Emily M. Socha
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!
March 30th, 2015
I was just appointed VP of Procurement for TFC! What's TFC?! TFC stands for "The Fresh Connection" which is an online business that sells 6 different orange juice products. As VP of Procurement I'm responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with TFC suppliers, negotiating customer service level agreements, monitoring supplier quality standards, assessing capacity constraints, analyzing costs, and working to forecast collaboratively with the supply base to meet the demand of our end customer.
I couldn't be more excited. I've learned the concepts in class, but now I get to experience first-hand what it's like to make decisions that will either positively, or negatively, affect the bottom line for our company. Right now the company isn't doing so well, it's actually in debt, but I'm hoping with my supply chain experience gained from my courses and overall business knowledge, I'll be able to change this within the first quarter.
I may have forgot to mention…TFC is an online supply chain management simulation sponsored by APCIS, a non-profit international educational organization that offers certification programs, training tools, and networking opportunities in the field of operations management. Our association advisor informed us of the opportunity to participate, and Bryant has two teams competing in the case competition with the dream of attending the global completion in Las Vegas in October. Although only one team from each continent can make it to the final round, we still have our hopes set high!
Online business simulations are a great way to explore course concepts and apply them to a "real-world" scenario. Understanding the textbook concepts is one thing, but applying them to a scenario with data and decision-driven results is a real test. Simulations are becoming more popular in the educational environment. I've already completed one simulation before in my marketing 201 class. The simulation helped understand how marketing professionals make decisions regarding advertising, promotions, selling price, and channel distribution. I'm extremely excited for this case because it'll be the first supply chain simulation I'm involved in and seeing how all the pieces pull together will be a fun experience.
As VP of Procurement I have my own responsibilities. However, TFC could not operate with other key players. Therefore, I'm working with a team to make my decisions. My three team members hold the position of VP of Supply Chain Management, making decisions about safety stock levels, replenishment, and overall operational strategies. The VP of Operations is responsible for the production of the juices as well as monitoring the raw material and finished goods inventory. Lastly, the VP of Sales is responsible for all customer relations and ensuring the product reaches the customer with the appropriate shelf-life as this is a critical component of the case.
We are all excited to take part in this learning opportunity. Participating in case competitions is a great way to get involved, test our skills, and have fun. I'm very excited for this opportunity and fingers crossed we are heading to Las Vegas!
Here's a link to the TFC homepage as well as a promotional video to learn more about the case this year!
March 23rd, 2015
Although the Bulldogs aren't one of the 68 teams in this year's NCAA March Madness Series, that doesn't stop Bryant students from making a bracket and following what remains of the basketball season. Even with it officially being "spring time", the snow continues to fall and watching basketball with friends is a fun way to spend time and see whose bracket will come out on top.
Right now it's still early on in the tournament but by April 16/17th, the Sweet Sixteen series games gear up with the Final Four teams playing against each other on April 4th. The championship game is hosted on April 6th which will prove to be an exciting game for everyone to see. The majority of my friends and I have brackets we follow and it's always an intense line-up at this point in the season. My best friend had Iowa State, a team many thought would go far this season, but is now out of the season with a loss to an underdog.
Kentucky is favorited to win the entire tournament this year and they are currently an undefeated team. Kentucky played UCONN last year in the championship game, but they fell short and UCONN took home the win. If Kentucky wins this year, their team will be the first team to go 40-0 with a perfect season.
I asked one of my friend's what his favorite part of the March Madness series was and he said, "The upsets. When a 14-seed team like Georgia State comes out of nowhere and beats a favorite 3rd seed team like Baylor, it always adds excitement to the game". He also said it was fun to make and follow his bracket with his friends as healthy and fun competition.
Bryant Athletics are a huge part of the student community. Of all sports at Bryant however, I feel like basketball gets the most student support. With a love for the game and the season heating up, students are definitely enjoying the fun!
For more updates on March Madness, check out the official NCAA web page! http://www.ncaa.com/march-madness
March 16th, 2015
My professor told us if we got a sunburn over spring break she would deduct 10 points from our exam. I am happy to say I won't be losing any points AND had the time of my life with great friends in Punta Cana this spring break.
I believe I've said this in previous blogs, but we can't get time back! Money, material objects, and certain opportunities all come and go but time is one thing that just keeps ticking. We'd like to hope that our time lasts 80+ years, but sadly this is not the case for everyone. One way I make sure to spend my time wisely is to take advantage of as many opportunities to travel, see the world, experience different cultures, and enjoy quality time with friends, family, and new faces.
I decided to travel this Spring Break to Punta Cana with friends and when the week was over, I had made many more. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort and had the time of our lives. We participated in activities throughout the day such as beach volleyball, Olympic Games, water aerobics, and yoga, as well as relaxed on the pool side. Each time we participated in an event, we got "funny money" which we then used at the auction the last day of our stay to win ourselves a cool prize! Our dinners included specialty cuisines from different restaurants. They had a Lebanese, Italian, French, and American restaurants among a few others. Although we didn't take part in the Lobster dinner on the beach, it was an option for guests. Each night there was a featured show. A few shows they had were a magic show, a circus, and a tribute dance concert with the professional dancers at the resort.
One of the most humbling parts of the entire trip was interacting with the hotel employees on a daily basis. We came to know our housekeeper, waiters, and the entertainment team and dancers very well as we continuously saw them throughout the week. No matter what time of day, they were always "magnifico". And though being friendly is part of their job, getting to know and talk to these people you realized that they truly loved their job and interacting with the guests each day. We got to know about their husbands/wives, kids, how they learned English, where they lived, how they choose to spend their vacations, etc. These wonderful people made our experience at the resort a million times better and their positive attitude was always a reminder of what it meant to be happy doing your job.
I'm very grateful to have spent a week in paradise as a college junior. Returning to snowy, cold, and dreary Boston has got me seriously considering a location change (haha). But for now I am going to grab my Uggs and keep persevering through the last few weeks of the semester. I'm hoping I have a great group of friends who plan to go somewhere fun and beautiful as well next year because all the studying and all the career planning is extremely important, but celebrating with great friends and making lasting memories is part of the college experience too.
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!
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.
Emily M. Socha
February 16th, 2015
When the walk to class looks like this...
...it may be OK to bundle up and head to class. But when it looks like this...
…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.
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
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!)
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!
These are four residents on my floor who came to the program!
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!
Above photo is from a Velocity 90's themed practice!
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.
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.
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"There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs."
"He who moves with each day is better than another who waits for luck"
– African Proverb
"Fun is good."
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"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.
When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'.
They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life."
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"Whether you think you can, or can't, you're right."
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and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
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– African Proverb
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