At the most recent Academy of International Business (AIB) conference Quest student Rayyan Hamza Chanda was recognized for Best Undergraduate/Graduate Student Paper. His paper, entitled The Future of Supply Chain Management: Introducing Circularity, was the result of a collaboration with Quest Academic Dean Halia Valladares.

Rayyan and Halia first began chatting about their shared research interest in economics and sustainability at an admissions event last year, which eventually led to Rayyan taking two independent study blocks with Halia. In total, Rayyan has published two papers and done three conference presentations as a result of his work in sustainable supply chain management. The paper he presented at AIB is currently being revised and will also be submitted for publication based on feedback from the faculty judges. For Rayyan’s Keysone, he is combining elements of the papers he wrote while working with Halia. Rayyan plans to continue his research after graduating from Quest.

Halia highlighted what an impressive achievement Rayyan’s award was – even being accepted to present at the AIB conference is highly competitive, and Rayyan was competing against graduate students from around the world. Following his presentation, Halia had faculty at the conference commenting to her on the quality of his research and presentation. She also pointed out that it is Quest’s unique program that facilitated Rayyan’s success, saying, “I truly believe it highlights everything he has learned through his education at Quest. His research is interdisciplinary; in other programs he wouldn’t have the same opportunity to pull from the field of environmental science for his economic research on supply chain dynamics.”

Rayyan also noted the unique opportunity Quest gave him to bring a novel perspective to his research when he reflected on the experience:

“The entire experience of researching, writing, submitting and presenting the paper was really amazing because I got to apply the interdisciplinary nature of our degree to a topic like supply chain, where that isn’t the norm. It was also really nice to work with Halia who specializes in this area both in academia and within industry. It allowed me to get a lot of insight on both the theoretical and practical sides of the topic, and that showed in the paper.

It was also great to get so much feedback about both my work and my ability as a student to engage and discuss with the professors. I was one of the only undergraduates who were presenting at the conference, and so at first it was a little intimidating, but everyone was so nice and helpful, which was a really nice thing to see. It didn’t feel like I was there to present to a panel of people that were just there to judge, but rather a group of people who were all there to help each other grow… I hate to sound cliche but was a really wholesome experience.

One of the nicest things about this experience was attending the conference itself, because I got to meet so many different people and get a chance to discuss and learn from them. I was approached by so many people who gave me great feedback on my presentation and guidance on my next steps post-graduation, which I wouldn’t have been able to do without attending the conference.”

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