An Interview with Senior Lecturer in Supply Chain & Operations, Tom Buchner, PhD
1. How long have you been at the Carlson School, and where else have you taught?
I've been at the University for about 10 years now. I started teaching part time in the College of Continuing Education in the areas of consulting and organizational change. About six years ago, I was asked to fill in for some evening and weekend MBA classes in the OMS department.
Four years ago I transitioned into my current role and now I primarily teach undergraduate classes in the Supply Chain and Operations program.
I started teaching in 1987, and was a part-time instructor at the University of St. Thomas until 2008. Most of my teaching and consulting work at St. Thomas was through the Center for Business Excellence.
2. Where did you attend college, grad school, and your PhD program?
I attended the University of Minnesota, Duluth for my bachelorâ€™s and the U of M (prior to the Carlson School) for my MBA. My PhD is in organization development and human resource development, also received from the U of M.
3. What was your professional experience before returning to teach?
My first role out of college was as a methods and measurement analyst at Minnesota Mutual Life. Before returning for my MBA, I supervised the internal consulting department for Minnesota Mutual and helped lead several quality and productivity improvement efforts. After receiving my MBA in 1987, I started my own consulting practice and started teaching part-time at St. Thomas. Most of my independent consulting focused on process performance improvement and continuous quality improvement for the service sector.
4. Why did you decide to go into academia?
Throughout my consulting experience I was fascinated by large-scale organizational change and the factors that make it successful. Having worked with many organizations to make change happen, I wanted to deepen my understanding in this area and pursuing a PhD in OD/HRD was a natural fit. I didnâ€™t plan to teach full-time, but in 2008 the consulting world had slowed considerably and it seemed like a smart and fun new direction.
5. What do you like the most about teaching at the Carlson School?
The students are certainly what make teaching special. Undergraduates tend to be very inquisitive, and I find myself rethinking the way Iâ€™ve thought about some operations concepts for years as a result of my teaching.
6. What advice would you give to a young graduate?
Returning to school for my MBA was one of the best things I ever did, but I would encourage students to think about waiting 6-8 years before returning to school. Having those years of experience will make your graduate studies that much more insightful and relevant.
7. What are some of your personal hobbies?
Working out an hour each day, reading a book or two each week, spending time outdoors (woods, fields, lakes), and of course my orange Volvo that is already calling to me from under its blanket in the garage.
Entrepreneurship in Action Class Project Needs You
TC Flash started out as a Carlson School student business venture seeking to provide discount tickets to the Twin Cities community. After a couple of test runs in the winter of 2011, the students running the project quickly realized that they had a unique opportunity on their hands.
â€œWe had the chance to not only provide access to quality entertainment at a lower cost, but we had the opportunity to also support our community in the process," said Benjamin Biancini, a senior focusing his studies in applied business, manufacturing, and sustainability. â€œThe fact that our whole team consists of students allows us to take a different approach from other discount ticket houses. It was an easy business development choice to donate 100 percent of our ticket sales to charities around the Twin Cities to fund ongoing community projects. To ensure business growth, a 'make it happen' fee was eventually added, making it possible for us to serve a larger audience in the sales process.â€
Customers are kept in the loop with TC Flash through periodic updates to let them know how their purchases are supporting local charities.
To easily support this growing student-run organization, visit TCFlash.com and take advantage of the great discounts on local theatre tickets. Upcoming shows include:
3M Seminar: Lean Startups in High Tech - January 28
Industry practitioners, including Chris Smith, Managing Director, Coral Group, and Carlson School entrepreneurship instructors will lead a series of discussions.
February 1st Tuesday - February 7
Ken Paulus, President and CEO, Allina Health Systems, is the featured speaker.
U of M Job & Internship Fair - February 23
Nearly 200 organizations will be recruiting for hundreds of jobs and internships.
Emerging Markets Symposium - February 24
Business leaders, academics, and MBA students will discuss doing business effectively in emerging markets.
Upon graduation, Emily began her career at Ingersoll Rand in the marketing function of a rotational program. She moved to Indianapolis, Ind. to start her first rotation in marketing communications. After a year, she moved back to Minneapolis for her second rotation in channel marketing. She has six more months of her second rotation left and will then decide what permanent position with the company to take.
In her spare time, Emily enjoys traveling; since graduating sheâ€™s traveled to Australia, Guatemala, and Sierra Leone, Africa. Outside of work you can also find her running and cooking.
Greta E. Menozzi, â€™05 BSB Accounting and Finance
Gretaâ€™s first job at Deloitte & Touche, LLP allowed her to develop in significant ways professionally, which opened countless opportunities in her next role at Best Buy in finance project management. In her role, she is able to utilize her people skills along with her finance background, and greatly enjoys the work.
On a personal note, Greta has had the opportunity to travel to El Salvador in 2007, the Dominican Republic in 2008, and Egypt with her husband in 2010 on mission trips to serve the poor and understand the poverty that exists outside of America.
In 2010 she married her now husband and they are expecting their first child this July.
She obtained her Certified Public Accountant certificate during her career at Deloitte and has future aspirations to obtain a masterâ€™s degree and own a nonprofit.
Steve Silvers, â€™04 Accounting, Finance, and General Management
Steveâ€™s first job upon graduation from the Carlson School was at KPMG in Minneapolis as an auditor. After spending four years with KPMG, Steve transitioned to a role in internal audit with U.S. Bancorp, where he focused on the global payment services business line and had the opportunity to work in Warsaw, Poland. He has now transitioned into a role where he is responsible for the audit activities related to capital markets, model risk management, corporate treasury and basel â€“ icaap (internal capital adequacy assessment processes).
He is currently a manager at U.S. Bancorp and resides with his wife and two dogs in St. Louis Park. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, relaxing at the cabin, and fishing.
Student-Alumni Career Network on LinkedIn
Volunteering for the Carlson School can now be as simple as connecting through the Carlson School LinkedIn Subgroup, the Student-Alumni Career Network, to share your career experiences with current students.
By joining this Carlson School exclusive subgroup, we encourage alumni to connect with students and one another through this channel by posting employment/internship opportunities, tips on securing a job, tips on moving to new regions, questions on going back to school, questions on securing a job, etc.
Submit your request to join today by visiting linkd.in/CareerNetwork.
President Kaler Announces Search Plan for New Athletics Director
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler has named a search committee and selected Parker Executive Search to lead the search for the next director of athletics.
More U sports news can be found at gophersports.com.
School of Music to Present Benjamin Britten's War Requiem
The University of Minnesota School of Music will present Benjamin Britten's War Requiem: A 50th Anniversary Remembrance Concert Thursday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the Ted Mann Concert Hall.
More U events are found on the U's event calendar.