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!


Yoga - A Nice Change of Pace

March 4th, 2015

You may not see me in the gym every day, but I do make an effort to work out and live an active and healthy lifestyle.  One of the ways I do this is by attending Yoga on Monday's in the Group Exercise Room on campus.  I find yoga to be a good break from the 25 minute treadmill climb or the 20 flights of stairs on the stair-stepper.  Not to mention, it's relaxing and good for your muscles.  Lucky for me, I'm able to attend the Monday yoga session because sometimes getting back into the groove of a hectic work week can be daunting.  However, Monday afternoon yoga is a good way to reposition myself and get ready for the rest of the week ahead.

Today's class there were students (both male and female) as well as the Women's Volleyball team.  Many coaches have yoga classes built into their practice schedule to help keep their athletes limber and reduce injuries.  We did a series of moves for beginners (as this is where most students fall).  Nevertheless, the instructor would always give options for ways to make each pose either easier or more difficult depending on how each individual wanted to exercise.  The instructor is a certified yoga instructor that comes from off-campus to teach these classes and offers a fun, friendly, and relaxed environment to really help get into the lesson.  Today, I looked at the clock and I was shocked to see it was already 35 minutes into the lesson because I was enjoying the series of poses so much.

Yoga may not be for everyone, and that's why there are other fun classes in the Group Exercise Room as well.  Spinning is one of the most popular sessions, where participants work their legs on a stationary bike to loud music and a motivating instructor.  There's also kick-boxing, abs workouts, and other interactive circuit workouts such as T25/RushFit and Jillian Michaels.  I find coming to certain classes a good break from the traditional workout in the gym and a great way to stay active.

One of the ways I'm working on helping my residents stay active is by partnering with Res Life and the Boiler House in Providence to host a Hot Yoga session for some of the girls on my floor.  I'm super excite to see how this program pans out and hope the girls on my floor are just as excited as I am.

I'll keep you posted on the Hot Yoga program and in the meantime, try your best just like me to stay active in this cold weather! Have to keep our muscles lean and get ready for the spring time!

~Keep Smiling!

Emily

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Exam Season is Here…!

February 22nd, 2015

It's been a full month of classes and you know what that means….exams! Snow days won't stop us from moving on in our courses and it's about that time to start testing our knowledge.  Lucky for me, the classes I'm taking this semester are extremely interesting and interesting classes = making studying so much easier.

My first exam is in my Supply Chain Integration course.  We've covered topics such as demand forecasting, the bullwhip effect, Sales and Operations Planning, the hierarchy of key SCM metrics, and a multitude of other topics and concepts that are helping pull the lectures together.  I'm learning so much from this course and enjoy completing all of the assignments that they aren't so much "homework" which makes the learning process much more enjoyable.  Fingers crossed for a good exam grade!

My second exam is in my Managerial Accounting course.  Though I took Financial Accounting 3 semesters ago, I still remember the thought process and the debits and credits which is making this class much easier.  My professor, Maha Mitrelis, is an excellent professor that I waited to take for this course because her teaching style is really conducive to learning the material.  In my Tuesday/Thursday class, we cover the chapter on Tuesday including all concepts and related questions.  Then on Thursday, we do in-class problems that connect to the chapter.  I do the chapters before class so I can see where I need to focus and with the homework and assigned video lectures, I understand the material very easily.

My Applied Analytics - Data Mining course is going very well too. We're learning how to use the SAS Data Mining program and this week's assignment is to mine a large data set to predict retention rates at universities and make recommendations based on our findings.  I'll graduate from Bryant with a joint certification from SAS and Bryant signifiying my experience with these SAS programs and am very fortunate for this component of my education.

Lastly, my Supply Chain - Information Technology course is allowing me exposure to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, SAP.  This multi-billion dollar system is a key implementation in large companies and gaining exposure to this system will prove extremely beneficial in the work force. Before graduating from Bryant I plan on taking the SAP Certification Exam.  Though the exam is extremely difficult to pass, it can't hurt to try!

Overall this semester has been going very well.  I enjoy my classes, working in the Admissions office, being an RA, and all my other roles on campus make college extremely enjoyable.  College isn't all about classes, it's getting involved and taking advantage of opportunities throughout your four years.  However, classes are a big part of it and I'm glad to be enjoying that portion of my experience here at Bryant.

 ~Keep Smiling!

Emily M. Socha

 

Breakfast in Bed? Nah…Try CLASS in bed!

February 16th, 2015

When the walk to class looks like this...

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...it may be OK to bundle up and head to class.  But when it looks like this...

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…having a snow day becomes a necessary precaution to making sure students, professors, and faculty can make it to school in a safe fashion.  With 4 snow days now (2 of them being held on Mondays, meaning Monday night classes are far behind schedule), professors have been turning to alternative means to host classes.  One way is by assigning course work that can be completed during the time period, while another is hosting Blackboard Collaborate sessions during normally scheduled class time.  I've now had 2 Collaborate sessions and I'm happy to report that they've been a tremendous help in continuing the learning process and have made it so I'm not trying to play catch-up with all the additional work.  Professor McCarthy Byrne has used the Blackboard Collaborate sessions for my Supply Chain Integration class.  I've been able to log onto the session from the comfort of my room and listen and participate in the class lecture.  Our current topic, forecasting and demand management, has been very interesting and I'm glad we've been able to continue our discussions with minimal interruption.  Blackboard Collaborate offers the professor to lecture and display their presentation materials so we can always follow along.  Also, we can virtually "raise our hands" respond "yes/no" to questions our professor may have, and even type text to answer questions or simply turn our microphone on (though many students still find this intimidating, some muster up the courage and do it).  I feel very fortunate to have a professor that utilizes this technology in the classroom because I value my education and want to make the most out of each class session.  I know Professor McCarthy Byrne isn't the only professor using this technology, but I hope the majority of professors start adapting this method of teaching when necessary because it is truly beneficial and an enjoyable way to keep up with the course load.

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Above is a screenshot of the title slide to one of our forecasting lectures today. Blackboard Collaborate has been a huge help and I'm a full supporter of using this method of teaching to keep the classroom sessions moving and the semester right on track.

Keep Smiling! (& Stay Warm!)

~Emily M. Socha

Candy Guessing! RA fun in Hall 14!

February 9th, 2015

Students are SO BUSY these days with classes, clubs, sports, and everything else they're involved in that sometimes RA programs can be overlooked amongst the million other things on their agendas.  SO….I always make sure I have the most important thing at my programs whenever I host them: food!  Though candy may not be one of the food groups, it still satisfies taste buds just the same.  This month I created a "Candy Guessing" program for my floor (and hall when I didn't want to turn anyone away) that was a total hit.  The idea was simple, and it was that reason that I believe it was so successful.  I prepared 8 jars full of different types and amounts of candy.  I had Twix, M&Ms, Twizzlers, Skittles (regular), Skittles (wild berry & tropical), jolly rancher sour bites, Hershey's kisses & sour jelly beans.  I had over 50 residents come to the program and they each had 8 guesses total that they could either use to put one guess in each jar, 8 guesses in one jar, etc. and try their chance to win some candy!  I had a lot of fun making this program and even more fun handing out the prizes to see many residents so happy that they won.  One of my residents was the only one to guess the correct amount for her jar (16 Twix bars) while another resident came very close to guessing how many M&Ms were in the jar he won.  He had guessed there was 602 M&Ms while the correct value was 606.  This was an awesome program that allowed me to chat with my residents, other residents of the building, and have some fun while guessing for the chance to win some free candy! (YUM!)

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Above is a photo of all the jars with specific candy amounts.  Residents placed guesses in the envelopes and the winner was chosen based on which guess was the closest! Making these candy jars was very tempting...I did have to sneak a few pieces before auctioning them off!

 

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These are four residents on my floor who came to the program!

 

 

Back to Dance! Velocity 2015!

February 1st, 2015

My freshmen year at Bryant University I joined the Velocity dance team to have fun, meet new friends, and of course…DANCE!  We practice 3 times a week and in late April, host a "Velocity Expo" to perform for friends and family.  The Expo usually has about 10-14 dances in it, including all the ones we learned throughout the year, a senior dance, and an opening and a finale that the audience tends to enjoy.  In addition to practices and our Expo, we host fundraisers, dance in the pre-show for one of the NBA Celtics games, and dance at different school functions like the i2i cultural series or the Mr. Bryant talent show.  I had so much fun my freshmen year and I am FINALLY back on the team!  With studying abroad and working crazy hours for my internship, I had to take a few semesters off of the team so I could manage my hectic schedule.  But now that I'm dancing again with my friends, this semester has already had such an amazing start.  As a senior next year, I hope we'll get a new group of freshmen girls that will want to participate. It's an open club team so anyone can join no matter their experience level.  We have some girls on the team who've been dancing for years and others who this is their first time.  The friendship and happy-go-lucky attitude of everyone in the room is what makes the entire experience the most fun…the dancing is just the bonus! ;)

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Above photo is from a Velocity 90's themed practice!

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Above photo is from a Velocity fundraiser to help raise money/awareness for MS!

Keep Smiling!

~Emily

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