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Tony Poon ’12

Supply Chain Manager

Hidden from the headlines declaring record unemployment for college graduates are the Tony Poons of the world. A supply chain major, Poon has been working fulltime as a weapon system manager for the U.S. Army since the end of January.

“Not many people understand how the U.S. military works,” said Poon, a civilian employee at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass. “We manage what a soldier eats, sleeps in, uses, and wears.”

Poon was first a work-study office assistant then a teacher’s assistant in the College of Business Administration. In his freshman year, he established mentoring relationships with Associate Dean Shaw K. Chen and Associate Professor Douglas Hales. “I was really fortunate to have great resources like Professor Hales and Dean Chen. Under their guidance, I learned to approach professors for advice,” Poon said.

As president of the Supply Chain Management Club, Poon created a LinkedIn group not only to connect students and alumni, but also as a way to network with potential employers. “Knowing the right people can get you the right job at the right place,” he said. “The connections made with professors and other students in college can last a lifetime.”

Poon, whose given name is Heung Wing, came to the United States from Hong Kong when he was nine. He graduated from Barrington (R.I.) High School and arrived at URI determined to work hard and graduate early, packing in six courses every semester. He gathered enough credits to graduate in December.

“I was initially an accounting major, but I chose supply chain because it’s a really dynamic and versatile major,” said Poon. “After my first Supply Chain Management Club meeting, I talked to Professor James Kroes, one of the supply chain professors, who facilitated the event. From that point on, I became really interested in this field. So I have to thank him for getting me into this major.”

— Ericka Tavares ’88

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