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August 2016 – President’s Message

If your office is anything like mine, it is full of summer interns. As a manager, this is both a joy and a burden. The summer interns bring with them a raft of enthusiasm, energy and courage that is as refreshing as it is tiring. Their endless questions provide an opportunity to reflect on exactly why and how we do what we do.

Many of them have not even begun their upper level industrial engineering courses, so they give us an opportunity, in training them, to revisit the foundations of our profession. At the same time, they have a lot to teach us as well. Take the time to learn about the technology and networks that plays such an important role in their lives. Connect with them on LinkedIn and give them feedback on their online persona. Invite them to give you feedback on yours. Take advantage of their social networking expertise. Do you know how much your personal email address says about you? Mine is old and stodgy, according to my interns. Who knew?

Students are more likely to be active members of their IISE chapter than professionals. If they are not, encourage them to get involved. If they are, encourage them to take on leadership roles. Stress to them how important IISE has been to your career and back up those words by inviting them to join you in participating in a professional chapter event. Luckily, there is one coming up this weekend!

In short, take the time to be an authentic leader and role model to this, the next generation of professional industrial engineers. I’d like to give a shout out to my summer interns as they return to their studies and IISE student chapters: Sarah Troxell (NC State), Georgette Harrison (NC A&T State) and Lauren Schwartz (Virginia Tech). If these three are any indication, the future of our profession is bright!