Alumni Spotlight: Sydney Wilkins
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Written by: Laura D. Schumacher
Name: Sydney Wilkins
Title and Company: Supply Chain Planning Specialist for Northrop Grumman Corporation in Orlando, Fla.
Years Attended Seminole State: 2010 – 2019
Degree pursued at Seminole State: Associate in Arts (A.A.), June 2014, and Bachelor of Science in Business and Information Management with a specialization in supply chain management, December 2019.
What factors played into you deciding to attend Seminole State College?
I chose Seminole State College right out of high school in 2010 as I wanted to follow in my brother’s footsteps. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my education or my career at the time, but I knew I needed to get started. I was also intrigued by how inexpensive the courses were and how small the class sizes were.
What were your steps after leaving Seminole State?
I learn better with the smaller class sizes and one-on-one professor time. I didn’t realize at the time, but Seminole State had the Business and Information Management program with a supply chain focus. I decided that was perfect for me since it was now my career path, so I transferred back to Seminole State.Sydney Wilkins.
After I received my A.A. from Seminole State, I briefly attended the University of Central Florida. That was a mistake on my end as it wasn’t the school for me. I learn better with the smaller class sizes and one-on-one professor time. I didn’t realize at the time, but Seminole State had the Business and Information Management program with a supply chain focus. I decided that was perfect for me since it was now my career path, so I transferred back to Seminole State.
When I was at Seminole State in 2012, I was offered an internship with Northrop Grumman. I worked my way up into supply chain with the help of an incredible mentor and have been working full-time since around 2014. Fast forward to 2019, my goal in graduating from Seminole State was to continue in my current path with Northrop Grumman.
I did not even consider a master’s program upon graduation in December 2019. A couple of Seminole State professors and my brother ultimately inspired me to further my education. I didn’t entertain the idea at all before because it took me nine long years to complete my bachelor’s degree and I didn’t think I had it in me. I just finished my second semester of a five-semester Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management program at Georgia College and State University (GCSU) in Milledgeville, Ga.
How did your time spent at Seminole State help prepare you for where you are now?
I must give the Business and Information Management program the most credit for where I am now. The courses in this program allowed me to learn the key principles and knowledge for the master’s program I am in now. I still talk about my time spent at Seminole State to my current classmates at GCSU. GCSU also has small class sizes with exceptional professors like Seminole State, so I feel very at home.
Who or what class was your greatest influence at Seminole State College?
The greatest influences I had at Seminole State were Dr. Chris Beehner and Professor Al Miranda. They both challenged the way I thought about the class topics and provided their own experiences as examples. They are two outstanding professors who really want their students to learn and absorb the material. It’s evident they want the best for their students and will always lend a hand. They really made a difference in my time at Seminole State. These are the two professors who inspired me to continue my education after leaving.
Professionally and/or academically, of what are you most proud?
Professionally, I am proud of landing a promotion after earning my bachelor’s degree! I want to continue to take my experiences from my education and apply it to my career.
Academically, I am proud of myself for going from many failed courses and lack of motivation at the beginning of my Seminole State education to turning my viewpoint around. I maintained grades high enough to consistently place me on President's and Deans' lists.
What advice do you have for current or prospective Seminole State students?
The advice I would give to current or prospective Seminole State students is don’t be nervous to meet new people or to network. I am still friends or still connected to other Seminole State students to this day. Despite having most of my classes online towards the end of my time, I still met with some fantastic people who really want each other to succeed. You’re not in this alone! Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help from other students, professors or tutors.
What do you like to do for fun?
When I am not working or doing schoolwork, I love to spend my time with my two corgis. We love to meet up with our local Central Florida Corgi group on the weekends! I also love to explore all the things Central Florida has to offer from restaurants, wildlife, trails, beaches etc. Although I’ve lived here most of my life, there is still so much to see!
Anything else you would like to add?
I didn’t want to be another statistic. It took me as long as it did to finish my goal of getting a bachelor’s degree because of my family and personal struggles. During my time at Seminole State, I lost my closest grandfather who was always there to cheer me on. I had one parent who was in and out of jail due to addiction and another parent spending time in federal prison for six years.
My point is, never give up on your dreams and don’t stop trying. It always gets better. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and who inspire you to be a better version of yourself. Don’t listen to those who say you can’t do something because you can. I encountered so many people who discouraged me and said I would never be able to finish, but here I am.
Seminole State College Alumni Association: The Seminole State College Alumni Association provides benefits and services for alumni as they continue their lifelong connection with Seminole State College of Florida, providing opportunities for them to network with one another, interact with the student body and support the College. To learn more, visit the Alumni Association website.