Week 10: The Final Post

At the end of my senior project, I asked myself a question. “If I could, would I do this over again?” I found the answer quite easily: yes. The senior project was a great way for me to explore topics I had always been curious about in a productive manner. While I learned many technical skills, like a proficiency in RapidResponse, I also learned many important people skills. The most important being, how to communicate with people not like yourself. Throughout this project I had to effectively communicate with people of varying ages and varying accents. While it was challenging at first, ultimately it was a very rewarding experience as I am sure I will only meet a more diverse group of people during my time at college. I can’t say too much went wrong in my senior project. The major change I had to make was done after realizing I was in over my head with the whole curriculum idea. I had to change the time of course from a whole year to an indefinite time. I realized I needed to leave the length of course up to the teacher, as it could take a varying time to complete my curriculum. My final product will be about 5 to 6 pages. I will attach the curriculum with exercises and project assignments for a certain lesson to exemplify my vision for how the course should be taught. I will be presenting my project on May 22nd from 6:30 to 6:45 as part of Group 4. I would like to thank Ms.Belcher for guiding me through the senior project process as well as Siva Velayudhan and Karthik Ravi for teaching me all I needed to know about RapidResponse and the Supply Chain. Again, I would like to give my strong recommendation in favor of doing a senior project. It really is quite a rewarding experience and provides the opportunity to delve deeper into something that interests you. Thank you for continuing on this journey with me, it really has been a blast.

-Skanthan

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Week 9: Entering the Final Stretch

This week I continued my involvement in the PureStorage project. I sat in more meetings with key supply and demand planners at PureStorage and I am beginning to get an idea of what I want to demo during my presentation. In fact, I just started to begin work on the prototype for my demo to display during my final presentation. I plan to display two commonly held items and create a fake scenario in which a certain sales quota needs to be met. I will forecast how many parts and which parts need to be made for the sales order to be fulfilled through the demo.

As for the curriculum, I have been soldering on. It’s been tough work figuring out what parts of the book I want to use as learning goals and which are just unnecessary extra information. I am currently in the process of cutting down the length of my tasks for learning. These next two weeks I will finalize my goals for learning and create mini projects and works sheets to go along with my general curriculum. Hopefully my worksheets will provide useful in teaching the course I designed.

Thank you all for checking in again, I look forward to updating you next week.

Week 8: Client Site Part 2

I just wanted to update you all on what I have been doing the past two weeks of my senior project. I decided on using the book I referenced earlier for course material, the book is authored by Michael Hugos. I decided that for my curriculum, I will be creating a high level plan for learning. I plan to list concepts and ideas that I want to be covered and when I want them to be covered. In addition to this, I will add small worksheets, supplemental questions, and discussion topics for each major topic to help bolster the learning experience in the classroom. So in my presentation I will present maybe two or three high level concepts in my curriculum along with some worksheets I created. As for the second half of my presentation I plan to do a demonstration in the software I have been learning. During Spring Break I kept busy with the work on my project. I accompanied Prana Employees to a client meeting at PureStorage. I visited the client site again to sit in on about two hours worth of meetings. The meetings discussed planning forecasting and how to map out Planning BOMs. While I can’t disclose the exact work I have been doing for the company as a I signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement, I plan to do a similar demonstration for my presentation on a much simpler level. This week has been really busy for me as I have also been involved in my schools musical. I hope to get back on track and display some tangible progress on my curriculum in my blog post next week. Thank you all so much for taking the time to read my post. 1119461103IMG_0745

Week 7: Researching the Curriculum

Hi guys!

When starting my curriculum this week, I wanted to gain insight from previous programs. The first program I looked at was run at Rutgers Business School. They took high schoolers from the Newark area and enrolled them in an 8 day long supply chain management course. Since the course was only 8 days, the course didn’t go into as much detail as I would like to in my curriculum. According to my research, the course mainly covered surface level examples of manufacturing and supply/demand. While it was useful to read about, I can’t look to the Rutgers course as a model because my course’s desired length is so much longer. Unfortunately, other than the Rutgers course, there weren’t many supply chain courses designed for high schoolers. This was particularly disheartening as I was hoping to get some ideas from people who may have gone through the same trials and tribulations as I have. However, I have come around to view this as a positive. Since no one has really attempted to do this before, I have found a newfound purpose in my project. It is almost as if I am a pioneer in an undiscovered landscape. Also I realized that, given that I am one of the first to attempt this, I have more free reign over my curriculum. I can design it based on my own ideas, rather being tied down by the ideas of those before me.1-Washington-Park-outside.jpg

Other than researching previous curriculums, my week has been uneventful. I had my regularly scheduled internship meetings and am aiming to visit a client site next week again. I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted. Thanks for reading this week!

Week 6: Client Site

Hey guys!

This week has been really busy for me, as all my goals have been falling on the same dates. I am still continuing my training with Karthik Ravi in RapidResponse through tri-weekly WebEx meetings. I’ve been continuing to read my chosen textbook material for my course curriculum, and have begun highlighting and marking certain chapters for explicit mention and use in my curriculum. Next week I aim to begin writing my curriculum. I believe I have gained enough knowledge through my readings and classes to start on the first few lessons in my curriculum. Next week I will let you guys know the inevitable challenges I will face. More importantly, this week I made my first client visit. pure-storage.gif

Today I visited PureStorage, a Mountain View based data flash storage company. I sat in on two different meetings between Prana members and PureStorage members. A wide variety of topics were discussed, including problems the PureStorage members were encountering within the software. I watched as Prana members diagnosed the problems and quickly provided fast solutions. I also learned how clients forecast their sales production. Today we simulated a forecast based on past statistical sales. Meaning the software takes the previous month’s sales and puts it through several algorithms to suggest what you should sell for the next month.

I learned a lot from just sitting in on the meetings and absorbing the conversation. I took a lot of notes so I hope I can refer back to them if I go back to PureStorage, or another client site, to do work during my senior project.

Thank you again for taking the time out of your weekly routine to read my blog. Please do check back in next week! Thanks!

-Skanthan

Moving on to the Next Steps: Week 5

Hello guys! It has been a really busy week full of learning for me. I have been sitting down with my external advisor to discuss possible textbooks to use in my curriculum. I showed him the books Mr.McCorkle and I found and we had a great discussion about the pros and cons of each book. We couldn’t reach a decision so we ordered two of the books to get a closer look. I will receive these books within the week so I look forward to sitting down with my advisor to read and analyze which book is best for my curriculum.1119461103.jpg

I talk a lot about my offsite training with Prana members in India. I realize that it may be boring to read about considering I never go into detail about what I am learning. So, today I will describe some things I learned this week. I began to learn the operators required to create filters for material/sales order data in worksheets. This is useful in scenarios where you only want to see certain data for a specific product or release date. I also learned many useful tricks to edit workbooks. While one of the very first things I learned was how to make a workbook in the software, I am now learning how to arrange these workbooks in ways that are palatable to clients that have little knowledge in the field. Color coding certain parts, creating graphs, grouping/bucketing data, and creating cross tab worksheets are all things I worked on mastering this week in my training. Attached below is an example of a cross tab worksheet.Acc07Advimage110.png.jpeg

I am really glad I am picking up steam in my knowledge of RapidResponse and I hope next week I can finally start working on my curriculum. However, I also don’t want to rush the process and will take the time necessary to properly learn the topics I need to master. I am still very much on schedule for my final goal and that is something I am very proud of. Thanks for tuning in this week, I hope you all have a great rest of the week.

-Skanthan

Grinding Through: Week 4

This week was tough because of the many college notifications that came out. It was hard to keep focus with the excitement of an acceptance or the disappointment of a rejection. However, I found a way to push through. I’m nearing the final weeks of my RapidResponse training(although I still have a lot to learn) and am looking forward to my future goals. I hope to accompany some Prana members on visits to PureStorage, a client site of theirs, to do some routine work to get experience in the field. I am really looking forward to that experience but also I am a bit nervous. I don’t want to mess up something important as I will be dealing with “real life” data and situations. As for my progress on my final goal, I look to start my curriculum in two weeks. I believe I should have enough knowledge to at least write up the beginning of the curriculum in about two weeks time. So that concludes a somewhat uneventful week, can’t wait to update you guys next week!

-Skanthan