Emily M. Socha

esocha2@bryant.edu

Hi Everyone! My name is Emily Socha and I’m a Global Supply Chain Management major and Data Analytics minor from Southington, Connecticut. I love being part of the Bryant community as a student, Resident Assistant, Admissions Fellow, and the VP of the Society of Global Supply Chain Management. As a Bryant student I had the opportunity to study abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France last spring and though I miss the Mediterranean coastline, it's great to be back home at Bryant. I've applied the skills and experience I've gained at Bryant to my internships at UTC Aerospace Systems as well as my numerous group projects, volunteering events, and other campus activities. I enjoy making free time to do what I love --- spending time with family and friends. Many times we will go kayaking, hiking, to the beach, or just hang out around campus. Fun Fact: I LOVE holidays and getting into the holiday spirit! I also like taking life day by day and making the best of every minute of it! I hope you enjoy learning about my experiences at Bryant and the experiences of the many other people that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with. Bryant is an amazing community that I’m very fortunate to be part of and I hope someday you get to experience too!


Balancing Act

December 8th, 2014

Life is one big balancing act.  As people, we tend to wear many different hats.  For me, it's about being a student, a club member, a family member, a girlfriend, a best friend, and more.  So how do I choose which hats to wear when and why and for how long?  I've got to learn that balance and lucky for me, I think I've figured it out by now.

I can't spend all my time slaving in the library or I wouldn't be happy.  Nor can I spend all my time with my friends because my grades would suffer.  I guess all's we can do is try our best and do what makes us happy.

Throughout this semester I've had so much fun.  I celebrated my 20th birthday with my friends, I participated in i2i, my family members came up to visit and we took some shopping trips and went on a hike around Lincoln Woods State Park.  I've been to Water Fire in Providence, a few movies, and have participated in many of the events held right here on campus.

I've also kept top notch grades (fingers crossed as the final exams start next week), advanced in a data case analysis competition, participated in an international supply chain case study, grew our SCM society membership to over 20 active members, and have learned so much material that I know I'll be applying in my future job.

Doing all these things wouldn't have been possible without creating that balance.  So recognizing that when I had an exam the next day, going to the basketball or football game to relax and take a break was a good decision because it kept me healthy, happy, and excited to keep learning and living in our Bryant community.

I should have a very fun and relaxing winter break, spent at home with my family and friends.  I'm already looking forward to seeing them as well coming back in January to start another fun and educating semester.

Keep Smiling!

Emily

 

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Thankful to be a Bryant Bulldog

December 5th, 2014

In the nature of the holidays (though it should be 24/7 365 days a year) we get this urge to reflect on the things we're thankful for and take a moment to appreciate what we have.

 

For me, one of the top things I'm thankful for is being a Bryant University Bulldog.  We are among the priviledged members of our society who not only get to continue onto higher education but we get to do it on a beautiful campus surrounding with faculty, staff, and our friends who care about us.

 

Since looking at schools I always knew Bryant was going to be my "home".  We've got everything we need here to make ourselves comfortable.  Some of the things we see every day that we may take for granted is our residential facilities where we get to interact and live with some of our best friends.  The food service that's "all-you-can-eat" and then make room for the desserts (delicious)!  A gym…to work off that second dessert you sneaked on the way up the stairs.  And academic facilities that have been kept modern over decades.

 

At Bryant we have professors that care about us — the ones that are giving us the cell phone numbers and picking up our calls at 8pm on a night before an exam.  Also, the professors who are our club advisors so that we can stay active and involved in the things we love to do.  The professors here aren't interested in a lecture hall of ID numbers, they're interested in us and I'll be thankful for the experiences I've had in all my classes.

 

I could also mention how I'm thankful for the short walk from my dorm room to the unistructure (that 8am haul when you wake up late could be a LOT worse at another university).  Our very own Tupper, who makes his Hollywood appearances as much as possible.  The convenience of our one academic building and close classrooms so when one professor's lecture runs late, I'm not late for my next class.  The safe feeling I have no matter where I am or what I'm doing on campus.  And of course, Mr. & Mrs. President Machtley who always show their support in the study body at our cultural, academic, and athletic events as engaged members of our campus.

 

Choosing a college is a big decision.  And when I look back at all the options I had, I realize I never had more than one, really.  Because nothing compared to Bryant.  This is where I knew I wanted to be, and I'm very thankful for the opportunities and experiences that I've gained here in just my few short years.

i2i

November 25th, 2014

i2i — It's finally here!

We've practiced each week into late hours of the night…and our hard work has paid off!  This was my first time performing in i2i and I'm already looking forward to doing it again next year. 

i2i is a multi-cultural dance performance with different scenes representing various cultures, countries, and dance styles.  It's a time where members of the student body can showcase their talents and gain appreciation for the multitude of cultural dances from around the globe. 

This year, there were 8 different countries represented.  Kuwait (Middle East), the Bryant Dragon Dance Team (China), Haiti/Jamaica, the Bryant Velocity Dance Team (representing Germany), Cape Verde, Armenia, West Africa, the Bryant Advanced Evolution Dance Team (representing USA), and India.  Some students were in multiple scenes and others were in one.  Regardless, this was an amazing opportunity for students to come together and share in this cultural exchange through dance. 

There were at least 125 people who came to the event — including Mr. and Mrs. President Machtley. 

My friends and I were part of the Kuwait/Middle East scene this year.  We had so much fun searching for traditional Kuwaiti dances, learning to belly dance, and choreographing the scene.  Our scene leader, Abdullah Al Abdulmohsen, is from Kuwait and was a great leader throughout the entire process.  He always kept us together and made sure that even though we wanted to look good on stage come performance day, we were doing this for fun and that's how it should always be. 

I met many new people through this experience and I'm very happy to go to a university where cultural diversity is encouraged and accepted.  I'm very proud of my culture and at the same time I'm always ready to learn about others. 

 

emily i2i

Check Up on Classes

November 16th, 2014

Wow….this semester has just flown by! I can't believe in just over a week I'll be headed home for a nice Thanksgiving meal and then only a few weeks until finals!  I started my first blog this year with an overview of my classes so I thought it was about time I let you know how they're going!

Applied Analytics:

I wouldn't call myself an expert by any means…but I'm definitely more versed in SAS Enterprise Guide than the first time I used this software at the beginning of the semester.  We've been using this program to analyze large sets of data with about 10,000 records and manipulating the data to "make sense".  My group was just assigned a project specific to analyzing health care data from RI hospitals to analyze the mental health scenarios and cases since 2008-2011.  In addition to the SAS programming assignments we're reading two books on data analysis that have helped me learn how to think about big data and approach different scenarios.  By far this class is extremely interesting and I know I'll use these analytical skills across all disciplines.

Computer Information Science:

I knew a lot about the Microsoft Excel program from my past internships but now taking CIS at Bryant I know even more.  One of the projects in this class is a Fidelity Case Competition where all teams were given a data set to analyze and present.  My group worked very hard to analyze the data and advanced to the second round!  We're all very excited to see how we do in the next round and are proud of our progress thus far.

Supply Chain Concepts:

We've done a little bit of everything in this class relating to supply chain.  Some procurement, logistics, forecasting, and location planning assignments are just a few examples. Most recently we participated in the "SMC World Case" where over 800 students from 15 universities across the world were divided into teams of 4-5 students and given a case to complete and present.  This was a very fun and beneficial experience for me.  I worked with members from Texas, Wisconsin, and the UK to complete this assignment and we were able to work diligently and effectively to communicate and deliver our presentation via "GoToMeeting" online last week.  This was a great introduction to the business world and how I'll be working with people from varying companies, time zones, and countries all to fulfill a common objective.  Though I heard some horror cases from other teams on non-responding team mates and some very severe technical difficulties, I'm very fortunate our teams activities went very smooth and according to plan!

Intro. to Management:

Our management group had a rough start to choosing our semester project.  We worked for a month with a woman helping small villages in Malawi, Africa but after having a very good team discussion about feasibility, we decided we had to change courses immediately.  Since then we've been working with the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Rhode Island to help create a summer camp recruitment program to gain volunteers.  These volunteers are an integral part of the MDA summer camps because there is a 1:1 ratio of volunteers to campers and the campers do not pay any money to attend.  We're creating partnerships with other universities in Rhode Island to help gain volunteers at the summer camps and hoping our efforts will significantly help MDA Rhode Island.

Intro. to Marketing:

There's so much to marketing that we don't even realize! Products and services don't just randomly pop up throughout the world - they're purposefully put there!  I've had the pleasure of being in this class to learn more about the ins and outs of marketing as well as participate in an online simulation that puts me in charge of the marketing for a new product.  Our team uses a Practice Marketing simulation and we meet about every 3 days to decide what actions we're going to take next to position our product in the market and though we've taken some ups and downs with sales and profit, the learning experience has really taught us a lot about applying the classroom concepts to the "real" market.

Overall it's a busy busy busy semester!  However, no matter how busy it is with the course load, there has to be a healthy balance!  So no matter how stressful a week may be or many deadlines I have, I'm sure to give 100% effort to my courses and still find time for clubs/organizations, family, friends, and fun!

The Life of a Bryant RA

November 11th, 2014

 Sometimes we get a bad reputation on campus for ruining a "fun night", but other night's residents are happy that we saved their friends from what could have been a horrible disaster.  As an RA we wear many hats.  We're students, friends, athletes, club members, family members, RAs, and more.  It's tough to balance all the roles at some points, but we definitely find a way to manage the huge responsibility we've taken on.  Many times we're put in situations that include helping with homesickness, the loss of a loved one, policy violations, and crisis management; but the aspect of our job that is most fun is connecting with our residents and making their day special.  At the end of the day, the job is all about connecting with residents and establishing a safe and fun living community and we hope you feel that way here at Bryant.

It's a very selective process to become and RA and on behalf of all the RAs on campus…there's a few things we wish you knew…

1)     We LOVE our job.  So never think you're being "annoying" to come talk to us about a problem because we are here to help.

2)     Our staff becomes our family, so if you see us all hanging out all the time it's not because we have to it's because we all have so much fun together.

3)     We really appreciate when you come to our programs.  We are required to make them "educational" and have at least some type of objective — so please give us credit for trying to make that fun!  Also, we try our best to bring as much free stuff and prizes as possible so we like when you come and take it!

4)     If we're not in our room when you knock — sorry! We go to class and have other obligations too so please don't be mad at us!

5)     The free room and board is an added benefit — but if you're an RA for that sole reason — your life is going to be miserable.

6)     We do our best to know all of your names so please forgive us if we mess up every now and then

7)     Please read our emails — many times they have important information!

8)     Lastly, we're normal students too! So please…say hi to us!

I've been an RA for the past two years and can attest to the above eight statements.  I love connecting with all the residents on campus and even if it means giving up a few weekend nights to make sure our campus is safe, it's something I'm willing to do because I love my job :)

 

RA - Emily

 

Let’s Talk Supply Chain

November 2nd, 2014

WOW…I don't think I've ever attended more supply chain events in a shorter period of time until now.  As the Vice President of the Supply Chain Management Society, my team and I have been sure to keep our members busy with events that interest them! With supply chain management (SCM) being a "foreign" idea to many students, spreading the word about our major and association is difficult, but we've been doing a great job to get people interested in the key functions that keep businesses competitive in this ever-changing global market.  Here is a recap of a few of our recent events!

Hope Global Site Visit

12 SCM Society members got a chance to talk with one of the executives from the Hope Global manufacturing plant and tour the site facilities.  Hope Global previously only manufactured textiles, but over the years has expanded the product line significantly.  We were able to walk through and see the machines that run each day as well as the different controls and processes in place to monitor a machine that's broken.  There's a lot of engineering that goes into a manufacturing plant and the tour proved very exciting.  Do you own a pair of timberlands? Do you ever sit in a nice comfy seat to drive to work/school/the mall?  Chances are the shoelaces you tie and the threading underneath your car seat was produced by Hope Global.

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SCM Panel Discussion

Students, including myself, are always trying to "figure out what we want to do".  Yea we have certain majors and those courses direct us in many specific directions, however, there is no calculation to plug numbers into that will result in a person's "dream job".  Therefore, it's so important for students to get information from as many sources as they can.  The SCM panel discussion hosted three industry professionals: one from Hasbro, CVS, and A.T. Cross, all in the SCM field.  Additionally, two students who've had internships in SCM participated as representatives for Hasbro and EMC Corporation.  Students were able to listen to these panelists provide advice about careers in supply chain, what they do on a daily basis, some of the problems they've faced in their roles and how they approached them, as well as answer any questions students had.  This annual panel, with different speakers each year, is always extremely interesting and engaging.

ISM Membership Series

It's not every day that Jan Miller, the Vice President of Membership for the Institute of Supply Management, a nationally recognized procurement organization, is at Bryant University speaking to ISM Greater RI members about the countless opportunities that ISM presents.  At this event, the Bryant ISM student members and ISM professional members had a chance to connect as well as listen to Ms. Miller's fantastic keynote regarding the benefits of ISM membership for both students and professionals.  It takes a lot of work to become a CPSM, Certified Professional in Supply Management, but after that speech, I can sincerely say the benefits and opportunities are enormous.

Professor Meet & Greet

The Bryant University faculty stand out against professors at other universities for many reasons, one being their dedication to the students.  The SCM Society hosted a Meet & Greet with the faculty so students of the GSCM major could have a chance to meet and hear about the courses they are bound to take.  Also, students got to learn about the professors on a more personal level such as their past industry profession, past academia success, as well as some really cool facts.  It's the events like this and the involvement of the faculty that makes the SCM department stand out from the rest.

Every business has a supply chain and whether SCM is a student's major or not — getting involved in the Society of SCM is a great way to learn, engage, and set oneself apart.

My Biggest Inspiration

October 26th, 2014

As I'm writing this blog, my mom is sitting on the tarmac in Dubai, U.A.E waiting to de-board her 12 hour flight from JFK and then re-board her next flight to Singapore.  I'm not sure at what point in her life she knew this international travel spree was going to be part of her career plan, but regardless of when she knew, I'm so proud of all the obstacles she faced in order to make it happen.

My mom has been my biggest role-model for the last 20 years.  There's not a moment I can remember that I didn't look up to her — even when every teenage girl goes through those "phases" that are fun to look back at and laugh.  I can remember the nights she would play with my younger brother and me and then stay up even later working on her computer to receive a Master's Degree.  I also remember the times that I've called her because I needed someone to talk to and I knew she was the one whose opinion I could rely on.  I also remember the times that she used to tell my brother and me not to call her at work unless it was an emergency...and of course we still called if we couldn't find the snacks or where we left our shoes.  I later found out at my internship that those calls are REALLY annoying!

My mom has taught me so many life lessons and I know I should tell her this more often, but she's my biggest inspiration to create my own path towards success and be as wonderful a mom as her someday.  My mom has taught me it doesn't matter where we come from, rather where we choose to go.

She used to live in a small country town in upstate New York with only 40 people in her high school class.  When we visit her family there, I see more cows than people sometimes and she tells us stories of her working on the farm and the countless camping and ski-moiling trips her and her brothers used to take.  Her lifestyle seemed so relaxed, connected with the town, but now she lives in Connecticut working for a fortune 500 company and is traveling the world on the company's dime.  It seems crazy how someone's lifestyle can change so dramatically, but she had a vision of personal success and she accomplished it one step at a time.  She also taught me that if I'm passionate about something, I should go for it.  My mom has been to almost every event I've been part of since I can remember.  And each time I change my mind about what I want to be involved in, she's always there to support me.  She understands that as a kid (and I'm 20 but I still consider myself a kid) there's so many opportunities out there and so many passions to discover that it's important I take advantage of all the opportunities I can to discover what truly makes me happy.  Without her support in the various things I've tried over the years, I may have been stuck doing something I didn't truly enjoy.  Lastly (though I could go on and on) my mom has taught me that work should never come before family, friends, and fun.  Life is all about prioritizing.  Instead of prioritizing importance of tasks, and then trying to squeeze room for family and friends, you have to be sure to add that to the "to-do" list because those are the memories and friendships that make life more enjoyable.

I'll always look up to my mom and though it seems as though when we're younger we'd need our parents more, for me, as I get older I'm realizing how important it is to spend as much time as possible with friends and family and to cherish every minute with them.

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 ~Keep Smiling!

Emily

 

A Weekend Home

October 20th, 2014

Even as a junior I can still get a little "homesick".  It's not so much the "home" part — Bryant is my new home where I absolutely LOVE living and when I say goodbye to my parents and tell them I'm headed home (meaning school) they sometimes look a little confused until I explain.  But my homesickness comes from being away from my family because as I've gotten older and had more experiences and time away from home, I've started to realize how precious certain moments with my friends and family are to me.

Last fall I only went home for Thanksgiving…and then I took a plane to France for the spring after a busy winter of going into the office from 7am-5:30pm to pick up some extra cash for spending money in Europe.  But with that hectic schedule and never scheduling time for family, certain events and memories flew by before I even realized! I knew this year I was going to make the same mistake! (Obviously hanging around for a full year and not going to another continent will make it easier…but still, it's nice to know I have a plan that will keep me close to home!)

My mom called me this past week saying she and all our family friends/neighbors had tickets to the Trail of Terror (a tradition amongst our friend group).  With assignments and work and other plans already in place, I hung up disappointed I wasn't going to be able to make it but happy her and all of our friends were going to have a great time.  Lucky enough, my boyfriend came up with a "master plan" to make all of our original plans work and it turned out to be a fantastic weekend!

My mom and I went shopping at the Providence mall (tax free shopping — $$$ — much better than CT!).  Then her, my boyfriend, and I proceeded to take the 2 hour trip back home and rest up for a fun Saturday!  We went apple picking, watched a movie, baked apple crisp, and ended the night with the Trail of Terror I was so happy to attend.  Though I did get scared more times than I can count on my fingers, it was so much fun!  Sunday morning we woke up bright and early so my brother and his girlfriend could take us back to school.  In order to make the day out of it, we went to a nearby farm and navigated a huge corn maze (getting lost a lot was half the fun!), pet/fed some of the farm animals, picked pumpkins, and carved them later that day after a nice meal.  It was sad to see them leave at the end of the day, but nice to have had been able to spend quality time with them.

With midterms finishing up but the workload still high and heavy, seeing my family was just what I needed this past weekend!  In a high-functioning learning community where grades and deadlines are sometimes all we can think about, taking the time to do things that make us happy are so important and truly necessary so I'm glad I was able to make a fun-filled family weekend possible!

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~Keep Smiling!

Emily

Making History

October 14th, 2014

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We all want to do something that matters.  Whether it's as bold as breaking a world record or as simple as leaving a legacy in a student organization for future members to follow.  We do things and say things every day that will have an impact on the future to come.  Even though some students may have dreams and ideas that can be accomplished "easier" than others, they're all important.  The steps we each take to accomplish these sought after dreams is what truly counts.

At Bryant we learn to be innovators, creators, and forward-thinking individuals with dreams as big as we want and the guts to go out searching for ways to achieve them.  I asked a few people on campus what some of the ways they wanted to "make history were" and this is what they said…

  •  I want to go to "work" every day and not consider it a "job"
  • To marry the girl of my dreams
  • I would love to be a prominent woman figure in the insurance industry, empowering women to have a stronger voice and leadership positions in strong companies
  • I WILL work at Google and I WILL be more successful than the men that surround me
  • I want to take risks and learn to accomplish success from my failures
  • I want to work for myself and be the CEO of my own company
  • My goal is to earn enough money to support a family and my parents later on in life. Eventually, I would like to amass enough wealth to accomplish this goal, while still being able to retire and pursue my real dream; to one day be a political science or history professor

I also looked into some of the great moments in history that occurred on this day (October 12th) in past years.  Because looking at the past can many times give us confidence to keep moving forward.  Did Henry Ford know on October 12th, 1915 he was going to manufacture his 1 millionth Model T? Probably not.  But he worked hard each day from the beginning to make that possible.  A few other things that happened on October 12th in history were…

  • 1492: Christopher Columbus's expedition makes landfall on Caribbean island he names San Salvador (likely Watling Island, Bahamas). The explorer believes he has reached East Asia (OS 21 Oct)
  • 1792: The first Celebration of Columbus Day held in New York
  • 1850: The first Women's Medical School opened
  • 1957: The first commercial flight between California and Antarctica
  • 1969: The first time 5 people were all in space
  • 1999: The Day of Six Billion: the day the proclaimed 6th billionth person in the world is born
  • 2012: The European Union wins the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize

Great people and great groups have accomplished amazing feats on this day and many other days in the past.  As young, educated students, it's important to remember that all of these feats started once as a simple idea and eventually made their mark in history.

~Keep Smiling!

Emily M. Socha

Just Reminiscing……(about study abroad)

October 5th, 2014

I'm constantly reminiscing on the days spent studying abroad last semester.  Last semester about a month into classes marked our first week-long break which set the stage for some travel!  I set my sights for Italy and while I was in Florence this was one of the experiences I had…

The streets were pitch black at 2:00AM as we were tracing the streets of Florence.  I kept looking over my shoulder and scanning right and left to see if anyone was following us.  I felt like I was about to commit a crime.  We were dazed and confused as all the cobblestone looks the same and the mirror image buildings stretch for miles.  Uncertain corners, dark alley ways, and silence in every direction: we must be getting closer.  The more unfamiliar and desolate the streets become, the better chance you have of finding one.  All of a sudden, we knew we were close.  Your nose perks up and your eyes go wide in astonishment as you reveal in the fact that you have stumbled across one: you are so close, you can't give up now, just keep searching.  Stopping now, to take in a deep sniff, we try to envision where the scent is coming from.  When we catch the trail, like hound dogs we scurry forward smiling as wide as our tails would be wagging.  We all know that just a few minutes away there is the answer to our 2:00AM cravings.  There it is!  A dim light, shining through the glass panels of the single lit door on the narrow street.  The panel above it is cracked open, purposefully, in order for the scent to escape the confines of the warm, bustling, building.  All the sudden you see a few others, but you only talk in hushed voices; if it's necessary to talk at all.  No one would dare ruin the secrecy of the business.  Out of the group, only one approaches the door.  Slowly, someone casually strolls to the door, making as little noise as possible, and knocks.  Three long knocks and within a minute there is a young Italian baker peeking through the opening of the door.  As the scent escapes through the crack and fills your nostrils, you are giddy to say "4 Nutella croissants".  Then the door shuts firmly.  Waiting, anxiously, you scramble through your change purse and take out the exact change to complete the transaction.  A quick hand-off of euros for fresh baked Nutella stuffed croissants in individual bags at 2:00AM: a college student's dream.  Walking away, blowing on the croissant that's too hot to hold with your bare hand, you can't help but smile and think to yourself "Wow…this is real.  Studying abroad is absolutely amazing."

I know I'll make it back to Europe and all my other goal destinations some day....but in the meantime, I'm grateful for the memories I have, the stories like this one I can share, and for all of the amazing experiences abroad.

~Keep Smiling!

Emily M. Socha