“As an Operations & Information Management (OIM) major, I couldn’t have had a better learning experience. I wasn’t just taught; I really learned,” emphasizes graduating senior Hailey Cockrum ’17. “OIM students—we are so marketable,” exults Cockrum, who will join the high-profile Elon Musk venture SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) after graduation. Based in Hawthorne, California, the company builds rockets, rocket engines, spacecraft, avionics, and accompanying software. Its rockets deliver payloads into the Earth’s orbit, including supplies to NASA’s International Space Station.
For Hailey, who completed Isenberg program’s Supply Chain Management track, her intern-to-hire role as a materials planner with SpaceX’s production group was made-to-order. The largely vertically integrated company builds its vehicles in-house in Hawthorne, where Hailey will work. At the same time, the company draws materials from 3,000+ suppliers, with 1,100 of them delivering to SpaceX weekly.
In joining the futuristic firm, the Isenberg senior left several full-time job offers on the table. “I wanted something a little more fast-moving,” she confesses. “Plus, my mother’s cousin is a NASA astronaut.” Hailey speaks with hindsight gleaned from two hands-on internships at the mature technology firm, Pratt & Whitney. In the summer of 2015, she excelled in global materials and logistics challenges with P&W’s New Programs Group outside Hartford. A year later, she was a warehouse and logistics intern at a P&W manufacturing and assembly site in Maine.
At Isenberg, Hailey grew intellectually and professionally from a rich mix of courses taught by professors whom she describes as mentors. “Courses like Alan Robinson’s High Performance Organizations, Anna Nagurney’s Humanitarian Logistics, and Traci Hess’s Business Intelligence and Analytics opened my eyes to my major’s diverse applications and problem-solving tools,” notes Hailey. “Professor Hess,” she continues, “was also my advisor. She was always willing to meet with me. I will always look up to her as a role model.”
Beyond Isenberg, Hailey also exceled as a member of the Commonwealth Honors College and the University’s varsity field hockey team—this year’s Atlantic-10 champions. “Competing as a varsity athlete rounded out my UMass experience,” she remarks. “Varsity athletics taught me self-discipline and how to push myself. Those qualities, of course, have value for employers.”
OIM: Passport to Marketability
“Hailey exemplifies the best in our OIM students,” observes department chair Iqbal Agha. “They add tremendous value to the organizations that they choose to join after graduation. The mix of courses in our curriculum equips them with both breadth of knowledge and pragmatic, analytical skills. They are in demand,” he continues, “in a host of industries—financial service firms like J.P Morgan Chase, Ernst & Young, and Grant Thornton; data analytics companies like IBM; and in manufacturing and supply chain management roles at Pratt & Whitney, Staples, Macy’s, United Technologies, and Dell EMC. For my OIM colleagues and me, it’s fantastic to enable the future of these gifted millennials!”
Other recent placements among OIM graduates:
Libby Rosenberry and Michael Benson—Ernst & Young, Forensic Technology and Discovery Services
Connor White—J.P. Morgan Chase, Corporate Analyst Development Program
Fernando Maza—Dell EMC, Global Product Lifecycle Management and Operations team
Scott Veilleux—United Technologies, Operations Leadership Program
John Hinsley—Pratt & Whitney
Jessica Auger—Staples, Inventory Analyst
Paul Nigro—Macy’s, EDP program
Matt Pembroke, Anthony Ferrara III, Tom Sheerin—IBM, Consulting by Degrees Program