I am truly honored to have been selected for the OTM Faculty Annual Scholarship award. I have felt a strong connection to this program ever since OTM was formally announced as a major for undergraduates (back in late 2007, I believe). Until that point I was undecided on my major. Nothing in the business school truly matched my interest until that point. I grew up in family that talked a lot about the supply chain of toys and I worked as a laser machinist during high school for my dad’s garage-scale contract manufacturing business. I grew up playing on computers and tutoring math. I knew right away, back in 2007, that I was OTM and that OTM was me.
In some ways excelling in the OTM program has been easy. The recipe has always been there. I love the curriculum and I have always had a great respect for the faculty. Since the beginning, professors Dr. Eom and Dr. Mitchell have always earned the respect of their students. They establish the importance of the material early and by the end of every course students leave believing we can go out and save a company millions. It is not hard to respect someone passing you such knowledge. Another admirable quality is this faculty’s dedication to students outside the classroom. They’ve committed themselves to the overall success of their students, which is showcased by the success of speed networking, the integration with Portland SIM, the coordination of alumni meet-and-greets, mock interviews, client class-projects, etc. My first two job offers were from clients during the closing minutes of OTM courses. I never even hit the job market! Excelling in OTM has been easy, because submitting one’s best quality work to revered professors is easy.
It’s nearly ten years later and my graduation from the MSOTM program is imminent. Despite only taking one class at a time and even taking several successive semesters off, the time has flown by! I’ve recently enjoyed building and sharpening my programming languages with Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Yu. I now teach professional programmers (friends, colleagues and strangers) how to code in R. Using methods from Dr. Gudigantala’s analytics course, I’ve predicted expected monthly revenue better than my company’s business unit manager. Using methods I learned in OTM I’ve swayed my company’s very top level initiatives by calculating millions in expected lost revenue due to poor quality and late shipments. I’ve also stood out from virtually every peer solely with a database design foundation I learned in an early Dr. Eom OTM class. OTM has given a lot to me and since my goal in life is to give back at least as much as I take, I’ve got a lot of work to do in order to give back equal to what this program has given me. I’m sad that my graduate program is coming to an end, but it merely means I can spend more time applying that which I’ve learned.
Guest post by Keven Mowrey, MSOTM