When I first heard about this course, I was initially reluctant as it sounded more challenging yet also vague than most other courses in Information Systems or Operations Management. However, I had Professor Sachdev for another course, so I felt it was worth a try. I always over register for courses so that I can evaluate the syllabus to see if it will be a course that I will get a lot of value from. Although the first day of class instantly scared some students away, I was intrigued by the real-world experience. It ended up being a great choice!
Throughout the course, I learned a great deal about managing a team. I volunteered to be the team leader as I wanted some real-world experience working with a company on a real business problem. We had the opportunity to work with a wholesale distribution center company. Although the problem sounded easy at first, we quickly learned the struggle ahead for us. We started the process by building our team, including norms, which would help us work better together throughout the semester. As the team leader, I would need to be committed to my team by pushing each one of us towards success. I learned how to challenge my team and use their skills to help solve this problem. I held one team meeting at a restaurant and brought in pizza another day to help bring my team closer together. I ultimately found it very easy to get challenges solved by simply asking someone to do it. I would frequently check-in on our project plan to see how our work was coming together. Given the nature of our data, I would deploy validation checks and deeper robust analysis to make sure we were understanding our numbers correctly. This would ultimately be a harder course as there were no multiple-choice options. We had mentorship to help check our data, but I ended up having to pushback when I realized my team did not have a complete understanding of our conclusion. Thankfully, all these checks and balances helped prevent serious errors in our analysis.
Delivering our final project to our company was nerve-racking, but ultimately so rewarding. We got amazing feedback on how meaningful our analysis would be for the company. We loved seeing the discussion employees had with each other, as they thought deeper how this could become a real working solution to save them millions of dollars. The sense of accomplishment for a project like this is out of this world, something I have not yet experienced until this practicum course. I am glad to be part of the first-ever IS/OM practicum and hope future students get to experience all the growth I have achieved.