As we plunge into October and the temperature continues to drop, it’s once again time for sophomores to go on OEM company tours. For those who are unfamiliar with, or need a refresher on, OEM (Organizing for Effective Management), it is a course stream which combines operations, managerial accounting, and organization behavior into an integrated curriculum. Although the course stream continuously weaves core concepts throughout all three individual courses, a group project focused on a real-life company’s management challenges is the highlight of OEM. Each group must research and tour the headquarters of their assigned company in order to both identify a management challenge that is hindering the company’s success. Eventually, the group develops a thoroughly developed recommendation and action plan, which addresses components from all three classes, and delivers them through a presentation to their company.

Here is a list of companies that the Fall 2012 OEM classes will be working with:

  • Ahold/Stop & Shop
  • Analogic Corp
  • Boston Scientific
  • Courier Corporation
  • Cradles to Crayons
  • Dancing Deer
  • Greater Boston Food Bank
  • Implant Sciences
  • Ocean Spray
  • Pepsi/Frito Lay
  • Spire Corporation
  • Toyota Parts Distribution
  • US Veterans Distribution Northeast CMOP

As you can see, students will be working with companies,both large and small, from a variety of industries.  Groups who are touring the non-profits Cradles to Crayons and Greater Boston Food Bank will also be volunteering during their tour!

Every group will work hard to develop a feasible, original recommendation which satisfies the objectives of the project. However, this project is far more important than the grade it earns upon completion. These company tours are an invaluable way to gain insight into new industries, network with influential people, and learn more about the career paths of those within the companies.  In fact, Babson alumni are currently employed at a majority of the companies listed. Asking strong questions, paying full attention, and making relevant conversation are all great ways to make the most of company tour. You never know what future opportunities may result from simple networking.

On the other hand, the OEM company project is a fantastic project to highlight on your resume and mention in future interviews. The ability to identify management challenges and develop a smart, realistic action plan is a skill that any potential employer will value. Another key facet of the project is the ability to  develop a strategy within a group; there is usually more than one mind behind every carefully developed business plan. Sure, it’s important to do well on the project. However, don’t forget to take the main objectives beyond the classroom and use them to unlock key networking opportunities!