Category: Management: Supply Chain and Operations

My Life On Campus During COVID-19

Emily Kughn is a second-year student in Michigan Technological University’s College of Business, dual majoring in marketing and management with a concentration in supply chain and operations management. The Horton, Michigan, native is also a member of the American Marketing Association. Below is her piece about what it’s like living and learning on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walking onto campus to start my first year, I felt a huge mix of emotions: happy to start a new chapter, sad to leave my family and friends back home, anxious about what’s to come, and excited about my new independence. Just like any other first-time college student, I had my guesses about what college might be like, but I really had no idea what to expect. I can assure you the last thing I anticipated was a global pandemic!

Fast forward now into my second year at Michigan Tech—my everyday campus life looks much different than it did last year. Obviously, I wish more than anything that this virus never existed, but I’ve learned to forge a new path and create a new normal.

The sense of community on Michigan Tech’s campus is especially strong this year. We’ve found creative ways to come together and show support for one another. Since we can’t attend sporting events, have large gatherings, or socialize much outside of class, it makes the interaction we do get extra special. My favorite ways to safely socialize now include our outdoor movie nights, bonfires, going on hikes, and Zoom calls with my friends.

In order to thrive in online classes, I find it vital to establish a routine to stay organized. I treat my classes the same way I would if they were all in person. I make sure to mask up and head to the library at least twice a week in order to get a change of scenery while studying. I am also still very much involved in student organizations, which keeps me busy.

In the American Marketing Association, we participated in a virtual marketing competition and the Women’s Rugby Club competed against our conference in a virtual season. My student org involvement has been a major blessing; being able to stay connected with others in new ways while also staying involved in things I enjoy.

The most challenging part of the year so far has been not being able to attend all classes in person, not being able to see all of my friends, trying to meet new people, and constantly dealing with the many unknowns.

Finding opportunities to learn and grow given our current circumstances is important. Living and learning on campus during a pandemic definitely comes with challenges. However, I am thankful to be on the campus I love, still doing the things I enjoy (even if virtual for now).


My College Internship in the Time of COVID-19

By Mitchell DeLong

My name is Mitch DeLong, and I am excited to share information about my summer 2020 internship with Plexus Corporation. I am a fourth-year Michigan Tech student studying management with a concentration in supply chain and operations management in the College of Business.

MTU business student Mitchell DeLong

Despite the many challenges COVID-19 has presented, I was fortunate to find an opportunity to learn and grow with Plexus at their Neenah, Wisconsin, operations. While completing work with a mask on and undergoing regular temperature checks has not previously been routine during an internship, I am thankful for the safety precautions Plexus established.

Due to the pandemic, all in-person gatherings for interns were canceled. However, Plexus took steps to ensure we could still connect and have a great experience. They offered safe and engaging activities from virtual game nights to book clubs. Overall, my internship relied heavily upon the use of computers to do my work and connect with peers. Training from both Plexus and Michigan Tech prepared me for these technology-centered interactions. 

I held the title of materials intern. The title may sound simple, but the work I was exposed to was beautifully complex. In the center where I was based, low-volume, high-complexity circuit boards are manufactured for use in advanced electronic equipment. The circuit boards Plexus makes are found in equipment ranging from advanced medical machinery to airplane controls. Some of the circuit board assemblies I worked with contain more than a thousand individual parts!  

Coordinating the movement of so many parts was challenging and it was also rewarding knowing that the assignments I completed helped provide end-users with a risk-free experience.

My tasks entailed procuring parts within the aerospace and defense market sector. I made connections with supply chain professionals and practiced techniques I learned in my courses at Michigan Tech.

Interning during a pandemic also provided the unique opportunity to learn firsthand about extreme fluctuations in supply chains. Some parts experienced a “Bull-whip” effect and were directly impacted by manufacturing changes related to the public health crisis. As a purchaser of those parts, it was my job to minimize the negative impacts of the supply chain so that production managers and customers could get the products they need on-time and at a fair cost. 

Beyond that, I worked with mentors to develop a long-term agreement project to stabilize and guarantee the supply and demand for critical components for circuit board assemblies.

While my internship only lasted 11 weeks, I am grateful that Plexus provided me with a project that will make a difference for years to come.


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.

 


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.


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.