Category: Management: Supply Chain and Operations

Business Huskies Place Second and Third in State Project Competition

Earlier this month, Michigan Technological University’s School of Business and Economics (SBE) sent two teams of undergraduate students to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to compete in the final stage of the eighth-annual THE Project Competition, an annual collegiate project management competition hosted by the Western Michigan Project Management Institute Chapter.

From L to R: Keaton Thames, Erica Austin, Giselle Ulep, Skyler Nelson-Makuch, Sarah Koerber, Quinn Trumbower

Roger Woods, SBE faculty member who leads the opportunity each year, says that the experience engages Huskies in the practice of project management, develops their leadership skills, and provides them with a platform to demonstrate their abilities to business and community leaders.

Michigan Tech has competed in all eight of the competitions, placing third in 2018 and first in 2017.

THE Project scenario for 2019 was to develop a project plan to renovate an existing building on campus to LEED standards. Teams worked with subject-matter experts and stakeholders to develop a project plan using the Project Management Body of Knowledge published by the Project Management Institute. They are assigned a mentor and are judged by professionals at four different stages or “gates.”

Students faced competition from five other Michigan schools including Cornerstone, Ferris State, Grand Valley, Hillsdale, and Western Michigan.

“THE Project is probably the best college experience I have had outside of an internship for my future career in the project management industry,” says first-time competitor and Michigan Tech senior, Connor Green.

A group of five Michigan Tech students pose at competition.
From L to R: Amanda Vermeer, Amanda Sabol, Megan Twork, Connor Green, Hannah Badger
Team Extreme Makeover Tech Edition–comprised of Erica Austin (management, Sterling Heights, MI), Sarah Koerber (engineering management,Grand Blanc, MI), Skyler Nelson-Makuch (supply chain and operations management, Kalamazoo, MI), Keaton Thames (engineering management, Highlands Ranch, CO), Quinn Trumbower (engineering management, New London, WI) , and Giselle Ulep (engineering management, Beverly Hills, MI)–went from last place to the top spot in their division throughout the four competition gates, securing a position in the final three.

Huskies LEED the Way–a team, which included Hannah Badger (engineering management, Plymouth, MI), Connor Green (engineering management, Sandusky, MI), Amanda Sabol (engineering management, Utica, MI), Megan Twork (engineering management, Ravenna, MI), and Amanda Vermeer (engineering management, Sterling Heights, MI)–led their division from start to finish, also securing a spot in the final three.

Final: Huskies LEED second; Extreme Makeover third.

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New School of Business and Economics Faculty Awards Recognize Research, Service

The bronze Husky dog statues sits in the center of Michigan Tech's campus. At its annual faculty retreat last week, Dean Johnson, dean of the School of Business and Economics (SBE), presented for the first time awards for excellence in research and service. Dana Johnson, professor of supply chain and engineering management, was the recipient of the research award. Johnson will receive funding toward faculty development for her current stream of research to predict which patient psychometric attributes and demographic variables impact overall patient experience. This will extend prior research by working with Aspirus Keweenaw who utilizes the Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. 

Joel Tuoriniemi, professor of practice in accounting, was acknowledged for his dedication to service. “There are many deserving faculty members in SBE who work to advance our strategic vision. I am fortunate to be surrounded by motivated students who demand a rigorous experience and serve as ambassadors. It makes my job promoting the Master of Science in Accounting program to future Huskies and employers that much more rewarding,” says Tuoriniemi.

In addition to the new honors in research and service, the School each year recognizes exemplary teaching. The addition of two new awards promotes the hard work School of Business and Economics faculty dedicate to blending business and technology curriculum to meet student and industry needs of the future.

“Faculty have expectations in the realms of teaching, research, and service. These new awards are designed to recognize faculty leaders in the School of Business and Economics,” says Dean Johnson.

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Internship Spotlight: Rachel Chard at L’Oreal

Supply Chain and Operations Management major, Rachel Chard ’18, interned with L’Oreal USA this summer. The cosmetics group operates in more than 140 countries, providing hair care, skin care, and makeup through a portfolio of 34 brands including Maybelline, L’Oreal Paris, Urban Decay, and Garnier.
Michigan Tech student Rachel Chard poses in the L'Oreal USA office.
Chard, who will graduate in December 2018, finds professional value in her business education rooted in a STEM university.

“L’Oreal’s fast-paced environment and entrepreneurial mindset challenged me to think outside of my traditional process-driven approach and adapt quickly. From day one, I was treated as a full-time employee who was empowered and expected to deliver high-quality results. Michigan Tech prepared me to be successful in this role, as our curriculum is focused on applying both interpersonal and analytical skills through practical application.
I submitted my application to L’Oreal’s website in November and received an interview for a role at their North Little Rock, Arkansas, facility in March. While the position was not the right fit, I was still motivated to work at L’Oreal. I connected with an HR recruiter on LinkedIn and continued the conversation, expressing my interest in working for the top cosmetics group worldwide. A few messages back and forth and two interviews later, I landed an internship in Indirect Sourcing!
It was my role to support both the logistics and industrial services teams in the implementation of sourcing projects to optimize cost while enhancing overall value. My main responsibility was to identify a transportation carrier who could deliver product directly from our retail stores to our customers within the same day. To achieve this, I followed the request for proposal process, which included data collection, market analysis, supplier onboarding, supplier bid evaluation, negotiation, and contracting.
In support of L’Oreal’s goal to bring more flexibility and agility to our facilities, I participated in projects to source forklifts and automated-guided vehicles. Specifically, I analyzed our network of forklifts across L’Oreal’s 20 sites to establish a baseline and identify opportunities for cost savings through the consolidation of vendors and comparing lease vs. buy models.
Given the variety and complexity of projects I worked on this summer, I am grateful to study at a STEM university where I am in constant communication with engineers, and I am provided with a technical perspective. Thank you to my colleagues at L’Oreal and the professors and the administrators at Michigan Tech for their continued support and guidance as I complete my final year and begin my career.”

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Internship Spotlight: Jackson Pundt at Canadian National Railway

Fourth-year management major (supply chain and operations management concentration) Jackson Pundt is interning with the Canadian National Railway this summer. His classes in the Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics help him add value to the company while navigating corporate culture.

Fourth-year Jackson Pundt got on-the-job handMichigan Tech student Jackson Pundt stands at his internship post with Canadian National Railway.
Fourth-year management student Jackson Pundt is getting on-the-job hands-on experience interning with Canadian National Railway.

“I work as an intern in Canadian National Railway’s transportation department. My role involves examining the company’s operations across departments and looking for ways to consolidate and save the company money. I travel and observe operations at rail yards around the country.

I met with recruiters at Career Fair last fall, and they contacted me for an interview shortly after. I’m really enjoying the experience because I’m getting exposure to different aspects of a large company and learning all the ways my major can apply to the workplace. I’m using the soft skills acquired from my classes more than my analytical skills. My classes prepared me to handle conflict and work with a group to make informed decisions.”

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Michigan Tech Students Earn Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt

The following Michigan Technological University students successfully completed the American Society for Quality (ASQ) Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt (CSSYB) examination and are now Certified. Though not a requirement, there were eight students who took the exam, with a 100-percent successful completion. This accomplishment is attributed to the revamping of the Operations and Supply Chain Management Six Sigma Fundamentals course, integrating more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) content while focusing on behavioral and technical dimensions of quality management, a skill in demand by employers.

Michigan Tech has 17 student-members of ASQ and became an official student branch this spring.

Name Major Hometown
Shan Amarmani Engineering Management Bacolod City, Philippines
Timothy Bart Engineering Management Brighton, MI
Bruce Brunson Jr. Biomedical Engineering Detroit, MI
Hailey Huyser Engineering Management Mokena, IL
Kyle Huyser Engineering Management Middleville, MI
Ryan Larson Engineering Management Grand Rapids, MI
Gabriela Mayorga Engineering Management Grand Rapids, MI
Keaton Thames Engineering Management Highland Ranch, CO

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