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Meet the Major: Operations and Information Management at the University of Massachusetts

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Portrait of University of Massachusetts student Jonathan Lang with a summary of the blog.

When I tell people that I am majoring in Operations and Information Management (OIM), the majority of the time they scratch their heads and ask more about it. The major itself is a mouthful to say, but in reality the area of study is easy to understand. Here are some key points about OIM!

What is OIM?

OIM is a newer major at the Isenberg School of Business but it’s one that is highly valuable within the business world. Essentially, OIM studies what it takes to build and run a business on an operational level. For example, when running a pizzeria, you need to order the ingredients, figure out how many pizzas you can make within a certain time, and more. On a day to day basis, everything involved in keeping the business running is an operational process. Some key components of OIM include: quality assurance, demand planning, supply chain management, business intelligence, transportation and logistics, and more. Throughout the curriculum, students get a chance to concentrate in one of three different areas, Integrated Operations Management & Analytics, Supply Chain Management, and Information Systems & Analytics. Regardless of what path a student takes, they will learn an allotment of technical and tactical skills that are valuable in real-world application. I chose OIM because I thoroughly enjoy the idea of continuous improvement within any process I am involved in. Being able to improve efficiency and effectiveness and seeing the results first hand in a business setting is both satisfying and rewarding. 

How are OIM classes?

One of the best things about majoring in OIM is the opportunity to learn numerous softwares that are useful in the professional world. Before taking OIM classes, I was proficient at Excel but when after taking them, I became very advanced. On top of this I was able to learn Microsoft Access, SAP, and AMPL. Being able to put all of these softwares on my resume definitely gave me an edge when it came to finding an internship. Aside from the technical skills acquired, classes within the OIM major focus on conceptuality and problem solving. Being able to identify issues and examine them at a micro and macro level is what OIM is all about. One of my favorite classes is OIM 420, High Performance Optimization, and in that class the professor tells stories about how some of the most successful companies in the world operate. I really enjoyed all of my OIM classes, because it gave me a behind the scenes view on how most companies function. 

What job can I get with an OIM degree?

With an OIM degree, the career possibilities are abundant. There is ample opportunity for jobs within whatever area of OIM you are interested in. For example, I had an internship with Pratt & Whitney as a supply chain intern. I actually used what I learned from class about supply chain management during my internship. Being able to be immersed in a business that relies so heavily on its operational and procedural success was truly an experience. If supply chain management isn’t your interest, you can focus more on the data analytics side of things which include risk management, or information systems. Nevertheless, OIM covers a wide array of career choices when it comes to operational positions within any company. 

Overall, I think Operation and Information Management is an overlooked area of study at UMass. The name itself might seem daunting, but the tools and skills students learn within it are actually applicable to the real world. If you have any further questions about the major, feel free to email me!

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