Thoughts on Championships, GPC Project Kickoff, and My Final Semester!

This semester began with a bang! First, the Crimson Tide won its 13th National Championship! Then, we had project kickoff! It is exciting to wonder who is going to be on your team and what you will be working on during the semester. For me, it was especially exciting because this is my last semester.

I was placed on one of the Genuine Parts teams this semester. We will be researching two help desk software packages, one of which is currently in place. The Automotive Parts group within GPC is moving to the new system. The current system has had extensive customizations, but the vendor is upgrading and will not support the older version. The cost of recoding the customizations for the new version would be expensive and labor intensive. So, GPC has decided to change help desk systems. In order to do this, our team is documenting all of the current capabilities of the help desk system. Then we will document the capabilities of the new system. This will allow us to design and document a standard process to integrate the two systems. Our goal is to produce a document that GPC can hand over to the vendor or another group to implement.

As a second semester senior, I have a different perspective than I did last semester. Last semester, I was so nervous about our project and the CapEx program. I wasn’t sure if I had learned enough to be successful and did not want to let my team down. I learned over the course of last semester that I had learned enough and what I didn’t know I was capable of learning. Plus, my team supported each other and helped each other figure out what we were having problems with. This semester, I am looking forward to being able to help out the first semester CapExers. They are a great bunch so I also expect to learn from them as well.

The University of Alabama MIS program allows students to work on real projects that provide real value to real companies. Students learn to leverage people, processes and technology to solve problems and meet the challenges of today’s businesses head-on. For more information, call 205-348-5525 or visit


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