Tom Smagala, MBA, PMP
Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
10+ years of teaching experience
Tom Smagala is a lead instructor in the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate Program California State University, Fullerton. In this Q&A, he talks about program benefits, the value of a classroom setting for learning, and common career paths for graduates of the program.
What are some of the benefits of a classroom setting for learning?
The biggest benefit of an in-class learning environment is the hands-on experience students have when we go through different exercises. For example, the students go through a dice exercise where they develop a histogram showing what a normal distribution looks like. The normal distribution is the basis for Six Sigma.
What is one of your favorite case studies/courses in this program?
One of my favorite lectures is “design of experiments,” where students learn to optimize the design of a paper helicopter to maximize air time. They do this by analyzing experimental data and, given different variables, designing the helicopter accordingly.
Is there anything else that students should know in order to be successful in this program?
To be successful in the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate Program, students should be eager to learn, ask a lot of questions, and apply what they learn. One of my favorite stories is when students use statistical software to analyze their annual budget and reduce costs by a minimum of $4,000. They do this by being more mindful of spending and reducing waste. Reducing waste is a fundamental tenet of Lean Six Sigma.
How can the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt concepts be applied to real-world situations for working professionals?
In the very first lecture of the class I go through approximately one hundred examples of where Lean Six Sigma Green Belt concepts can be applied at work in manufacturing, sales, finance/accounting, human resources, information technology, product design and maintenance
What are some common career paths for graduates? For example, what is a job title that someone might have once they finish the program?
The common career paths for Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate Program graduates are to enhance their problem-solving skills in their existing position or go on to become a black belt or a master black belt. For a black belt, according to salary.com, the pay is from $96,600 to $118,900 and for a master black belt from $130,000 to $171,700.
You can learn more about the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate Program – including information on dates, cost and registration – on our program page.Lean Six Sigma Green Belt