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Unemployed and wanting an edge…..is it worth $

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  • #31127

    Neha
    Participant

    Hi There,I am currently unemployed (BS ME Purdue ’97) and thought that I would take a web based six sigma training.  Is it worth the edge it might give me in getting a job?  I live in the Cleveland area…GE’s not hiring…so I need to find another place, but currently pregnant at 5 months, I think it will be tough to find a job before the baby is born.  So I decided that I would get my greenbelt certification…finding a project is one story, but I am wondering if I should shell out the $2000+ for this class.  Will it help me get a job?  Any advice?Neha

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    #81839

    Ted
    Member

    Neha: I would suggest saving your money or at least spending less of it and using the internet to find six sigma information. If you want to torture yourself, take a class in statistics from a local university. I am suggesting this course of action based on the following factors: 1) Your degree is relatively “fresh” so I am presuming that you are considerably younger than me (52). What you need is more ‘in the trenches education’, i.e., a job that utilizes your current skill set. Starting a family (maybe the most important thing we do in our ‘adult’ lives) will cause certain changes in your routines, outlooks, etc. Wait until you have had at least one year before embarking on you Six Sigma career. 2) If you go to GE, the only certification they accept is their own, so save your money if GE is your goal. If you can get a job with GE, that is great, because they will teach you everything you need to know. I would “advise” you to prusue GE. From my experience (i.e., HP, Compaq, IBM, DoD and GE) if you are “hungry” enough to stick with the pursuit, you will ge the prize. When you do, maximize the experience!

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    #81840

    Schuette
    Participant

    Advice is free so that may be all this is worth. $2000 for green belt training to have a better chance at finding a job is not worth it. An ME from Purdue is already a pretty smart person. You probably already know much of what the green belt course will teach. Perhaps a better option would be to buy one of the six sigma books (perhaps the Field guide or the Roth book) and spend the next few weeks reviewing the material and methods. Also, get the ASQ background data for the black belt certification exam. You may know enough to do fairly well.
    Many times people between jobs think that education will make all the difference in getting a job. Most times it will not. Its all about what kind of motivation and self confinence you already have inside you. Focus on your strengths. 

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    #81841

    Fernie
    Participant

    Neha,
    A Green Belt certification will definitely help you in landing a SS/Quality related position. Have you considered taking the Black Belt web course??. Most of the positions out there require a BB certification, and a small number require the Green Belt, but it’s a good start, though. Are you willing to relocate ??, I’ve seen a lot of vacant positions being offered in Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, and the eastern states, as well as California.
    But to answer your question, Yes I think a GB certification would make you more marketeable and expand your opportunities significantly.
    Good luck, and Congratulations on your Baby.
    Regards,
    Fernie.

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    #81842

    Loehr
    Member

    Hi Neha,
    Congratulation on the soon-to-be new baby! 
    As the others mentioned, I also think spending $2000 for a green belt certification is quite costly.  In my opinion, you can get an excellent education in green-belt techniques (for a lot less money) just by reading a few of the books on problem solving that are currently on the market.  My two favorites are The Six Sigma Handbook: A Complete Guide for Green Belts, Black Belts and Managers, by Tom Pyzdek and Reducing Process Variation, by Davis Bothe.  Both books are available through Amazon.com.
    After reading these two books, you will know more about problem solving than most green belts (and perhaps even a few black belts!).  Because you are quite involved with health-care providers at the moment, how about a project that applies some of these statistical techniques to improving the services offered by the health-care industry?
    Best wishes and good luck with your job search.

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    #81843

    Neha
    Participant

    Thanks, Fernie.  I’m in Ohio right now so I’m looking hard here.  Looking for any leads.  :-)
     
    Neha

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    #81845

    RT
    Member

    Neha,
    GE loves Purdue grads.  Did you have a chance to go on program with them?  Anyway don’t spend your money getting book knowledge for SS.  Get hooked up with a company that uses the methodology and get there.  Having the knowledge without project experince buys very little.  The new year just started and I’m sure GE will start hiring again.  Check out Monster.com and use the keyword six sigma and you will get every GE posting there is.
    Good luck.

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    #81846

    GE MBB
    Participant

    Neha,
    Results display your knowledge and experience.
    In the absence of results, practice gives you an edge.
    In the absence of practice, tell me what you’ve read — although I’m seldom impressed with theory.
    You need a job to show results. You need training for practice. A book is not going to cut it in my interview.
    Here’s my advice: Look for anyone you know directly or indirectly connected with Six Sigma; a friend, a professor, an acquaintance from the supermarket…beg them for the opportunity to show them what you’ve got. Of course, this assumes you show other project management, change management and leadership qualities.
    GE MBB

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    #81847

    woody
    Member

    Not to disagree with a fellow GE MBB–and a self-assured one at that!–but read the books.  That did, in fact, get me hired at GE as a BB with no previous experience and only an English degree. Save your money for the baby. 
    As an interviewer, I’d be a lot more impressed with your interest and enthusiasm focused towards the books than the hours you spent clicking through yet another consultant’s revenue stream. 
    Take care, and good luck with your family–my wife’s also pregnant.  Best wishes.

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    #81849

    Neha
    Participant

    Thank you to everyone who has replied.  Alot of you have told me that I shouldn’t have to pay for the course and buying the books will give me the knowledgable edge…here is my dilemma….it’s a dog eat dog world out there.  Unemployment is horrible and even for me (a person willing/able to start at the bottom of the totem pole at a new company) is having a hard time finding a position because I have more experience than the fully interned college grad, but less than the seasoned professional…I am stuck in the middle.I find myself wanting to get the SS books so that I get a full understanding of the six sigma process, but feel that I need the “formal training” and certification to “prove” to companies that I have it in me (the initiative and motivation) to learn and practice Six Sigma methods.Gosh, is any of this making sense?  I have approached GE and they were ready to give me a project (I offered to work for free) but legally they have to pay me.  At this point, minimum wage is out of the question because they are cutting costs left and right, so even minimum wage is too much for them at this time.I got great book suggestions and think that they will be a great supplement to training.  Any more sage advice.  I still haven’t finalized my decision.  In the end $2000 is alot of money, especially when trying to rebuild after 1.5 yrs of unemployment (spouse and I).  We were/are young, so didn’t have much of a rainy day fund.Thank you!!!Neha

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    #81856

    BB
    Participant

    Hi Neha
    I am a BB in India. There are lot of opportunities for people with your background and inclination in six sigma..If you are open to India, you can may be try as well..
    Just a suggestion..
     

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    #81897

    Manager, Productivity
    Participant

    Neha,
    as one person suggested, go to monster.com and type in six sigma; there are some comapnies that will train you to be a BB while most will expect/want you to have a few projects under your belt, no pun intended.
    You might consider getting certified thru PMI; SS is really PM with some stats thrown in; even Mikal Harry is down-playing the heavy use of stats used in SS; it scares off too many.
    Another avenue is to read-up on Lean; being from Purdue and an ME, you should have some knowledge, Purdue has an excellent IE program.  Michael George has a good read call ‘Lean Six Sigma’.
    Go to google.com and peruse the internet, in fact, this site has a lot of good info and links.
    Good luck; as George Eckes says ‘anyone can learn the tools, it’s the personality and people skills that are paramount for success.  You should read Eckes’s ‘the six sigma revolution…’a very good read re SS.
    Raytheon is always looking for good Engineers and we’re steeped in SS.
    Happy New year!
    M
     

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    #81898

    Paul Stone
    Participant

    I’m a headhunter, used to be an engineer and eng. mgr.  $2k is too much to spend for a GB certification.  The ASQ offers a 6 sigma BB certification that will provide a bunch more value for less cost.  Even without submitting the projects and completing the certification, good companies value the ASQ BB test as a measure of your baseline knowledge.  Pass the test, and note that on your resume (i.e.”Passed ASQ 6 sigma black belt test” in your education and certification section).
    Find a good headhunter (If you can figure out how to reach me, I’ll welcome a call).  There are great jobs right now for smart, hardworking young women with engineering degrees from Purdue.
    Paul Stone

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    #81899

    Schuette
    Participant

     
    Neha
    Good luck with the job search. Don’t spend your money on this training let the company you work for pay that bill. There is a company on the eastside that is stacked with Purdue Grads. (They LOVE Purdue, CEO and a lot of upper management are GRADS from Purdue) I don’t know if they are hiring, but contact them anyway. The company is LUBRIZOL. I worked there for over 10 years they are a good company to work for, and they will pay for any training you want.

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    #81903

    JT
    Participant

    Hello Neha:
    My first question is “what do you want to do?”  You have an ME degree I assume you chose for your interest in mechanical engineering.  I doubt a GB certification will add much if you are pursuing a design engineering position.  Your time and money would probably be better spent more directly focused on adding skills in the area you want to work.
    In any case, I recommend doing some good, old-fashioned networking.  Join an ME professional organization.  If you do want to pursue some six sigma skills, join ASQ (American Society for Quality) and attend the meetings.  The best thing you could do is get some six sigma experience.  At ASQ, you will probably be able to line up an internship to get some project experience under an experienced black belt.  In both organizations, you will probably meet GE people, if GE is an interest.  It’s a good way to get a leg up on a job.
    If you do choose to spend time working on six sigma skills, I do believe they will add value to the work you will do.  I recommend trying the books first (I like the Six Sigma Way and Breyfogle books).  For someone of your background, the technical material should not be too difficult.  What you will lack is the experience, but a six sigma course will not provide that either.  Work to find a project will a company that will mentor you for that.
    Good luck.
    JT, SSMBB

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    #81908

    Gregory
    Participant

    That’s a great question!  I would venture to say there’s no simple yes or no answer.  .  I decided against the web based course; instead opting for an in-class setting.  I have one more week to go in my SSBB training.  It’s a great course; very thorough approach.  The primary instructor is Forrest Breyfogle, author of “Implementing Six Sigma”; very heavy on the stats, hands on approach.  The class is primarily composed of students that are currently working for companies initiating or engaged in a Six Sigma initiative. 
    But for me, the proof is in the pudding.  I’ll let you know more once I complete the certification as to whether there’s a competitive edge in having formal training.  I hope so.  I’m banking on it so to speak.

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    #81914

    Don Bennett
    Participant

    Hi Neha –Good question! That’s a significant investment, especially when you are not umemployed.I am the Vice President of a small contract manufacturing company in the Northwest. My Six Sigma Green Belt training proved to be quite valuable. However, a combination of Six Sigma with Lean Manufacturing would be my recommendation.The Society of Manufacturing Engineering (SME)has Six Sigma workshops scheduled in Cleveland this month. I don’t know the costs, but check it out on their website (http://www.sme.org). They also offer certification, but it requires a project, with proof of savings on company letterhead. You might be able to do a contract/volunteer project with a small company in your area.SME also has a wide selection of online Lean Manufacturing classes available. There should be a free introductory class available. You can also learn a lot by reading and browsing the internet.You are definitely on the right track. Lifelong learning is more important than ever for viable employment opportunities.Best Regards, Don Bennett

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    #81921

    Rho
    Member

    Make sure that you really want GE. I work for a GE supplier and their
    BBs average 45-60 hours per week at the facility I supply. A baby is very important and GE may make it difficult to combine work and a BB job. Might want to consider a other Six Sigma companies right now.

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    #81925

    big d
    Participant

    I agree with Rho, I am currently looking for a position and I was trained and mentored at Quest Diagnostics Labortories by old GE master black belts.  They not only require extended hours, which is alright for some, but they are focused on results by any means necessary.  They have no idea how to develop a professional relationship.  They use anyone and everyone to get ahead.  I dont think spending the money on greenbelt training will be of much benifit.  I would recomend that you find a position with a six sigma company which will provide you the greenbelt training and support a project.  Best of luck.
     
    Big D

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    #81933

    Neha
    Participant

    I understand the concern.  Here’s the quick story.  Our lives got turned upside down after our first baby (Dec ’01).  I went back to work only to be laid off a month later.  My husband had been laid off since Aug ’01.  We lived in TX…..now we had to relocate to OH where he found a new job.  Our home is still for sale, we live with my in-laws, we are expecting #2.  2002 was the best and worst of years. 
    I have been interviewing up here….very little…not much that I have found….as for larger companies GE, Littletikes…..GE isn’t hiring, Littletikes isn’t hiring me (I don’t have the lean mfg or SS experience).  I have a headhunter.  We are trying to see if companies are interested right now since I am expecting.   I let them know that I will work up to 1 week before the delivery and will take minimum leave….but I don’t think that’s working.  I can understand.  Even if someone hires me for minimum wage (no benefits) until after the delivery then I am fine with that.
    We’ll see.  Thanks Rho
    Neha
    @hotmail.com">nehasonipatel@hotmail.com

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    #81934

    Neha
    Participant

    Paul,
    The company is actually advertised on this site.  After learning my situation they agreed that they would give me a discount.  They will charge $1613 for the class that I can pay in 2 payments rather than the lump sum.  You can contact me.  @hotmail.com">nehasonipatel@hotmail.com
    The problem with BB or GB certification is the fact that finding a project is hard.  I almost had a project with GE, but they legally can’t let me work for them for free and they can’t even shell out minimum wage due to HEAVY budget restrictions. 
    Let me know what you think.  I can forward my resume to you.
    Neha

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    #81935

    Neha
    Participant

    Thanks, BB, but I ‘m fully settled (born and raised) in the US.  Spouse is also.  Our whole family is here so moving back to India isn’t an option at this point.
    Neha

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    #81936

    Neha
    Participant

    GE MBB,
    After searching for a job these past 6 months, I know how hard it is.  Like I mentioned, I have more experience than the fully-interned college grad, but not so much as the seasoned professional.  Right now, everyone has been challenged with cutting costs and so they need to hire on the “best value for their money”  what they don’t realize is that I’m it!  I’ve had extensive project management and organizational experience even though I haven’t had formal training.  My managers have always commended me on my managing style and teamwork abilities….it’s just a matter of getting my foot in the door with a company.  I even offered to work for GE for FREE so that I can do a GB project with them.  Legally they can’t do that, but the OH facilities are still cutting their costs in ’03 so they aren’t able to pay minimum wage.
    I am looking for any leads.  Since $$ is tight for myself and my family now, I may just start with the books and save up for the web based course.
    Thanks,
    Neha

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    #81937

    Neha
    Participant

    Woody,
    I think at this point I am planning on getting “The Six Sigma Way”  what books did you read to make it up to BB level?
    That is very interesting that they hired you on as a BB.  Did you take the certification exam before you interviewed or did you do all of that through GE?
    Neha

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    #81938

    MMBB
    Participant

    I agree with Paul. My recommendation is as follows:
    1. Purchase the Quality Council of Indiana Six Sigma Black Belt Primer (http://www.qualitycouncil.com/cssbb.asp ) for $75 and the associated Solutions Text for $35.
    2. Read and study that primer from cover to cover. Warning, it is huge and filled with information. No surprise since it is intended to be a full Black Belt course.
    3. Consider taking the ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt exam. It is kind of expensive – $180 for a member, $285 for a non-member. ASQ requires two projects – is there any way you have done two projects while in school (real ones, not simulations or laboratories)? Maybe you could volunteer or intern at a nearby business to get the project experience.

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    #81940

    Neha
    Participant

    Thanks for the info M.I checked out the Raytheon website, doesn’t look like any (open) positions are posted on the website in the Northern Ohio area.Neha

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    #81950

    woody
    Member

    Neha–
    If I were buying two books, they would be “The Six Sigma Way” and “The Six Sigma Way Team Fieldbook.”  SSW is for the strategic and management implications of 6s deployment, and the SSWTF is for the tactical lessons of running a particular project. 
    I did not take any certification to get hired as a BB at GE.  You should keep in mind that GE’s model–particularly in the (former) Capital businesses–is to use Six Sigma as a leadership/management pipeline.  Their selection process is not going to be geared towards technical proficiency, but rather leadership potential.  They are not, for the most part, interested in statistical gurus, although that helps.  Keep this in mind in your discussions with them.

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    #81992

    Tinoco
    Participant

    Hi, 6 Sigma is the future. many companies use it as part of their core strategy for business improvement such as Eaton (whose HQ is in Cleveland, OH), Jaguar etc. I would recommend this as a solid course of action if you can find a suitable project (company) to work with (maybe they would help with some sponsorship ??) who knows.
    Good luck

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