Just One Really Good Instructor

Zain Rauf ('15) is the 30 under 30 Rising Supply chain Stars Award 2023 Megawatt Winner

Zain Rauf (’15) took an introductory supply chain management course unaware that it would eventually propel him to being named the 2023 Megawatt Winner for the Institute for Supply Management 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars Award. His inspiring story exemplifies how impactful education and mentorship can be in shaping one’s career path.

“It takes just one really good instructor to change the trajectory of your education,” said Rauf. “I took Intro to Supply Chain Management because I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in and was exploring options. It was the first class in supply chain management that everyone takes, and my professor, Victor Wayhan, gave me a thorough introduction. He has a great teaching style and terrific energy, and he's good at marketing the profession, so that I could really see myself in this type of career.”

The recognition and success Rauf has achieved reflects not only his hard work but also the support and opportunities provided by the University of Houston, particularly the Bauer College of Business. Rauf noted that UH’s influence on his career is strong.

“Bauer [College of Business] gave me the opportunity to gain a diverse classroom experience, interact with alumni and meet with recruiters,” Rauf emphasized.  

Rauf with his mother at his UH graduation

Rauf with his mother at his UH graduation

The Bachelor of Arts in Supply Chain Management was ranked ninth in North America Supply Chain Management undergraduate programs in 2022, further highlighting the quality of education offered at UH.

As an international student from Pakistan, Rauf faced financial constraints that limited his access to federally and locally funded grants. However, he overcame those challenges by securing several scholarships from both UH and Bauer.

Rauf arrived in the United States in 2012 to pursue his education and intended to return to Pakistan after graduation. His plans took an unexpected turn due to his positive campus experiences, and the opportunities presented at UH have altered his career trajectory, leading him to forge a promising career in supply chain management.  

“I found opportunities and visibility through my student work at the UH Rockwell Career Center and an internship at TotalEnergies, working with oil and gas. I soon saw the enormous potential here, and after graduation, I was hired by Shell. I’ve had four new assignments already, so I think it’s a good fit.”

As the top winner in the 30 under 30 event, Rauf was recognized for his work in Shell’s renewable fuels division, creating innovative and cost-saving supply chain advancements.

Rauf’s commitment to community involvement and leadership outside of work highlights his dedication to making a positive impact beyond the professional realm. His involvement in community organizations, including Sugar Land Athletics and the Cricket League of Houston, show a well-rounded approach to personal growth and development.

“When I was attending UH, I lived on campus and took advantage of being able to participate in activities that were within a 10-to-15-minute walk. Joining student organizations through Bauer taught me that leadership skills brought connections and self-confidence. I’ve continued to join groups because they offer some of the best learning by being out there and doing it, not just working in a silo.”