers resources and assistance related to veteran-student issues, including transcripts, financial aid, military benefits and advice on the best way to access the information. The best part about the job is that Bangura can work from home while connecting with fellow veterans.

Kelly Grooms, assistant director of veterans’ initiatives for the VIO, described Bangura as “a dedicated team member.”

“He is committed to assisting fellow student veterans in understanding how to use their benefits, as well as how to balance the transition from combat zone to classroom,” Grooms said. “He is diligent in accomplishing tasks and his attention to detail is an asset to his colleagues and overall mission of the Veterans Initiatives Office.”

As a retired servicemember, Bangura has firsthand knowledge to share with new veteran students. He credits professional development and mental health programs through the VA with helping him regain his identity as a civilian and attend UMGC.

Bangura also praises the leadership at the VIO, saying they serve as role models and mentors as he progresses in his academic journey and eventual professional career. 

“I know with a UMGC education, I can leave here and find a better job. And the flexibility with the program is just great,” Bangura said.