Standout Student: Jessica Bahr

Jessica Bahr, senior business major with a supply chain management emphasis, participated in The Association for Operations Management (APICS) poster contest and won first place at the 2012 convention in Denver, Colo. Bahr won a certificate which was presented at a small ceremony, a cash prize and through presenting her research poster received multiple job and internship offers.
“(Bahr is a) model student going above and beyond her degree,” William Achia, assistant professor of management, said.
Only students are eligible to compete in the APICS contest. Many of the participating students were international, in the process of acquiring their Ph. Ds and have participated in an internship or research experience. The competition requires a five-page application describing what the individual projects are, what was learned, how to share it and how it would benefit the APICS community. After being accepted, APICS invited a small percent of the students to the international convention. At the convention, students outline their research with 10-15 minute presentations during a two hour segment.
“(Bahr is a) very competitive person,” said Samuel Hershberger, a senior industrial engineering major with a production systems emphasis and a business partner of Bahr’s. “She is very driven.”
Bahr’s project idea originated from an internship with Case New Holland where she implemented a signaling process for raw material replenishment. The signal notifies workers of the status of available raw materials and whether more is needed to fill packaging. The signal resulted in a $73,000 cost savings, allowed for the process to be reduced in labor requirements and kept the packaging workers from running out of raw material.
Bahr is the first University of Wisconsin-Platteville student to attend the convention. She is now trying to start a student chapter of APICS on the UW-Platteville campus. She currently travels to Madison with UW-Platteville professors William Achia and Wendy Brook to attend APICS meetings.
“Attending professional conferences as a student is necessary,” Hershberger said. “Surround yourself with like-minded individuals.”
“I could not have done this without the faculty,” Bahr said.
While preparing for the convention, Achia let Bahr present in his classes. Achia said when preparing for a convention, a mock presentation gives feedback that is crucial.
“(Conventions are a) great networking opportunity,” Bahr said. “I was given job offers while presenting.”
“I am very excited for her,” Hershberger said.
Hershberger added that he was not surprised at Bahr’s win.
Bahr is certified in lean essentials, which is the practice of reducing waste, has a six sigma green belt, which is the second tier of the process improvement techniques of six sigma, and is a certified associate in project management. These and other certifications are available through organizations like APICS.
Bahr has also established a company through a partnership with Hershberger called Undergrad Success, LLC. The company, built around their website, was founded to provide resources on how students can stand out from the crowd in job-hunting and resume-building.