Now that I’ve got your attention– one of my favorite classes this semester is ISE 440: Work, Technology, and Organization. Unlike my usual math-based engineering class, this one focuses on some different kind of variables: people, technology, and how they function together within a work environment. No matter where you work, people won’t always get along with each other or with the technology they’re using (my parents still yell at their smart phones). Practicing solving these real-life problems in class is great experience and gets me excited for when I’ll have a job. I know for sure that I’ll be able to apply the lessons I’m learning here to any work environment, or even any social organization, I become a part of. It’s great getting the chance to share my idea of how to solve a workplace issue, then hearing the professor’s experience or advice.
Even our textbook is interesting– it was chosen specifically because our professor wanted us to be able to use it even after we finished the class. It’s called ‘Lean Production Simplified,’ and uses Toyota as a model company to explain some important concepts behind managing a work force. We’re able to see how simple tasks like assembly lines can actually pose multiple problems for employees, and how studying concepts like motivation and team building can help solve those disputes. Case studies are also common in lecture– our professor encourages us to share our views on various cultural and ethical disputes within companies. Class discussions are really involved and everyone gets a chance to speak their mind.
Annnd you’re probably wondering where Disneyland comes into play? Our term project assignment involves researching how an organization integrates different variables to make their processes as efficient as possible– Disneyland was obviously a great choice. All of the parks’ attractions work together to create the magical experience we all love. We chose our favorite attraction, the parades, and will examine all the variables that managers have to deal with in order to make this attraction the unique and exciting experience that it is. We’ll try to find areas of improvement in parade routes, costume and float creation, communication, and more. And if one of those areas already seems perfect, we’ll take away some valuable lessons. One of my group members has a great Disney connection, so we’ll be going behind the scenes of a parade next Saturday. I’m so pumped! Finally, a class that lets me go to an amusement park to learn something.