Kirti Chintalapudi, Muscat, Oman
Making a difference
My major is about ensuring the highest quality and constantly working toward improving quality. I want to integrate my passion for sustainability and the environment with the quality side of the major. I’m also taking the certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation. I believe this combination of research, business and science classes will serve me well. When I start my own business, I hope to include many concepts from my major like customer feedback improvements, quality enhancements, value-driven lean manufacturing, and efficient Six Sigma, to name a few.
Industrial distribution is basically about supply chain management. Supply chain is a set of organizations linked by the flow of production, information, services and finances. We have three main goals – reducing inventory, speeding up processes and delivering the highest value to customers with the lowest cost. In this major, you are looking at an industry as a whole. It's a mélange of technology disciplines. You can get into any type of industry due to its large scope.
I started off with industrial technology and soon realized that industrial distribution is really important, too. Logistics is a growing field; it’s everywhere. It’s never going to be stagnant. You need it not just to transport products from the assembly line to the customer but also to ensure that process takes place smoothly. The two majors work really well together and the additional coursework only betters your understanding of why these two are so important.
Be a people person
The people in my department are so friendly and easy to talk to, from students to advisors to professors. When I wanted to do undergraduate research, it was easy to approach the professor and talk to him about it. He gave me his book to read over the summer for guidance. It feels like home here. There is always someone you can talk to, whether you are worried about your career or anything else. Being in clubs also helps you network and get to know more hard-working and driven people. It helps you cultivate your leadership skills, and you learn to work with people and understand different perspectives.
One of my favorite classes so far was IT 34200 (Introduction to Statistical Quality). The professor, Mathew Stephens, taught it with such zeal and enthusiasm, you would never want to miss a single class. I loved attending his lectures because his passion for the subject really rubs off on his students, and it is a lot of fun to learn with him. The class was about concepts of quality and the application of statistical tools needed to improve the quality of manufacturing processes.