Last fall, Micron Technology management approached COBE supply chain management faculty and proposed a student-led project in collaboration with a team of Micron personnel and COBE alumni. This spring, a cross-disciplinary team of supply chain and industrial engineering students, supervised by Jim Kroes, Ph.D. and Kit Scott, Ph.D. enrolled in an independent study course to engage in and complete this project.
Micron provided the student team with a problem statement and a large sample of operational data. The students then worked with the Micron team throughout the semester analyzing data, validating their understanding of the processes and developing recommendations. Along the way, the Micron team gave the students guidance and support and inside information on working in the semiconductor industry. At the end of the project, the student team presented their work to more than 30 Micron executives and managers. The students concluded the presentation with some of their lessons learned, which included meeting etiquette, effective communication in a professional atmosphere and cross-functional team development. The student appreciated the experience they gained working on an open-ended problem.
“The project was a great learning experience for the student team,” said Kroes. “The mentoring they received from Micron’s team of COBE alumni will serve them throughout their careers. Micron also benefitted greatly from this collaboration – three of the students have accepted offers and will be joining Micron’s team this summer. The fourth team member accepted a position with another local organization.”
Carlos Toledo, a manufacturing associate with Micron Technology, summarized the outcomes from Micron’s perspective.
“Not only did we get fresh eyes and minds on a real challenge we face and great analysis and recommendations, but also we got great experience in the way we conduct this type of project,” said Toledo. “We collected a great number of high-quality lessons learned that will make future teams more effective and take these collaborations to the next level. We are truly happy with the overall result and by-products of this effort. Plus, we get three brilliant students into our team who can start applying all they learned during this project immediately into their new roles.”