Kimie Bates, Terre Haute, Indiana
It is the people side of management. Whereas other management programs focus on accounting or finance or similar topics, we are more about people, teams, organizational behavior and leadership in organizations. For jobs after graduation, it can mean a lot of things. I really like that. People in our major do things like manufacturing, human resources, sales. And then there’s a lot of technical areas you can go into, such as health administration. The faculty always have their doors open. They are always there for you whether it's the class they are teaching or a big internship you are trying to get or a resume you need critiqued.
I’ve always been a people person, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with that. As I was trying to decide, I talked to an academic adviser (Sharon Kraebber) for the program. She walked me through the major and possibilities. I’m glad I made this choice. And while I’m building team and leadership skills, I can still figure out where I want to use those in my career.
Making a difference
I want the students who come in after me to get the same experiences I have had. I am on the OLS student advisory board. Our goal and our aim is to better the program and make it the best it can be. I hope to make sure the courses continue to be as good and better than they are now. The OLS minor right now is four courses. We are helping faculty look at the courses to discuss which are necessary and which can be improved to serve both majors and minors. That’s one big project we are trying to help with – bringing the student’s voice to them. We also help with recruitment, calling prospective students to see if they have questions, like I did.
I did my first internship in the business services department at Cummins in Nashville. I was a human resources generalist. Last summer, I worked with Cummins’s corporate HR in Columbus, Indiana, within operations and labor relations. I worked on the floor and had responsibilities such as waste management, scheduling, dealing with mechanical issues and more. It was a lot of responsibility, but I was ready for the challenge. Because our major is so broad, I wanted to try something different to see which I like better.
Traveling and learning
I went with MFET 49900 (Technology Innovation and Culture in Bavaria). It was definitely worth cost! We visited BMW headquarters and Kuku Robotics, visited Dachau concentration camp and more. Because my OLS degree focused is focused on manufacturing, it helped a ton. I got to see German manufacturing, culture and business from a different perspective. This helped me to understand there are many differences to be aware of. I know I will be working in a global environment after college. It’s almost inevitable in any industry.
OLS alumni come back to network and recruit us. I’ve met people from all types of companies who are looking for us and our skills. Likewise, I like being able to introduce my major to people and talk about what I’ve been able to do. It intrigues people.
I’m using my wiggle room with electives to take some industrial technology courses, such as Six Sigma and Quality Control to help prepare me for manufacturing leadership positions. I’m also completing the certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation. I’m most excited by the consulting capstone course. I’ll get to work with 2-3 other students and consult with local companies that are trying to solve or improve real-life problems or processes.