Chemical engineering is a vital component of nearly all industrial and consumer product processes in the world. I got a taste for the overlap between engineering and operations during my 16-month internship with NOVA Chemicals working in their R&D department. There I experienced the challenges companies go through to bring new and innovative ideas to market from a high-level operations management perspective to technical experimentation in the lab. I leveraged information technology to reengineer deficient processes for tracking experiments. I applied some characteristics of successfully reengineered processes alluded to in Reengineering the Corporation such as “checks and controls are reduced” and “a case manager provides a single point of contact.” Incidentally, that case manager was me. This simple yet powerful change in operations increased productivity and accountability for the team’s progress and gave each member valuable insights pertinent to their individual work.
From my undergraduate degree, I was hooked on the art and importance of operations leadership in large engineering companies. Tauber is endowing me with tools, knowledge, and world-class experiences to achieve my goal of leading technologically innovative teams focussed on operating processes of the future. I am particularly keen about the LeadershipAdvantage Program because it will lay the foundation for the Tauber Team Project and my future career. The Team Project is the ultimate hands-on experience to implement real solutions and add value to influential companies. One such example of outstanding resources are the coaches and mentors that will be assigned during the Tauber Project who will advise students on various business and engineering angles with which we could approach operations challenges at our companies.
Just as I have gained such a wide breadth of valuable experiences during my bachelor’s degree, I look to upgrade my engineering toolbox with the innovators at the University of Michigan to drive forward the frontiers of the manufacturing industry.