Category: Student Organizations

My First Year at MTU: Marco Marquez

MTU student Marco Marquez stands at a podium
Having grown up in Detroit, Michigan, Marco Marquez felt ready for the natural, rugged beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The unique location, along with Michigan Tech’s STEM focus, led him to enroll in engineering management.

Since starting at Michigan Tech in the fall of 2019, Marco has adjusted and loves his second home. At first, he wasn’t sure what to expect and found it difficult to leave behind access to shopping, family, and friends. However, he says that meeting new friends and exploring the Upper Peninsula made the transition to college easier than expected. 

Marco has enjoyed getting to know students from other cultures and connecting through language. As a bilingual student, Marco finds language to be a starting point in learning about other people. Of his new connections, meeting a fellow Husky from Spain in Intro to Finance has been one of the most rewarding. He finds that collaborating on homework in Spanish to be a helpful way to continue using his second language.

Joining student organizations has also helped Marco gain new perspectives. One impactful experience was visiting Chicago with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers to speak with pre-college students in primarily Hispanic schools. The group encouraged students to think about their lives after high school and the opportunities that are available to them in STEM and college. Marco also traveled to Minneapolis with the Accounting Club, which prompted his decision to switch majors to accounting and finance. He is also a member of the Society of African-American Men, which participates in community service activities on campus. 

In his first year at Michigan Tech, Marco’s vision for his future has evolved. Initially, his goal was to get a degree and a well-paying job to help support his family. Since then, he has learned to aim even higher. Marco now aspires to create his own company in the automotive industry, where he will work to make travel easier, faster, and more affordable. He would also love to use his passion for language to connect with others while undertaking this journey.

Marco credits his growth to the encouraging culture at MTU, and wants to let other students know that stepping outside their comfort zone just might change their perspective for life. 


Preparing for a Future-Proof Career: My Experience at the Global Leadership Summit

By Jennifer Carolan, accounting student

As part of Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS), the honor society that represents the top five percent of the top 10 percent of AACSB-accredited business schools, I recently attended the 2019 Global Leadership Summit in Chicago. The event had many networking opportunities and included recruiters from Geico and KPMG (a top accounting organization), as well as amazing speakers and 400 other students from all around the globe. Throughout the conference, I made many connections to concepts I am familiar with thanks to my business classes at Michigan Technological University.

Student stands in front of pull-up banner at conference
Students in Beta Gamma Sigma are recognized by employers as being the “best in business”

 The Future of Work panel highlighted how with artificial intelligence (AI), it is important to have specialized skills and to rapidly adapt to technology. This is the perfect takeaway for me as a Michigan Tech student because Tech is giving me the tools to work with technology and to specialize with a data analytics concentration

During the trip, I became familiar with the Clifton Strengths test from one of the speakers. The Clifton Strengths test helps identify four key categories of strengths to better understand how people perform. The test provides self-awareness and helps understand how people with different skill sets work together, which is one of the skills that won’t lose value in the future and is something we spend a lot of time on in our Team Dynamics business class. 

Another reference to my classes was ethics. Ethics is a part of many of my courses at Michigan Tech and for good reason; I learned that 83 percent of people experience an ethical dilemma in the first two years of employment, and everyone does at some point in their career. One of the speakers taught the RAISE (Recognize, Analyze, Identify, Select, Execute) model to combat unethical situations. It is important to follow through to the end when combating unethical situations, even if it isn’t easy. I plan to take this advice to properly handle unethical situations in my future career. It feels good knowing I have a plan for difficult situations I might encounter.

One of Michigan Tech’s core values–tenacity–was emphasized by a speaker. They defined it as a mathematical equation: skill plus achievement plus effort. Michigan Tech students certainly have tenacity and it is an asset that won’t go away anytime soon. The speaker also mentioned the importance of self-awareness and communication, because the future of work will require soft skills no matter how technologically advanced the world becomes. 

Lastly, a recurring theme throughout the whole event was life-long learning. Dean Johnson, dean of the School of Business and Economics, also believes it’s the right mindset to have in business. It was noted that being a life-long learner is not just about continuing your education, but that it could also be specializing with certificates, learning new technologies, and simply being willing to adapt to our changing world.

Careers of tomorrow won’t look like they do today, and preparing myself for the changing world is an important step. 

Student stands in front of Beta Gamma Sigma pull-up banner at conference.
Students in Beta Gamma Sigma are recognized by employers as being the “best in business.”


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

Student Chapter (Branch) of ASQ

The American Society for Quality, an international organization promoting quality management and continuous improvement, has approved a Student Chapter (Branch) of the American Society for Quality at Michigan Tech.

We are the first chapter in Section 1014 representing northern lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. The founding membership has 17 student members. The major objectives of the chapter are to promote professional certification, foster a culture of lifelong learning and to connect students with chapters across the country as they transition from student life to their chosen careers.

We are especially thankful to Lisa (Gippert) Smith ’98 (ME) for her work in getting the chapter established. We are also thankful to Don Brecken and Nicole O’Reilly from American Society for Quality, Milwaukee. Three of the 17 members have completed the ASQ Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification. There are several more who will take the exam in May 2018.

The founding officers are

Stephen Butina, President

  • Management major with a concentration in Supply Chain and Operations Management
  • Hometown: Painesdale, MI

Tim Bart, Vice President

  • Engineering management major
  • Hometown: Brighton, MI

Kelby Chrivia, Treasurer

  • Engineering management major
  • Hometown: Hale, MI

Gabriela Mayorga, Secretary

  • Engineering management major
  • Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI

Dana M. Johnson (SBE) is the advisor for the organization. She is a Senior Member of ASQ.

In the Fall semester, the organization will actively begin recruitment of students. The organization is open to all students including undergraduate and graduate students. Any interested students should contact Stephen Butina or Dana Johnson.