Kandyl Kotta arrived at Northeastern University in 2013 as a Business student with concentrations in Supply Chain Management and Marketing. She participated in two co-ops: one at Northeastern as a Scheduling Assistant for the Center for Student Involvement, and the second as a Sourcing and Procurement Customer Support Associate at PowerAdvocate, an energy intelligence technology company. Towards the end of her undergraduate degree, Kandyl applied to the Security and Resilience Master’s program. During this program, she completed third co-op in global security at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, before graduating in May 2019.
Kandyl knew she was interested in supply chain security early on. “I’ve always been interested in how companies with global supply chains protect their products,” Kandyl noted. From the employees and distribution channels involved to how they deal with risks such as natural disasters, epidemics, and national security threats, the field has a variety of problems to solve. “The Security and Resilience program gave me the opportunity to explore these interests and provided me with a greater appreciation of resilience, especially at the community level.”
On her last co-op at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Kandyl’s work included physical security management for the international organization, business continuity, supply chain security, and the demand for transparency. She focused primarily on business continuity and companies’ ability to respond to and recover from incidents and disasters as quickly as possible. From her time at the Vertex, Kandyl developed a new appreciation for the field. “Vertex expanded my understanding of resilience and the need for the private sector, the public sector, and local communities to work together, as these three groups are all deeply interconnected.”
Kandyl’s coursework also expanded her understanding of her field. “The courses I have taken at Northeastern opened my eyes to the depth of issues surrounding security. I never would have considered problems such as disease epidemics and pandemics as security concerns.” Kandyl has always been very interested in social policy. She says, “The Security and Resilience program gave me a glimpse of how issues such as inequality play a role in a community’s ability to deal with crises.”
Kandyl was inspired by a course in Global Criminology (CRIM 7201), taught by Ineke Haen Marshall in fall 2017. It covers how globalization influences crime and criminal justice worldwide. She had never taken a criminology course before and she explains that she expected it to follow a narrative of “this is the bad guy, this is how we catch them. Instead, the class took a systematic approach to crime by exploring global networks of exploitation. I really appreciated the social perspective of the class and the way in which it challenged the general dialogue surrounding crime.”
Going forward, Kandyl would like to pursue further education and work in parallel with the public sector, possibly at a non-governmental organization. “My goal is to work on issues surrounding national disaster response and recovery or in a role related to international migration,” she says.
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