As the new assistant quality manager at Dynacraft, Jodee Lewis-Tucker’s goal is to help with continuous improvement efforts and training for a company focused on providing top components for semi-tractors. She has always had a gift for efficiency, but wasn’t sure how to get from her customer service roles at Cardinal Health to here.
The Engineering Management Program at the University of Colorado Boulder helped provide the solution: distance learning classes fitting in with her job at the time and her family of six.
“I was looking for external training and came across the Six Sigma program—that drew me to the University of Colorado Boulder,” she says. Six Sigma is a data-driven approach to eliminating defects. It is commonly used in production and manufacturing processes. “Without this on my resume, I wouldn’t get an opportunity like this one.”
What does a typical day look like for Jodee? “My boss is slowly introducing me to the plant and the industry,” she says. “He feels it is very important I get my hands dirty--experiencing what the production teams do. I have spent a great deal of time on the floor talking with operators. It is incredible, the amount of work that goes into each assembly. I look forward to making my contribution here.”
Looking back, she also sees the discipline from learning statistical analysis as a key to her success. “Some programs just teach how to use software,” she says. “What I was taught is so disciplined and structured, I am confident in my solutions and I come up with correct answers faster. I have been lucky enough to be brought in on some product-specific analysis in my new role. It is very exciting to put the last two years of education to work.”
Even though she is new to the organization, she keeps her future in mind. “It’s still very early, but down the road I’d like to move into a Master Black Belt role,” she says. “I’d have a broader touch and be involved in more strategic projects.”
But she’s already taken in so much. Even the first month was hands-on, making battery boxes, AC fuel lines and battery cables. She also found herself quickly using the communication skills from customer service and her leadership courses.
“The coursework focuses heavily on empowerment and awareness. I am much more self-aware which allows me to react more appropriately to difficult situations,” she says. “There are seven people on our team and they couldn’t be more different from each other. When you talk to people as individuals, you have more of a chance of getting through to them.”
What’s gotten through to Lewis-Tucker is that the sky’s the limit. “It’s great to feel that I’m where I’m supposed to be,” she says. “I’ve never been so excited about my career!”
Contact the Lockheed Martin Engineering Management Program at 303.492.0954 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about course, certificate, and degree options that may be right for you.
Keep up with the latest news about the college by reading the 2013 issue of CUEngineering magazine online.