UMD Engineering Career Services

May 14, 2023

Our team of five, consisting of Shruthi, Vincent, Allison, Nikita, and myself, were tasked with optimizing the volunteer registration and check-in process for the Engineering Career Services (ECS) at the University of Maryland. The organization had to revert to a manual and error-prone method of registering and checking in employers and student organizations after the servers that hosted their digital registration and check-in portal for career fairs were shut down. The new process made it difficult for ECS to properly track organizers and student volunteering hours, which made it challenging to compensate them adequately.

To tackle this problem, we decided to utilize the DMAIC process. We analyzed the factors causing inefficiencies in the current process and developed effective solutions to address the root cause of the problem. We identified the main pain points of the current manual registration and check-in process for the career fairs at UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering. Our objective was to create a new process that ECS could use to reduce the manual labor related to organizing career fairs.

We designed a new process that utilized Google services such as Forms and Sheets for increased efficiency and streamlined operations. We developed automated JavaScript plug-ins that automatically scrape Google Form data to keep track of volunteer shifts, total hours worked, and live attendance. We also developed a new ID form to accurately track and identify student volunteers, as well as a new drop-down list consisting of organizations to prevent data entry errors by student volunteers. Finally, we employed Google calendar to automatically send notifications to volunteers.

Our solutions would save ECS time by streamlining the career fair registration and check-in process, reducing manual data entry, and automating tasks such as tracking volunteer shifts, hours worked, and live attendance. By utilizing Google services such as Forms and Sheets, the new process would be more efficient and less time-consuming than the previous manual process.

Throughout the project, we maintained open communication with the client and provided frequent status updates. We used stakeholder interviews, process flow diagrams, and recommendations for improvements and automation, all developed using the DMAIC framework, to create an action plan to optimize and streamline the process. We also provided multiple midpoint update reports prior to the final presentation and recommendations. Ultimately, our solutions resulted in a more efficient and effective process for UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering career fairs, providing them with greater ease of use and improved organization.

A Thank You

Team Photo

The team from left to right: Vincent, Nikita, Shruthi, Allison, Eric (me!).

A great big thank you to my team. I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with on this project. A great big thank you to my professor and TAs: Dr. Armstrong, Alexia, and Annushka and our mentor: Zafir. We couldn’t have done this without your guidance.