Three PDC instructors (and past students!) share their reasons for pursuing a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and the impact it has made on their lives.
Choosing to invest your time and energy in a certificate program is a big decision, so it’s no surprise that we are often asked, “What will your program do for me?”
We asked three PDC instructors (and past students!) about their decisions to pursue a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certificate.
When I was 35, I realized that my career in fundraising needed to come to an end. I was burnt out and I didn’t know what I wanted to do next. I took a job at the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) as an Administrative Coordinator and my manager encouraged me to take various classes. Once I began to learn about Lean Six Sigma, I didn’t want to stop. I found I was passionate about Lean Six Sigma, teaching adult learners, and facilitating groups through process improvement projects. After that first class, I went on to get my Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (through an internal HCA program) and then my Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (through the UWT PDC).
Having my Lean Six Sigma Black Belt has opened many doors for me. I now do this work full time for the HCA, and it also gave me the opportunity to work for the UWT PDC. Through this work, I get to meet people from all different backgrounds, to learn about different aspects of the work they do, and to teach them about tools and concepts that can help change how they do their work. I feel so incredibly lucky to be in this position.
I wanted to earn my Lean Six Sigma Black Belt to make a better life for my family by increasing my income, enhancing my career opportunities, and becoming a better manager. The Lean Six Sigma skillset is highly sought after from many types of organizations and my LSS Black Belt has opened up many career opportunities for me. I have used it as a foundation to enhance other skills I have, such as project management, change management, agile, leadership, and management. Not only do I teach Lean Six Sigma, I practice it daily in the workplace. I also travel to provide Lean Six Sigma training, coaching, consulting, as well as lead Lean Six Sigma improvement workshops. My Lean Six Sigma journey has been very fulfilling.
Pursuing a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at UW Tacoma allowed me to elevate my career in many ways. This opportunity allowed me to focus on not just advanced-level tools, but also refine and tune into how I lead, how to support continuous improvement professionals, and how to apply Lean Six Sigma at the enterprise-level of an organization. It deepened my passion for the work and made me more curious. Having a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt provided the ability to train others and see the same excitement for continuous improvement within my organization. It later provided promotional opportunities, like leading an organization’s Office of Continuous Improvement.
The Professional Development Center offers the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certificate twice a year (Fall and late Winter). Students must have a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt or receive special permission in order to register. Learn more at https://www.tacoma.uw.edu/pdc/lean-six-sigma-black-belt.
Looking to start your Lean Six Sigma journey? The Professional Development Center offers White Belt workshops, an accelerated Lean Six Sigma Green Belt course, and customized trainings for organizations on a variety of LSS-related topics. Our sister unit UW Professional and Continuing Education also offers a Certificate in Lean Six Sigma Management: Green Belt every January.
Ryan Berry, PDC alum of PDC Lean Six Sigma Green and Black Belt and Project Management courses, found transformational cultural change at his workplace through the implementation of the knowledge he gained through professional development at UW Tacoma.
Innovative systems in UW Tacoma's new Milgard Hall include custom-designed modular pods containing electrical, low-voltage, plumbing and mechanical systems such as lighting, fire detectors and sprinklers.
Former student Arabelis Wally has received a prestigious fellowship at Johns Hopkins University that will support her graduate work. The Thomas Scholarship is awarded to "exceptional students from ... minority-serving institutions to pursue PhDs in STEM fields ... ."