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Results for "October, 2009"

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  • RMC

    Oct. 23, 2009 I was very excited and pleased to visit Richardson Manufacturing Company today. RMC is a major manufacturer of Catepillar 797 parts (like the back axel of the larger truck pictured above). These massive trucks pretty much dwarf everything around them in terms of size and pure strength. They are designed for mining activities. This was also our first experience with a manufacturing company, so we got to apply some of our core business classs lessons. For example, we got to view how a company like this utilizes some quantitative analysis proceedures, as well as process management proceedures. It was interesting to see how a the company received inventory in terms of a rear axel that had been molded, but not brought to specifications for each company. These axels came in from another manufacturer and then were tuned to exactly what Catepillar needed. The process was quite complicated and involded heavy machinery and complex steal cutting proceedures. Quality control was also very important to RMC due to the fact that each piece of raw material they received was expensive. Their proceedures to refine this raw material were also expensive. Therefore, when mistakes are made at RMC, it is very costly, and also caused delays in delivery time. Overall, the experience was delightful, and culminated with a fantastic lunch provided by the program.

  • Allerton Park

    Today we went to Allerton Park in Monticello, Il. We went there as part of our Frontiers 590 class and for the purpose of team building. At first glance, I casted this idea aside and thought it was going to be simply a long and taxing day (both mentally and physically). These notions were dispelled almost immediately. Throughout the day, each member of the group had to participate in team building excersises. These excersises allowed team members to get to know each other without ever really having to ask any questions or force any conversation. This is especially important to the MS-TechMgmt program because the group is so diverse that perhaps people would tend to stick to their comfort zones. Most if not all of the day was spent in high spirits and shared with a lot of laughter. It is easy to say that this event allowed most of the program members to become more familiar with each other, while at the same time doing something that was exciting and fun.

  • Putting it all together...

    Going back to school, it can be easy to believe you're simply a student again. But after six weeks it's clear the MS-TM program will make sure we don't slip into this mindset. Every Friday we convene for our "Frontiers in Technology" seminar course, a catch-all for speakers, events, and professional development sessions. What's the purpose? To provide a weekly reminder that, despite our backpacks and dressed-down attire, we are working professionals who are here to become better managers. In my view, the seminar course has thus far been the best example of the value-added of attending the MS-TM program, as opposed to other tech management or generic MBA programs. Today I'll give you one example of what I mean. A few weeks ago, we visited the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) here on the Univ. Illinois campus. There, we met with Merle Giles, head of the Center's private sector program. Merle has the incredibly cool job of taking some of the world's most powerful computing systems and figuring out how to make them as useful as possible in as many ways as possible to private organizations doing cutting-edge science and engineering work. Merle's presentation conveyed that working in supercomputing is equal parts magic and pragmatism. On one hand, it's clear everyone working at NCSA is beyond excited about Blue Waters, a project to build the world's most powerful sustained supercomputer. A system of this scope, power, and potential is, in technical terms, really damn cool. But as awestruck as we were by the implications of Blue Waters, Merle focused at great length about the importance of developing software that puts the brainpower of such a system to best use for industrial applications. The mantra was clear: big problems require big solutions. To me, it was a really great lesson in what being a technology manager is all about. You must have a real passion for the technology you work with, but also demand those tools provide maximum practical value. OK, gotta go. Class starts soon. But I'll post more on the Frontiers in Technology seminar as the semester progresses. Until then...

  • Life at UIUC

    I still remember my first day in Champaign, feeling all nostalgic. All I had was two big samsonite suitcases and Urbana-Champaign map. First thing I did was I went to the Bombay grill. Next day, I woke up with all the excitement and was ready to start my MS-TM program but I was missing my mom and grandmother because they used to make my breakfast everyday. But the feeling of nostalgia started to subside as I was looking forward to meeting new people and was nearly hoping to meet a lot of other Indians in my batch but was surprised to find out that there are hardly any Indians. It was that day and its now where I am surrounded with a diverse group of people learning together, having fun and helping each other. Its been two months since we started off and my life at UIUC has been unpredictable for me, from getting bad scores to good scores and getting rejected as a show coordinator to being a MS-TM blogger.

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