ISD Student Broadens Skill Set Through Tauber Institute Fellowship

Last time we caught up with ISD student David Sachs, he was just scratching the surface of his Tauber Manufacturing Institute Fellowship. “The Tauber Institute is possibly the most powerful learning experience I have ever had,” he said at the time, adding that the Institute had shown him “an entire other side of manufacturing that is rarely taught to engineers.” And while that sentiment remains much the same today, David’s plans for the future—namely, his newfound focus on leadership development—have shifted as a result of the breadth of exposure he’s gained over the past year.

A decades-old collaboration between the College of Engineering and Ross School of Business, the Tauber Institute for Global Operations provides admitted students a cross-learning environment that covers numerous areas related to operations management. Among its key attributes are a Leadership Advantage program, speaker series, corporate facility tours, and a 14-week team project that David considers to be the curriculum’s key element. Alongside two business students, he worked on a project sponsored by Cribmaster, a subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker, where they focused on new market entry strategy, product development, and operations optimization for the company’s existing product lines.

“Working with [business students] allowed me to learn about and work on topics like marketing, finance, and corporate strategy in a real world setting,” David says. “Having such a broad spectrum of abilities within a team enables Tauber projects to create a bigger impact, take on more responsibility, operate with more freedom, and work with senior leadership in a way I’ve never experienced before.”

David credits ISD’s multidisciplinary curriculum for preparing him to walk into his Tauber project with the tools and confidence to understand new challenges as they arise. He has also gained crucial experience while serving as Co-Chair for Tauber’s Global Operations Conference, which brings in experts from companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing to discuss key topics in operations and business.

“Between Tauber’s high speed, high impact, high responsibility project and the wide breadth and excellence of the Tauber and ISD curriculum, I am more technically and diversely capable, more confident in my abilities, and more experienced. ISD and Tauber have prepared me to handle whatever comes next,” the Manufacturing student says.

Set to graduate in December, David’s experience has motivated him to shift his recruiting focus towards rotational leadership development programs that will allow him to continue exploring different areas of the modern corporate structure. “This will hopefully help me keep developing my personal toolkit so that I can be an effective leader and value creator within any company,” he says.

Whatever the next step, David has positioned himself to succeed.”During my time with ISD and Tauber, I have experienced exceptional personal growth in terms of confidence in the workplace, my personal technical capabilities, and my ability to handle diverse and complicated problems,” David says. “I am extremely satisfied with my time at Michigan and am grateful for the opportunities that these programs have afforded me.”