I was lucky enough to have two projects with the Enterprise Systems Center, one at a Fortune 500 food manufacturer in Allentown, PA and the other at a chemical manufacturer in Phillipsburg, NJ. Both were exciting projects that benefitted all involved, whether it is the students who were able to learn about industry or the companies which were able to reduce costs and improved productivity. At the Fortune 500 food manufacturer, I was part of a team which included 14 Lehigh students and 5 ESC mentors that was to conduct a plant-wide sustainability audit, which investigated water, electricity, steam, and natural gas use throughout the plant as well as internal and external logistics. … This experience was facilitated by ESC mentors who were able to help students get up the industrial learning curve quickly and act as a resource when issues arose. … During my time at Lehigh I was fortunate to have a co-op experience, a research experience, and two projects with the ESC. All contributed to my growth as an engineer and a professional, however, I have no doubt that my ESC projects far surpassed my co-op in every way. My ESC projects weren't always fun or easy, but they were real. These projects help stimulate critical-thinking in students by giving them challenging, real-world projects that can be solved using their knowledge. … I can guarantee the reason I received 3 offers from my 3 onsite interviews was because of the work I did with the ESC. Let me add that it's not just the students benefitting from this program, far from it. As I said before the problems and work are real, and so are the solutions. … So not only are the students growing as professionals and improving their resumes, but also the companies are benefitting from the work these students do. Some of these companies are most likely going to see growing competition from overseas; this work helps them to rise to meet that challenge. … Not enough can be said about what the ESC has done for Lehigh, its students, and the companies it services. This program truly exemplifies the synergy of academia and industry towards a common goal and mutual benefit.
Graduate Student, B.S. Chemical Engineering in 2010, M.Eng. Energy Systems Engineering in 2011; ESC Projects: Sustainability Audit (Summer 2010), Water Conservation Project (Fall '10 - Spring '11); Currently at Fortune 500 Chemical Company: Manufacturing Technology Engineer.
I wanted to thank you for the invaluable experiences and mentoring that have been provided to me during my experiences with the Enterprise Systems Center. … Through the projects that I worked on I was able to learn many things I otherwise would not have experienced in a classroom and I attribute these teachings a great deal to my success in attaining a full-time position with KPMG working in their IT Enabled Transformation division. My work as a consultant through the ESC was the closest experience I have had throughout college to what I will be doing in my professional consulting position and most likely a huge factor in qualifying me for the position. Many of my main talking points during interviews centered on my experiences with the Enterprise Systems Center. … I think that PA Agile Manufacturing supported activities, especially the Enterprise Systems Center, will continue to help countless students in the future.
Undergraduate, B.S. Information & Systems Engineering, Minor in Leadership, Lehigh University 2011; ESC Projects: Chemical Company
In January 2011 I began work with the ESC in cooperation with a large bakery, the American division of a multinational conglomerate. Recently I have completed my second project with the ESC and the company. My research at the local plant has assisted the company in determining process capabilities of their cake batter and icing depositing equipment and allowed me to gain valuable first-hand experience in data collection, analysis, and presenting findings through presentations. Many of these skills, although discussed in textbooks and lectured on by professors, can only be mastered by hands-on experience and mentorship which the ESC offers students. Additionally, I have had the privilege of being mentored by professionals from the ESC … who have shared their experiences while offering valuable insight and improvement advice. … As I prepare for my final semester I have already begun my job search in this challenging economy, and have been asked by one potential employer in particular to explain my work with the ESC. Although it is currently too early to confirm, I suspect that the practical industrial engineering work I have completed as a result of my opportunities with the ESC will be an underlining favorable factor in my future employer’s selection.
Undergraduate, Industrial & Systems Engineering candidate, Lehigh University (2012)
I am writing this letter to tell you the story of my affiliation with the Enterprise Systems Center at Lehigh University. After reading my story of growth and success, it will be apparent that the ESC can truly enhance both the education and future careers of Lehigh students. I could go on and on about how wonderful I think this organization is, but I think my story speaks for itself. … Upon completion of my yearlong employment with the ESC, I decided to start my own … consulting firm with some of my Lehigh friends. I can say with absolute sincerity that without the Enterprise Systems Center, I would never have had the ability to be a software consultant before I even graduated, let alone start my own business. In closing, I am very grateful for all the opportunities I was given and all of the lessons that I learned courtesy of the Enterprise Systems Center. Becoming involved with the ESC was easily the best decision I made during my time at Lehigh. The experiences I gained through ESC gave me a head start in industry, giving me practical experience that made my resume stand out in a fiercely competitive applicant pool in a time of recession and hiring freezes. I am currently working as a software engineer in the insurance industry, and the technical skills and business acumen that ESC helped me develop have made for a smooth transition into the professional world and has ensured my success in the years to come. I will always look back on my time at Lehigh that much more fondly because of all that the Enterprise Systems Center has done for me.
Undergraduate, Jr., B.S. Computer Engineering, Lehigh University Class of 2011
It's been 2 years since I've been in the professional world and I can honestly say that it's felt like much more - mostly due to the fact that my holistic education at Lehigh has enabled me with a leap start into very interesting aspects of work. I hit the ground running and am now engaged in strategic planning that is directly impacting high level decision making.
Undergraduate and Graduate Student, Industrial Engineering B.S.Management Science M.S.'08, '09G: Currently employed as a technology associate- Strategy and Governance, Large Multinational Bank
I received my undergraduate degree in Integrated Business and Engineering and a master’s degree in Management Science from Lehigh University. During this time I participated in many leadership programs at Lehigh, however one of the most significant experiences was my work with the Enterprise Systems Center. … The project taught me skills that I would not have had the opportunity to learn inside the classroom. I was able to see the company from 40000 feet, from beginning to end of their production process. As well as get down to the specific details of several departments everyday activities. The exposure that I received on this project is priceless. … This experience was also a great asset in my interviews for jobs. There were countless times I know I used my ESC experience as examples to answer questions. Not only was it great experience but because of how involved I was in the project and how hands on the project was I was able to talk about this experience with knowledge and enthusiasm which I believe the interviewers recognized. … In training they did a brief lesson on these soft skills however ESC gave me actual experience with these soft skills. These soft skills are rarely taught in classrooms and unfortunately are used every day in the workforce. There is no doubt that ESC’s experience helped me practice my soft skills and will in my future projects with the company. All in all, I am glad that I participated in ESC during my time at Lehigh and I would highly recommend the experience to anyone else.
Graduate Student, Bachelors of Science in Integrated Business and Engineering (2006-2010), Masters of Engineering in Management Science (2010-2011) Industrial Engineering ESC Projects: Avantor Currently at a New York based capital management firm
The ESC has been a window to the "real world." Lehigh is well known for producing leaders; the ESC is one of major reasons why. … Through ESC, I also worked for a plastic bottle manufacturer over the summer. I worked directly with the Process and Maintenance managers to understand the roles of their teams and towards the end provided reports with recommendations to improve various systems. ESC's industry partners and mentors have given me valuable insight into the "real world" that I would not have access to until I jumped straight into the workforce. This early exposure will surely allow me to transition smoothly toward full-time employment.
Undergraduate, Bachelors of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering (2012)
I was provided with several opportunities from the Enterprise Systems Center that helped me find an internship that I could grow and benefit from as an Industrial Engineer. Beginning with my internship that summer as a consultant for a plastic bottle manufacturer, I was given the tools by my mentor, to revamp the company’s productivity improvement program, ultimately helping their management team decide if they had the ability to add another line to their Bethlehem facility without hiring any additional labor. This internship evolved into a full year independent study and semester-long leadership project where I was able to follow that summer’s project from start to finish. I was also given the opportunity to focus my senior project on another engineering problem that the company faced—reducing the amount of scrap produced at the plant. Through my internship and the opportunities that followed, I was given valuable insight into how manufacturing facilities are run and the benefits of understanding a business from the ground up. … I have found to be most invaluable in my new career was the confidence and business savvy that I gained throughout the year that I spent working with the Enterprise Systems Center. Running meetings and giving presentations, which I had always been uncomfortable with, are now easy to me and the techniques that I have learned have taught me how to be most effective when doing so. I feel lucky to have been able to work with the Enterprise Systems Center, and I can only hope that other students are able to benefit from the mentor’s industry experience the way that I have.
Undergraduate, B.S. in Industrial Engineering, Leadership Minor, Business, Spring 2011: Current Employment- Beverage Manufacturers- Business Analytics Analyst
I found this course to be both hugely beneficial and refreshing from the usual technical work associated with a Lehigh Engineering Major.
– Kevin Johnson '11, ILR Student
Being immersed in this very real project has increased the intensity of the learning and my ability to internalize the leadership lessons much more so than any pure class room experience. Having such experienced mentors there to guide and inspire our team has been very special.
– Nick Toth '12, ILR Student
I can honestly say that I am able to move forward into my future with an enhanced confidence as a result of this course and all of the experience it granted to us.
– Jackie Dunne'12, ILR Student
I'm positive stories and case studies from class will be helpful next year when I start as a Managerial consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers in their Healthcare Advisory practice.
– Henry Weinberger '12, ILR Student
The leadership course is a very valuable asset that most of college students do not have access to and I feel this will give me a sure step up when being compared to them.
– Sarim Khan, ILR Student
The storied Lehigh University Class of 1974 had a wealth of knowledge that I thought was great to hear at this point in my life.
– David Martz, ILR Student
I believe that the segmentation of the course into various uses of media and different methods of learning would make it impossible for a student not to have great take-a-ways from the class.
– Tom Randazza, ILR Student
I learned very valuable information from this course. I think that it will help me moving forward at GE.
– Michael Sandford, ILR Student
Through this course I gained a better understanding of myself and of others and I will 100% be applying the things I have learned in this course.
– Jason Ruch, ILR Student
I plan and expect to surely use some of lessons in my personal life and know with certainty that I will utilize many of the lessons in my pursuit and advancement in business. I see Leadership Development as a roadmap or even treasure map to my definition of success.
– Jordan Wiesen, ILR Student
If there is one important principle that I have learned in IE382, it’s that leaders can be made and that the process of becoming a leader takes time and in some ways is never fully complete.
– Michael Sahler, ILR Student
I believe this course was a fantastic learning experience. It surpassed my expectations that I had in the moment I enrolled in it.
– Ramiro Alfaro, ILR Student
Thank you for your time and effort that you put in the course.
– Benjamin Thomas, ILR Student