Posts Tagged ‘operations’

Operations Field Trip

Last week the first year Darden class visited local factories. We were divided into 8 groups and each group traveled to a different facility. I visited the Hershey’s factory in Stuart’s Draft, VA, which is about 40 minutes away from Charlottesville. Although I have been in several industrial plants, this was my first visit to a food processing facility.

The purpose of this field trip was to bring to life some of the operations concepts we have studied over the last few weeks. Even though Darden almost exclusively uses the case method, our professors wanted to make sure we understood the real world application of operations concepts. Also, this visit provided a point of credibility for many Darden students who had never been in a factory.

This operations field trip was a good learning opportunity for Darden students, which seem to have less manufacturing experience on average then students at more technically focused MBA programs.  Given my automotive background and upbringing in Detroit Michigan, the skills and experiences of the student body at the University of Michigan (Ross) would have been similar to my own profile. However, I chose Darden because the student body complimented rather than matched my skills and experiences.

Fit is very important and Darden is a good fit for me based on the demeanor and interests of the student body.  However, with regards to background, fit should be about finding an MBA program that compliments rather than matches ones skills and experiences. By seeking a student body with increased diversity in functional experience and undergraduate education, ones opportunities for cross student learning will be significantly improved. Personally, Darden’s comparatively low ratio of undergraduate engineers is a good compliment to my engineering background.