EPIC Spotlight: Ashton Turner

 

Ashton Turner is a senior supply chain management major with a minor in economics. Originally from Franklin, Tennessee, she has a particular interest in Sweden. When she is not on campus or working, she is most likely buried in a paranormal, mystery or science fiction book.

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She is an active member of the student organization WISE, Women Impacting Supply Chain Excellence and was previously VP of Communications for their social media accounts. In addition to that, she is a Resident Assistant for a dorm on campus, with a passion for learning more about her residents’ interests and experiences. She particularly enjoys when her residents tell stories of future goals or international experiences. These opportunities have developed her social skills, constantly being in contact with parents, students, guest speakers (for WISE), and people all over the campus.

“Always make yourself uncomfortable. If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing or learning” is advice Ashton has for students.

 
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While reading through a course catalog in high school, she stumbled upon the concept of a supply chain, and it really sparked her interest because it incorporates every aspect of business rolled up into one. What is especially engaging for her, is being able to track a process from raw materials to the retailer’s shelf – “start to finish”. Despite the fact that she had no previous ties to the supply chain industry, business has always had a place in her heart and she was determined to learn more.

Upon arriving at the University of Arkansas Sam M Walton College of Business, she enrolled in the Introduction to Supply Chain course with Dr. Marc Scott. As part of a group project, students were asked to pick a logistics problem and come up with solutions. Ashton’s group chose to work on the water crisis in Afghanistan. Shortly after, she began calling upon companies to gather information about providing water purification tablets. This led to a conversation with a Canadian company regarding supply chain, differences in culture and personal experiences – she later recalls this as one of her favorite memories on the path to education in supply chain.

One of the advantages of being at the University of Arkansas was the opportunity to have an amazing internship and travel to Sweden and learn more about Scandinavian history. Ashton was able to study abroad in a place that was beautiful and an interest for her, and she worked with an IT logistics startup called Budbee in Stockholm who was the catalyst to home delivery in the area. As their Operations Intern, her tasks were to optimize and monitor warehousing, customer contacts, company contacts, and be the “go-to English speaker in the office.” One of the individuals that she admires is Josefin Bladh, who coordinated drivers, operations, and customers at Budbee. She was the only woman in operations, and she gave Ashton a lot of insightful advice for her future career.

 

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Ashton is hoping to go into the supply chain industry after graduating in May, and she would like to eventually end up back in Sweden as a long-term place to call home.