Elizabeth Hayes, a student from our fall 2019 BUS 299 Research in Business course, shared her thoughts about her experience in GTC Creative Inquiry:
In 2018, I completed the Lean Six Sigma course through the Continuing Education division at Greenville Tech, and was looking for a project that would fulfill my Green Belt Certification. Lean Six Sigma is a data-rich management approach to solving problems that improves speed, capacity and flexibility through elimination of waste and creation of flow.
In Fall 2019, I was given the opportunity to participate in the Creative Inquiry semester at GTC. Dr. Lee Edwards was kind enough to assist me in finding a Green Belt project through the Department of Accounting. There, I was able to work with Kim Silver, Assistant Dean of the School of Business and Computer Technology.
I was tasked with designing a process by which the Dept. of Accounting could track their graduates’ employment status post-graduation. This information is submitted annually to the State of South Carolina and determines funding and program status for the year.
The Dept. Of Accounting had no such process in place, so I implemented a Design for Lean Six Sigma, which means I started with raw data and built a process from scratch.
The main characteristics of the Lean Six Sigma process is: defining the problem; analyzing the problem using statistical tools; designing a process that eliminates waste and improves workflow; and verifying that the newly designed process works. It stresses the importance of asking questions and continuing to ask questions until the root cause of the problem is uncovered.
Ms. Silver was instrumental in providing me with an honest and open assessment of their current system, such as it was, and allowed me the freedom to explore all avenues in finding a solution. I was given carte blanche to access people and information. It was a true journey of exploration and discovery for me, as well as for the Dept. of Accounting.
I found this project to be truly life changing. I began to realize, over the course of the semester, that I was much more capable of analytical and statistical thinking than I realized. I come from an artistic background, but my Creative Inquiry semester changed the expectations that I had for myself. My perception of what I’m capable of has expanded to include a heavy dose of left-brained thinking. I see myself through a different lens, which has greatly influenced my art for the better.
I can’t say enough good things about the faculty at Greenville Tech with whom I have crossed paths. They ‘lean in’. I feel supported and heard. I am thriving at GTC and my Creative Inquiry semester is a big reason for that.