Working with my group in an office at Coalfire Systems has allowed us to stretch our skills and learn business from real world examples.  The freedom and ambiguity provided by the live cases we have worked on have enhanced our learning and developed skills that we can take with us beyond the MAM-SSM program.
From the get go, we were thrown into the daily pace of the office, having meetings, gathering information, and getting settled at our desks within the first week. From there, we outlined the project with our company project leads, applying everything we had learned about project management into a statement of work. In the process of defining the project we consulted with our project leads. The leads had experience creating statements of work, which expanded our project development knowledge and gave us first hand accounts of what does and does not work.
Currently, we are researching Coalfire Systems’ market position and its relevance to their growth. This has required both external and internal sources of information. The research skills we have picked up in the MAM-SSM program have been invaluable while filtering massive amounts of information. The internal sources have forced our group to exercise and stretch our communications training, contacting everyone from managers and executives, to the associates that sit next to us in the office. One of the major skills we have learned through MAM-SSM, and have applied to our communications within Coalfire Systems, is the idea of systems thinking. Systems thinking is the method of tackling an issue, idea, or dilemma while thinking of everything it could affect. Being able to take ideas or conversations and think of them in the context of the entire organization and project has allowed us to quickly and effectively target the information we need.
This project has been incredibly insightful, and has given my group and me the ability to exercise the knowledge and skills we have been taught over the year. Seeing these come together in the practicum and knowing they will have a positive impact on a company is something I can be proud of.

Nick Lowe-Hale


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