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Results for "November, 2011"

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  • Friday Frontiers on 11/11/11

    You and I are following MSTM through its blogs; you might have an idea, by now, what frontiers in technology is all about. In brief, it is knowledge, fun, entertainment, and similar extra-curricular activities added to other courses of academic education almost every Friday. Special Friday, on this date, was scheduled for guest speaker Alan Gleghorn from Christie Clinic followed by international pot-luck (wiki definition - A potluck is a gathering of people where each person or group of people contributes a dish of food prepared by the person or the group of people, to be shared among the group), along with birthday celebrations.

  • Lessons learned from company visit

    Priscilia discussed one company, State Farm, that we had to chance to visit and learn about its innovative development products. Jeld-wen was another company visit this semester for the advancement and graduate tracks. The plant that we visited is located in Rantoul, IL, about 30 minutes away from the Illinois campus which allowed us to make it back in time for Accouting class. During this short visit, we were able to: receive a noteworthy introduction about the company from the general manager and take a tour around their plant location. The general manager gave us a short talk about their history, corporate, product line, operations and everyday challenges. Jeld-wen is a company that produces windows and doors for homeowners. During the visit, we had a chnace to explore all the different products the company was currently making and the process behind it. It was amazing to see the concepts learned from our process management applied in the companys strategy. Not only were we able to visualize process management but also the manufacturing and business methods. There are many elements that make up the success of the company: engineering, creativity, strong leadership, and strong decision-making.

  • It is all about new product development....

    I want to say something about our New Product Development course. I can think of three words that are immediately associated with the class, which are: outstanding professor, insightful, and challenging. I believe that most of my classmates would agree with me on this one. Raj Echambadi, the professor of this course, is really energetic and intellectual. Every time I go to his class to learn something new, I open to myself to the new area of knowledge especially on disruptive innovation. His teaching style consists of lectures, case study readings, and class discussions. It is always challenging to us because we have to participate fully in the learning process to get the most out of the class. But thanks to the professor, he always makes appropriate jokes, which really help us to have fun and feel relaxed. Mondays are devoted to lectures; therefore; it is imperative to discuss our case studies on Wednesdays during class time. They are really insightful and knowledgeable to us. For example, we can apply the concepts we learned to case discussions about marketing myopia; product life cycle and changing basis of competition; technology trajectories and market needs, industry life cycle and Porters five forces; disruptive innovations; and these are only half of our courses. Could you imagine what will be next case? What we are learning in the class is really applicable to our real life. We are learning how to apply concepts such as the five forces analysis to any kind of business which we will have to do when we become managers. Personally, I believe that my classmates will be at least CEO on theirs fields because this program is giving necessary knowledge to build a successful career.

  • Frontiers speaker Alan Gleghorn

    This past Friday, November 11, both the graduate and advancement tracks had an opportunity to listen to a few speakers from Christie Clinic during the Frontiers seminar. The main speaker of the day was CEO of Christie Clinic, Alan Gleghorn, who spoke about of his role within the organization. The topic of his speech was educational and very informational. Some of the things that he discussed related a lot to our MSTM classes case studies (particularly the Virginia Mason case) and article readings. He talked about lean production and how it is implemented in healthcare. He mentioned how they were able to reduce errors in blood testing using the lean production. He discussed how they handle thousands of incoming calls per day since they are a very busy organization. In addition, they make improvements on a daily basis by measuring the number of visits and allowing every employee to give their inputs to maintain patient satisfaction. I really enjoyed the talk and learned a lot as well.

  • Lets talk about etiquette!

    One of the Frontier events this year was the business etiquette dinner offered for both the Graduate and Advancement tracks. This was the very first business etiquette dinner that I have ever attended. Even as an undergraduate, I never had an opportunity to do something like this. I believe that this event is beneficial for everyone because it provides training on how you can properly present yourself in the business world. The evening during the dinner seemed long but it was quite memorable and educational. The dinner was led by an expert who taught us the appropriate behavior for businessmen. The dinner consisted of a four course meal and at each meal we learned the appropriate manner and etiquette. The dinner was held in BIFs atrium in a very formal setting; therefore, we had to dress suitably in business clothing (look at the picture up above: doesnt it look nice?). At the end of the meal, the host at the table gave a toast to the guest of honor. The most important lesson that I learned from this dinner was to focus on networking and not the meal. Even though, I got distracted by the delicious meal from time to time, I also learned how to present myself in a professional manner. I have to say, though, this was not an easy lesson to learn. There are many rules on how to use knives, forks, and spoons. But in the end it was fun and a good opportunity to step out of my comfort zone to try something new.

  • State Farm Visit

    Both graduate and advancement track just had several company visits. All of them are interesting and give all of us an unforgettable experience. For this blog, I will specifically share about my experience visiting State Farm, one of the biggest insurance and financial services companies in the United States. We had a full day of tours and speakers at the State Farm Research Center and Corporate Headquarters located in Bloomington, Illinois. Before the visit, I have never thought that they were more than a company working with numbers, processing claims, responding to customers, and providing services. They apparently do more than that. We get a chance to visit their three separate labs: Technology Research & Innovation Laboratory (TRAIL), Business Technology Research Lab (BTRL), and Vehicle Research Facility (VRF). State Farm hire smart people with different backgrounds to work on their research labs. They build their own equipment, run several experiments, and make reports from all the research they have done. We get a chance to see innovative technologies they are using at State Farm, learn about safety or precaution related to window, roofs, kitchen when there are natural disasters or accident events, and research they have been doing with different types of cars. I was amazed with how expensive it was to fix a small part of expensive car like Ferrari. After visiting State Farms labs, we went to their office and heard more about their strategic resources, IT, and R&D. Even though it was a tiring day, I believe all of us enjoyed the trip a lot. Several students also get a chance to talk with State Farm employees personally and get answers to their questions immediately. Frontiers at the MSTM program help you in choosing the right career for you and build a long-lasting networking.

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