Hey everyone! Coming at you from Leavey Library on campus this week!

This semester I am taking four amazing classes, but my favorite has to be my ISE 440 class titled “Work, Technology, and Organization.” This class is taught by Dr. Greg Placencia who I had the pleasure of doing research with my freshman year when I worked alongside Dr. Najm Meshkati. In my class this semester, we are learning about the structure of companies, team dynamics, how technology effects businesses, and lean processes. Everything we learn each day relates to either work, technology, or organization.

Not only are the topics of discussion interesting, but my favorite part about this class is that it isn’t structured like a “normal engineering” class. We aren’t learning the “normal engineering” information, so our professor has adjusted the style of the class to fit that. The class is always interactive and rarely is lecture style. Two weeks ago we all walked into class, our professor asked us each to give him $1 (we all got our dollar back at the end of class), he split us into groups, told each group the rules for their group, and said you have the rest of class to find out a solution to the Southern California drought. We found out at the end of class that each of the three groups were a part of a company: unpaid workers with in depth knowledge of water systems, the direct bosses of the workers, and the executives trying to solve the drought problem. I was part of the workers and we spent the entire class trying to convince the executives to give us the money in exchange for our knowledge. In the end, the class wasn’t successful, but we broke down what the issues were that caused us to fail. Through that class we all gained a deeper understanding of what motivates people, how to interact in a hierarchical work setting, and that strong and clear communication is fundamental.

We also watch movie and TV show clips each class and apply the concepts we are learning to those clips. We have watched Parks and Recreation, The Office, and many other movies. This past week we even broke down how different personality types contribute to the organization of an office and the ability for work to get done. One of the best parts of this class is that our final project is to go and observe a company in Los Angeles and report on where we see their company having issues. This semester I will be looking into MetroLink.

I’m excited to see where the next couple months in this class go!

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Industrial & Systems Engineering, Class of 2016, Learn more on her profile here!