(MSGCM Class 2013)
As we flew into the O’Hare Airport on 13 August 2013 my friend exclaimed, “Welcome to the Land of Opportunities!”…… and he was right. Right from day one of my stay at Purdue, I could smell the aroma of opportunities surrounding me. Be it classroom engagement or career fair or conferences, at Purdue, ‘Sky is the limit’.
I learnt about the GSCMI Poster Competition and the Fall Conference at an ‘Operations Club’ callout. I was all excited about this competition as this would give me an opportunity to exhibit my internship experience to the Krannert community. This experience was a mix of challenges and learning to me.
The first challenge was to ‘wrap my two months of internship experience into two minutes’. Optimization models, Scenario plans, Inventory calculations, Transit time analysis, Cost Benefit Analysis……. which to exclude and which to highlight!!?? After a number of iterations over the week, I finalized my poster content: shrinking the content of a 53 page project report into a 28 X 22 inch size poster.
Now that the poster was made and the stand was set, my next challenge was to impress the judges. The judges were highly accomplished leaders from the corporate world. While I was excited at the opportunity to share my internship experience with them, I was also anxious as this was the first time I was participating in any poster competition. There were multiple rounds of visits by the judges. The eagerness and amicability of the judges was such that with each passing round my enthusiasm quadrupled. Towards the end of the competition I became so engaged within the audience that I was ready to pitch about my internship for the rest of the day
Having worked in Research and Development for over four years in India, I have groomed myself into an individual who can transform challenges into learning. So, this was one of the biggest takeaways for me from the competition: ‘Brevity’ is a vital attribute in the corporate world. You will have just a few minutes to put the points across to your manager. You either use these moments or lose them. The poster competition has simulated this real-life situation in an appropriate manner.
Apart from the poster competition, the GSCMI conference also gave me an opportunity to network with management professionals from various organizations. I was able to learn from their experiences and career decisions. This knowledge will definitely help me a lot to plan for a successful career in management.
All in all, my participation in the Poster competition and the GSCMI conference is the one which I will cherish for the rest of my career.