Student Spotlight - MS in Operations Management

Jacob Genet

It might be surprising to hear about a University of Tennessee graduate and Knoxville resident in an online graduate program at The University of Alabama, but for Jacob Genet, that turned out to be the best option.

"When I found UA's Master of Science in Operations Management (MSOM) online program, it was the perfect fit for my situation," said Jacob. "The program gave me the flexibility to continue to work full-time and progress in my career, without having to relocate. I was considering an MBA program, but was attracted to the online MSOM's direct focus on operations management, which is my area of interest and experience. I also found the program to be a significantly better value in terms of my return on investment compared to the MBA programs I was considering. Ultimately, UA was the best fit for my needs as far as focus, flexibility and value."

Jacob was attracted to the online MSOM's unique qualities that set it apart from other programs he was considering, including the interaction with UA campus students.

"I really liked the fact that there are on-campus students taking the same classes with online students," commented Jacob. "In one of my courses, I was able to partner with an on-campus student and we placed first in a supply chain simulation project. We delivered a presentation on analysis, methods, and results in front of an actual on-campus class. Knowing that the program has an on-campus presence helped me feel more engaged and involved with UA as a student."

An additional unique quality of the program is the Capstone project, the culminating activity for students, prior to graduation from the online MSOM program.

"The Capstone project ties in the information, tools and insights gained throughout the course curriculum into a real-world applicable project. I was fortunate to be able to complete my Capstone project on one of the processes I managed in my operation at the time," said Jacob. "Through the work on my project and the knowledge gained from the online MSOM courses, I was able to reduce the downtime of inventory at our facility by over 60% in a six-month period, as well as develop a staffing model that is now being used by over 40 additional facilities. Because of the tools developed and improvements in our operation, I was asked to present the material to a group of operations all over the central U.S. and I even received a financial raise for the work associated with the project."

Jacob offers advice to others who may be considering UA's online MSOM program.

"I would say that the program proved to be challenging, yet rewarding, and I had numerous great instructors who were helpful and resourceful over the past three years. I am confident that the skills and knowledge I gained from the online MSOM program will continue to lay the foundation for future career opportunities and success, and I don't hesitate to share my great experience with others," commented Jacob.

Graduating from the online MSOM program has already had a positive effect on Jacob's career advancement.

"As a direct result of the Capstone project I received an immediate advancement financially, but in addition to that, I was able to land a new job after graduation. I believe my degree was an integral reason I was considered for the position, and many of the courses in the online MSOM program are directly related to my day-to-day work. I also believe having the MSOM degree will set me apart from my peers in future career opportunities," he said.

Jacob currently serves as the assistant general manager of a company that manages pallet supply, tracking, retrieval, sorting, repair, disposal and reporting for its customers. In his spare time, he enjoys golf, soccer, watching football and spending time with his family.