Lindner operations management course spotlights experiential learning
Students interact with a variety of companies through Field Studies in OM
An operations management (OM) course at the Carl H. Lindner College of Business takes students out of the classroom and into the operations and manufacturing spaces of 10 Greater Cincinnati-area companies.
OM 4095: Field Studies in OM is an elective course for industrial management and operations management majors and/or any student who has completed OM 3080: Operations Management.
A “go-and-see" course — as described by instructor Ruth Seiple, professor-educator, department of operations, business analytics, and information systems — OM 4095’s calling card is the company tours in which students meet with company representatives, who often are Lindner alumni. The tours are structured around the following OM topics:
- Assembly lines and job shops
- Inventory controls
- Manufacturing cells
- Production scheduling and demand planning
- Quality control
- Service operations
- Warehousing and distribution
The company tours supply students with the opportunity to observe the practical application of these subject areas, as well as the ability to polish their networking and interviewing skills with professionals in their field of study.
Before this class, I ruled out manufacturing (as a potential career). Now, I could see myself wanting to be on the floor a little bit more — at least as an aspect of my job — because of the constant problem solving that happens on the floor. It would be cool to utilize all of the skills that I've learned over these four years immediately into my job.
Isabel Besse, BBA ’24
“After having three co-op rotations at the same manufacturing company, I was intrigued by seeing different manufacturing facilities and gaining experience on different industries,” said Hank Cowgill, BBA ’23.
Isabel Besse, BBA ’24, has three co-ops under her belt, but all were on the “digital side of supply chain.”
“When you're sitting in class it can be kind of hard to visualize something as broad as a supply chain and a manufacturing operation because there are so many different components,” Besse said. “But, on the tours they would use terms we had heard in class and being able to see it helped. We saw heijunka boards on every tour, but when you hear that term in class, you think, ‘Will I ever see that in real life?’”
Stephanie Adamec, BBA, BS ’17, production planning manager for Cintas First Aid and Safety, hosted students at a Cintas distribution center in Middletown, Ohio. Adamec took OM 4095 before she graduated and praised the exposure the course provided to different companies and professionals.
“I wanted to be able to do the same for fellow Bearcats and show them what Cintas is all about from our supply chain side of things. There's a recruiting element, but the biggest motivator for me was this is such an awesome class, and we have an opportunity to [educate] students who are going to be the future leaders in supply chain.”
Jeff Wall, BBA ’93, vice president, Fidelity Brokerage Technology, welcomed students to Fidelity’s campus in Covington, Kentucky.
“We give them a tour of our mail reception operation. We have automated 90 to 95% of transactions, but when you have 70 million customers, 5 to 10% is still a big number,” Wall noted. “We show the students how we receive and apply manufacturing principles to our physical flow and transaction processing of paperwork. Then we show them how that compares to the full digital process.”
- Cintas First Aid and Safety
- Fifth Third
- Gorilla Glue
- Hamilton Casework Solutions
- JB Hunt
- Kroger Fulfillment Center
- Mitsubishi Electric
- Monti Incorporated
- Richards Industries
- Standard Textiles
- Valco Melton
Wall enjoys discussing career paths with students, relaying how he began his career in public accounting before leading finance, operations, and management and technology teams with Fidelity.
“I think everybody thinks about their career in line with their major,” Wall said. “Operations management and accounting are the foundations to do all kinds of things in business.”
OM 4095’s assignments include thank you letters to company representatives (to encourage students to retain company content and practice professionalism) and a “personal reflection paper” that tasks students to make connections between their academic and real-world learnings using a single company experience as an example.
“Before this class, I ruled out manufacturing (as a potential career). Now, I could see myself wanting to be on the floor a little bit more — at least as an aspect of my job — because of the constant problem solving that happens on the floor,” Besse said. “It would be cool to utilize all of the skills that I've learned over these four years immediately into my job.”
Featured image at top: Students visit a Cintas distribution center in Middletown, Ohio, guided by Stephanie Adamec, BBA, BS ’17. Submitted photo.
Apply to Lindner
At Lindner, we provide real-world business experiences to help students cultivate their passions and develop their skills through hands-on learning, in-course projects, co-op, internships, research, campus involvement and with the help of our employer partners. Apply to Lindner and UC by December 1.