BESTies Victoria Sorg (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), and Zhengchun Lu (Baker Institute) and Melissa McDowell Ledet (Comparative Biomedical Sciences) have earned Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification awarded by Binghamton University's Watson School of Engineering. Read below what they have to say about their experience, and their advice if you are considering taking this course.
"The Lean Six Sigma management is a commonly used technique to improve process efficiency and reduce waste in manufacturing and service areas. After taking this course, I have [a] better understanding of how to use statistical tools to do all the necessary analysis to improve efficiency. The online lecture videos are very clear and thorough. But in order to pass the exam, participant[s] have to have enough statistical knowledge otherwise [it] will be very challenging. My advice to the new participant is to study the pre-required statistic materials quickly so that you will have more time to study the actual course. The exam itself is very intensive, which requires at least 2 weeks of time to be able to finish it on time.
The knowledge of Lean Six Sigma can be used in management of manufacturing factories, healthcare facilities and other organizations. I think it will be benefit for BESTies who are interested in industry jobs. I like[d] it a lot and would recommend to others."-Zhengchun Lu
"I completed the online Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification course, a training that gave me experience measuring and quantifying improvements to production that can minimize product variability and control defects. I am interested in industry positions for product development and manufacturing and Lean Six Sigma is a well-recognized certification in many of the companies that I am interested [in] working at. As I pursue a position and career in industry, I hope that Lean Six Sigma certification would be beneficial for me and help set me apart from other job applicants.
The material covered a broad range of tools to help reduce waste in manufacturing and improve productivity. The course consisted of well-organized video lectures that introduced many quantitative and qualitative tools that could be used to define and improve a process. Most of the tools were very straightforward and intuitive. Examples from the course came from a broad range of fields, from reducing patient wait time in a healthcare setting to more traditional manufacturing problems like identifying the source of defects and eliminating them.
Overall, this course was a great introduction to Lean Six Sigma methodology. I would recommend it for graduate students that are planning on going into industry, especially if they are considering a manufacturing career path. This training gave me a good perspective on the types of problems that Lean Six Sigma is successful at solving. Although I will need more practice applying the methods, the extensive slide collection will be a valuable resource in the future."-Victoria Sorg
"More and more companies are utilizing Lean Six Sigma, so if you’re wanting to go into industry like me, this is an excellent course to take. I believe having a green belt certification on my resume will really help me stand out to potential employers. This course does require a large time commitment. The duration of the course is short (1 month), but there is a lengthy final exam due at the end. It is necessary to not get behind on the lessons in order to complete everything in time. Some of the concepts are challenging if you haven’t been exposed to them before, and a basic statistics background is highly recommended. The TA for the course was very attentive and helpful with any questions that arose along the way.
One of my favorite aspects of the course is that a lot of the example scenarios presented were biomedical in nature. Since I want to go into the healthcare industry, I particularly liked seeing how Sigma principles can translate into settings such as a making a hospital waiting room more efficient. While challenging, the course was very comprehensive and helped me to picture how I can use Sigma principles in my future career. In my opinion, the benefits of the course far outweigh the amount of time and work that need to be put into it."- Melissa Ledet
See more feedback from BESTies who took completed this certification in April 2015 here