Logistics Pro Triples His Educational Accomplishments at The Beach
There are many reasons why students enjoy life at The Beach, but only a select few can claim to enjoy it enough to enroll three times in a row. One of these rarefied achievers is Wayne Meza, who first received a certificate from CSULB’s Global Logistics Professional (GLP) program in 2019. Towards the end of his time in that program, he discovered the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts (BALA) degree completion program, which he eventually graduated from in December 2022. But his education didn’t stop there. In an effort to advance further in his international logistics career, Wayne was recently accepted into the Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) graduate degree program, which he will begin in Fall 2023.
“I became interested in the GLP program when I worked at my previous employer,” explained Wayne, who is now an Export Coordinator at Jerich International, a group of companies that offer freight forwarding services through global supply chain management. “I thought I wouldn’t have the time to complete it and still work full-time. Ironically, I was laid off from that job and used the opportunity to apply to the program.”
With nearly 20 years of experience in the logistics field already under his belt, Wayne didn't remain unemployed for long. In fact, he ended up getting hired at Jerich International right when he began the GLP program. Evening and weekend classes allowed him to juggle both work and school as he gained new skills that built upon his previous on-the-job training.
“When I first entered the classroom for the GLP program, it was kind of surreal because I hadn’t been in a classroom for almost 15 years at that point,” he said. “However, I felt very comfortable because most of the students attending these courses were working adults who were close to my age and had been in the world of logistics for a while.”
“In the GLP classes,” he continued, “I realized I knew a lot about the ocean and trucking portion of the supply chain, but being exposed to how warehousing, air freight, and reverse logistics helped complete it was very insightful. The GLP program was really a gamechanger for me at work.”
While his fellow classmates and knowledgeable instructors guided him through the curriculum, one fact still weighed on Wayne: he had never earned a college degree, something that was usually a prerequisite for many positions in his industry. To fill that gap, Wayne began attending the BALA program in Fall 2020 and found that it helped him develop analytical problem-solving approaches to many important issues, from the specific aspects of his job to broader concerns about society.
“There was a portion of the program that focused on history, including [courses like] California Indian History and Latinx and Asian Immigration After World War II,” Wayne said. “I enjoyed these classes because learning the history of these topics helps you understand why we have the social problems that still exist in our society, and gives you more knowledge to contribute to the solutions that are so badly needed today.”
“[My] class in Industrial/Organizational Psychology really helped me understand and solve workflow issues that can occur in logistics,” he continued. “I think that mistakes are always going to happen when you deal with the kind of volume that exists in our business, but it’s how you handle the issues as they occur—that is really what separates a good logistics provider from the rest.”
Once again, the evening and weekend classes allowed him to continue working full-time, especially during the tumultuous early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when his logistics job was considered essential. At Jerich’s ocean freight office in Newport Beach, CA, Wayne helps coordinate the movement of cargo from shipping containers onto delivery trucks. He also monitors other shipments to ensure that they are delivered on time to their final destination.
“Many of the supply chain issues that came about during the pandemic were a result of what is called Just in Time (JIT) logistics,” Wayne explained. “This is where many companies streamline the supply chain so much that there is no excess product being stored. While this is a good money-saving idea in theory, no one predicted the world would basically shut down for two years!”
The pandemic-related transition to online classes meant that Wayne’s BALA cohort only saw each other on Zoom and didn’t meet in person until the program was almost over. That experience didn’t take anything away from the well-deserved pride he has earned from his accomplishments so far.
“I actually framed the GLP certificate in a CSULB diploma frame and would look at it for inspiration when I was in the BALA program,” said Wayne. “I received my diploma on December 23, 2022—it was a very nice Christmas present! Now, both the GLP certificate and my new CSULB bachelor’s degree are proudly framed in my office at work.”
Not one to rest on his previous endeavors, Wayne dove straight into his application for the MAIA program, figuring that it made sense since he was already an expert in balancing work and school. Now that he’s been accepted into the program, he’s looking forward to the start of classes once again this fall.
“I hope that I can learn skills in the [MAIA] program that will help me further the knowledge gained from the GLP and BALA programs, as well as my current occupation,” Wayne said. “Who knows, maybe the MAIA program will open some doors I never knew existed."
Click here to learn more about each of these three programs at CSULB:
- Global Logistics Professional (GLP)
- Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts (BALA)
- Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA)