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UC graduate pursuing sustainability in supply chain career

27 March 2023

Passion to improve supply chains for real-world impact has landed graduate Jessica Cameron a role to quench her thirst.


Students working in the University of Canterbury community garden.

When Jess Cameron first enrolled as an undergraduate student at UC, she had never heard of ‘Operations and Supply Chain Management,’ but quickly found a passion for it during a first-year paper as part of her Bachelor of Commerce degree.

She was fascinated to learn about the pivotal role supply chains can play in sustainably connecting resources with the marketplace.

Jess Cameron UC Master’s graduate, Jess Cameron

“I thought, ‘this is what I want to do’. I really enjoyed it and ended up pursuing that right through my degree - and majored in that, along with Economics – it became a central focus for my research as a Master of Commerce student.”

Jess is excited to be graduating with her UC Master’s degree this week and is already making the most of a career opportunity that has opened up for her.

“I have just started as a Supply Chain Graduate with Asahi Beverages. This is the first time they have ever run this programme in New Zealand, so I feel very lucky to have been accepted. It is going to be a jam-packed year with lots to learn and do. The interaction between high level supply chain management and sustainability is definitely where I want to be heading in future.”

Jess received an A-grade on her Master’s thesis titled, Understanding the Role of Local Food Providers in Building Community Well-being. Using case studies including local food box services and community food collectives, her research found the providers were helping foster a sense of community, and improving education as well as food access, health and nutrition.

Her findings have underpinned the value of local food providers with short supply chains in meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals aimed at making cities and communities safe, resilient and sustainable, and ultimately eliminating world hunger.

“I studied the impact that four tiny organisations were making. There are so many more local food providers like this in New Zealand and around the world. It gives me hope and makes me feel positive and excited when I see what’s happening in other places too.”

Jess values the connections and friendships she has made, and experiences gained while at UC, including travelling to China as part of a study tour. “As a UC Master’s graduate, I can say that I am resilient, willing to learn and have a passion for sustainability.”

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