Student Stories


sam, supply chain '16SAM HOBBS

Supply Chain Management and Spanish '16

From a tractor-dragging, machine welding, cow-milking farm boy who describes himself as never doing well in school, Sam Hobbs has taken an incredible turn into a top-tier student with potential beyond his wildest dreams.    

Check out Sam's full video story here.


Sam comes from a farming community west of Ogden.  "I grew up on a farm, welding, milking cows, dragging tractors and I never had any thought to go to college until the week before registration was due. Because I fought with my parents so much over taking the ACT, I did not want to disclose to them that I was going to college so it was a surprise to them when I was gone Monday morning and I was enrolled in school."

During Sam's senior year in high school was the climax of the economic recession.  He was attending an applied technology school to be a machinist, "I realized everyone who was in my program was laid off from their previous employment because of their job skills.  After seeing the effects of that, I realized I wanted to have a sustainable career where I would be indispensable and economic factors wouldn't have as much impact on my life, my future or my family." 

"I didn't do well in high school so I though, 'just Weber' will be a good start to my college experience.  After becoming involved in activities within my colleges, I soon realized that I wanted to stay and finish my degree here at Weber State because of the resources we have on campus."


After two and a half years of taking general education classes and a few business classes Sam recalls, "I wanted to come up with a degree that allowed me to understand a lot of the operational aspects of a corporation and that's where supply chain management fit perfectly with the aspirations I had.  The other factor was obviously money.  I wanted to have access to a top paying job coming out of college and that is precisely what supply chain management has given me."


Sam got involved in several activities at Weber including being on the school's planning committee as well as in the Supply Chain Management Club, the SC Cats. "The supply chain faculty provided opportunities to be involved with the club, with case competitions, with research and things outside of the classroom. They invested a lot of time and effort into me to be successful. What I've realized is that their sincerity to help students be proactively engaged is because they truly want what's best for us and they want us to be successful. All these engagements did provide a foundation for me to be a worthy candidate for a premier program at Carnegie Mellon University." 


While trying to get involved in all he could, Sam found himself on a strategic planning committee at the Goddard School of Business representing the student's voice. On this committee was also Randy Boyle, an Management Information Systems professor.  After meeting him, Sam realized that Randy had a lot of helpful insight into business, software and technologies and wanted to pick his brain further.  "I never had a class from him and he was totally cool with it. He might have recognized something in me. He was very open to receive me and mentor me. After periodic visits of once a month or every other month, he was always putting in my ear about technology and the business applications for technology.  One day I showed up in his office and said, 'Hey, I have the director of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) on our campus today, the number one program in information systems, and he is visiting with some students, do you want to go meet him. I went to the graduate school fair and spoke with the director and after that first interaction, I realized that Carnegie Mellon was something I wanted."

After meeting with Randy, and CMU and deciding on where he wanted his life path to go, he finally applied was accepted into the program and is now headed to Australia for the first half of graduate school and will finish the second half in Pittsburgh in 2019.


Because this is a diverse school and so many people are juggling work and home and kids, Sam recommends, "If you are a younger student and you are deciding should I be with the masses at one of these larger universities where I'm just another number, or can I go somewhere where I can develop myself to be ready for the workforce? I realized that you can find those better jobs and be more prepared because of the one-one-one engagement with professors. Here, I have more opportunities to experience other things like the study abroad, competitions, and club activities. Because of this, you're going to stand out from your peers."


Taking the advice of professor Randy Boyle, Sam was accepted to Carnegie Mellon University, with a scholarship, to the top information systems program in the world where he will spend the first half of his graduate studies in Australia and the second half in Pittsburgh.

"When I was younger and working on the farm, I didn't even want to finish high school, let alone go to college and much less pursue a master's degree, especially something to do with computers. I was very technology adverse back then, but over time I've developed an appreciation for technology and business and I have actually realized that's what I like. I like increasing operations process and creating efficiencies for the well being of the companies."