A year ago, with résumés in hand, Mai Pham and Nabil Saleh attended the Manning School of Business’ inaugural “Dell Day,” hoping to line up jobs with information technology company Dell Technologies after their spring 2018 graduations.
Pham and Saleh are back on campus this fall, only this time as Dell employees helping to recruit UMass Lowell students for internships, co-op jobs and eventual full-time positions.
“It’s exciting to work for a great company, and that’s why I came here: To encourage UMass Lowell students to apply, because Dell is looking for UMass Lowell students,” Saleh said from behind the company’s information table in the Pulichino Tong Business Center’s Colella Atrium, where he and Pham answered questions and offered their insights on careers in supply chain operations.
The visit was a warm-up for the following week’s “Dell Day,” an event hosted by the Manning School and Career Services at which students can learn more about the company’s supply chain development program. Pham and Saleh also hope to represent the company at the Fall Career Fair, scheduled for Oct. 18 at the Tsongas Center.
“I appreciate what UMass Lowell gave to me, so it’s great to be able to give back to the school,” said Pham, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration (with a triple concentration in supply chain and operations management, management information systems and international business) in May.
A month later, she began her job as a data intelligence engineer at Dell’s Franklin location. Her boss, Director of Global Supply Chain Data and Analytics Joseph Collins, earned a degree in industrial management from UML in 1992.
“I’m doing exactly what I wanted to do,” said Pham, who supports internal teams with collecting and analyzing data, using different tools to help them make fact-based decisions to drive the performance of supply chain. “I really like the environment and work culture.””
As a junior, Pham worked as a supplier monitoring co-op at Wayfair in Boston, a position she landed through the university’s Professional Co-op Program. (One of her fellow Wayfair co-ops, Joshua Bedard, now works as a global fulfillment logistics analyst for Dell in Austin, Texas.)
“That experience, along with the knowledge I got in school, gave me a lot of confidence,” said Pham, a native of Vietnam who advises students to “take initiative and not hesitate to ask questions, both in class and at work.”
The university’s partnership with Dell goes back to its longtime relationship with EMC Corp., the data-storage giant based in Hopkinton. As recently as 2012, there were more than 250 UML alumni working for EMC. In 2016, EMC was acquired by Dell Technologies for $67 billion and became Dell EMC.
That’s where Saleh began working as a global supply chain quality engineer in June, just a few weeks after receiving a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Francis College of Engineering. He said persistence was key in getting hired; he gave the company his résumé at Dell Day, the Career Fair and online through CareerLINK.
“They called me for an interview in November, and it was done in December,” said Saleh, whose résumé included a six-month process engineering internship at the polymer technology company Trelleborg Group. “It was good to be able to focus on my coursework in the spring and not spend time applying for jobs.”
Saleh is impressed with Dell’s commitment to career development, which includes professional development classes, online training and one-on-one mentoring. The company also helps pay for employees’ advanced degrees, a perk that Saleh is taking advantage of by enrolling in UML’s highly ranked online MBA program. He was considering either a master of science in engineering management or an MBA, but his managers at Dell said an MBA would better complement his undergraduate engineering degree.
“It gives me more options and better opportunities for the future,” said Saleh, a native of Lebanon who emigrated to the United States in 2013. After earning an associate’s degree in engineering science from Northern Essex Community College in 2015, he transferred to UML.
“I’m so grateful and happy,” Saleh said as students slowed to check out the free swag on the Dell table on their way to class. “Last year I was giving my résumé, and this year I am standing here taking résumés.”