"It's thrilling to have such an active role in my education."
Tom Mullins treats his workplace as his personal research laboratory.
"I take whatever I learn in class and then I literally apply it at work the very next day," says the MBA alum.
Tom decided what better way to understand lean manufacturing than to experiment with it in real life. The sole operations manager for an online retailer, he was able to walk into work one morning and use what he learned in his operations management course to cut back the amount of materials and labor that went into building his company's product.
"The cost savings were huge, and I was able to roll that back and make the customers happier," Tom says.
Since his early days in operations, when he went from being a package handler at UPS to an outbound supervisor in less than three months, Tom has sought out a good challenge. He's worked for Amazon.com as well as local outfits, including GourmetGiftBaskets.com.
"The world is my oyster," Tom says. "By applying my coursework in the real world, I get real feedback. Then I turn right around and I carry my new knowledge back with me, sharing what I’ve found with my classmates. It's thrilling to have such an active role in my education."