Graduate Emma tells us how she has implemented what she learned in the Lean Enterprise course at WIT into her own workplace and the benefits it has had
Emma Dair from Clonakilty, Co Cork is a recent graduate from the MB Lean Enterprise and tells us of how doing this course has benefited her and her company.
Q. How excited are you to graduate?
A. Really excited, I live near Clonakility so the drive to Waterford twice a week has been really hard going but thoroughly enjoyed it. When I finished school I moved to Ireland, and started working for the department of agriculture then doing lots of things with animals particularly cattle and then I moved to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation where I am a quality manager/ software developer, I really enjoy that and do a lot of auditing for ICAR which is the International Committee of Animal Recording. In my role is ISPF I was keen to pursue education and we do a lot of research and push people into education, so they were all up for it so I wanted to do lean as there is a gap between the business and the agricultural, where there is lots of agricultural science students and lots of business students but there is no crossover and I thought lean would be a good way to have a crossover, which worked really well as my thesis was around dairy genetic valuations, so I went down the business science root and doing the lean course made me able to do that.
Q. How often were you coming to Waterford?
A. I was up on a Saturday all day and up on Monday evenings for the first year. Work were really supportive, the let me finish at lunch time, they paid my fees, they gave me time to do research and work on my projects during work hours, and they were brilliant. All of my colleagues were extremely supportive in getting me down the long road that was my thesis. I was able to go to my manager and say I was stuck and they would be beyond helpful.
Q. Did you go on any trips?
A. Yes, we went to Cartamundi and saw how monopoly was made and that was great fun and they had been on the lean journey which was great. We also went to Aut Even Hospital, it was great to see as they have all their staff gone through their green and yellow belt for LEAN so that was really good, it was an inspiration to go back and get our staff through the LEAN programme. I went back and designed a specific LEAN course for our company and we are doing that at the moment. We have level one done and are working on level two and three and will do the statistics separate as some people will not want to get in to the heavy stuff.
Q. How long has the LEAN course [in your company] been in operation?
A. Probably about a year, after a year of the masters I wanted to implement something to the company. It is great to see the enthusiasm about level two as most times people don’t want to do a course. Everyone in there is very encouraging.
Q. What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing the course?
A. Do something that you enjoy because if you do something for somebody else you are going to find it hard to study and put the work in, always have yourself in mind and think what can I do in the future with this. Don’t just do it to keep your employer happy or keep your parents happy. If you are half way through and don’t like it then stop. Do what makes you happy.
Q. What made you choose Waterford for the course?
A. This was the course that I wanted to do. The commitment to the driving is what I found hard but this course was not delivered in any other university close to me and I didn’t want to go down the more specific areas of it.
Q. What was WIT like for you?
A. The lecturing staff were great, they are almost like friends now at this stage. I was never into statistics but after the first lecture with Tom Egan who took the first year I was like I love statistics and understood it, he was brilliant. Due to some trials and tribulations I missed some of the lectures but Tom was brilliant and pushed me on. I thought the maths side of it would be the most difficult but because he was so enthusiastic it makes it easy. His enthusiasm rubs off and makes the class really entertaining.
Q. Have you any dreams of going on to do further study?
A. Yeah definitely going to put it into work and say that I want to do a PhD. I want to stay down the animal science route because I have a veterinary background but who knows, because I did my thesis around animal science but with a business twist I could go down either route. Basically have six months to decide but I definitely want to become a doctor now.