A Bittersweet End

It has been an amazing 2 1/2 years for me in the Office of Continuous Improvement. Throughout my time as a Student Process Improvement Coordinator (PIC) I have had so many opportunities that I never would’ve imagined for myself as a college student. I can say, without a doubt, that  I would not be where I am now without the knowledge and experience that I’ve gained from this position. I can’t thank my co-workers, supervisors and peers enough for their support throughout the years.

I came into this position with very little knowledge of any specific Lean tools or methodologies, however, before this job I had mapped processes, organized work spaces, and analyzed root causes. So shortly after starting my training I realized that continuous improvement had always been a part of my life. When I came to this realization, I began feeling much more comfortable in my role, knowing that Lean wasn’t some revolutionary new idea; but simply a set of concepts that draw on a person’s natural tendency toward improving their quality of life. From there, it became very easy to understand and then apply those concepts to processes all over the university.

Since starting in January 2014, I have facilitated 3 Kaizens, acted as the team leader for 2 efforts, and have coordinated 22 improvement events across 12 departments on campus. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities I’ve had to work with everyone from Dining Services to Human Resources to the Van Pelt and Opie Library and every department in between.

I will be starting my career with General Mills as a Global Sourcing Buyer and will look to carry my knowledge and experiences with Lean and continuous improvement and apply them in this new role. I will undoubtedly miss Michigan Tech and the Office of Continuous Improvement.

To everyone who has been apart of my journey…


2 Comments on "A Bittersweet End"

  • Theresa Coleman-Kaiser
    April 25, 2016 at 8:31 AM

    Nate its hard to imagine a future state without you in the PIC role. Your impact on Michigan Tech’s improvement efforts has been significant and we will miss your steady presence and wise guidance. You’ve been a great role model for our up and coming PIC’s. Thank you for laying a great foundation, and best of luck to you at General Mills.

  • Rachel Chard
    April 25, 2016 at 10:19 AM

    Great post, Nate! I’m glad you had this opportunity. Best of luck to you and General Mills – well deserved. 🙂