Q&A with Marisol Ferrandiz Mendoza, MSCM '10
What made you decide to pursue an MSCM?
I was an engineer in the auto industry in Mexico. I had worked for some big automotive suppliers and enjoyed what I was doing, but the tough times in 2008 made me look at my career. It's a competitive job market in Mexico and there are a lot of engineers in the automotive industry. I decided to do something to set myself apart, and I was interested in specializing in supply chain.
Why did you choose Ross?
I really liked the balance between knowledge and action. The summer project — mine was at SRG Global — gives you the opportunity to put your knowledge into action right away. That was very appealing to me.
How did your Ross MSCM experience change you?
First, the analytic capability was outstanding. I think of what I learned from Professor Kapuscinski all the time. The diversity was also amazing, and was one of the reasons I chose Ross. It was a very multicultural experience, and we came from a lot of different industries. Before I graduated, I was sure I wanted to stay with automotive, but I discovered so many different industries at Ross. By the time I graduated, I had three job offers, all in different fields. I chose LAN Airlines. Professionally, it offered the challenges I was looking for. LAN also has social responsibility programs that I think are important.
How are you using what you learned at Ross in your job?
When I first arrived at LAN, I was a lean manager, working on reducing the time and amount of repairs. Ross gave me both knowledge and experience, so I was able to help redefine our point-to-point process for replacement parts. One problem was that there were so many approvals needed for purchasing, it could take us three to four weeks to place an order for parts. We cut that process, internally, to four or five days.
Now, I'm a crew manager in Chile and my job is to schedule 3,000 flight crew members. It's basically managing a roster, but one constrained by hours of service limits, government regulations, and union rules. You also have to consider flight delays and sick days. With all of that, you have to maximize productivity, so it's really a supply chain issue. It's a great opportunity for me. I liked doing the lean projects, but that role was a bit more like a consultant. Now, I'm the owner of this process and responsible for the results.
The leadership training at Ross has been invaluable. I have a team of 40 and one thing I learned in addition to operations was how to work with different people and how to develop a team. It also helped me deal with change. At Ross I learned that you face a lot of these challenges in a career, and I developed the capability to handle them