Talent Incubator Program

Talent Incubator StudentsThe Talent Incubator Program (TIP) is an undergraduate research organization led by research professionals from the Global Supply Chain Laboratory (GSCL). Each fall, top students in the Industrial Distribution Program are hired to work on research projects for sponsor firms. Student groups work for the next nine months in an extended internship, after which a sponsor firm may decide to hire them directly for a summer internship or full-time upon graduation. Research projects incorporate project management tools and techniques within an exploratory framework. Past projects have included:

  • Best Practices in Equipment Management (rental equipment sponsor)
  • Market Forecasting for a new product introduction
  • Customer Service Best Practices (a consortium of seven sponsors)
  • Process Mapping the Customer Experience (building materials distributor sponsor)
  • New Market Penetration Strategies in China (chemical distributor sponsor)
  • Western China Market Opportunities (electrical distributor sponsor)
  • Central Mexico Market Study (electronics and fluid power sponsors)
  • 3PL Market Study for Oil and Gas (3PL Provider Sponsor)
  • Customer Segmentation (hydraulics distributor sponsor)
  • Internet Sales Channel Strategies (packaging distributor)
  • Market Studies for Cities and States (Austin, Kilgore, Longview, Bridgeport sponsors)
  • Eagle Ford Impact on South Texas Economies (US DoC sponsor)

Beginning in Fall 2013, TIP began working exclusively with ten selected firms on a sponsorship basis. Sponsors work directly with the student teams and research professionals assigned to their project.

Projects are associated with a class. The TIP students worked with research professionals on main deliverables, and an industrial distribution class (20 to 50 students) was assigned the same project. The TIP students and research professionals guided the the class through a semester-long set of projects based on the original sponsored project. These class projects should deliver many creative insights that the TIP can add to the final deliverables.

Benefits to TIP Students

  • Perform research on industrial distribution and supply chain topics, and developing the ability to act as an internal project manager for future employers
  • Explore interests amoung diverse projects, developing a deep understanding of and connection with the sponsor firm
  • Apply concepts discussed in class through application of best practices
  • Be recognized as a research scholar capable of solving real-world challenges
  • Consult with companies and acquire experience working on local and global projects
  • Work closely with potential employers, faculty, and researchers

Benefits for Sponsor Firms

  • Employ a team composed of undergraduate students, faculty, and researchers
  • Discover and share best practices with the Global Supply Chain Laboratory
  • Gain access to innovative and current knowledge
  • Work with a team that easily communicates with all levels of industry
  • High capability of top Industrial Distribution Program graduates
  • Develop a talent pipeline of potential hires through direct work with TIP students and class projects
  • Participate in a managed internship program with high potential candidates
  • Spread awareness of the company brand and culture throughout the Industrial Distribution Program

The most challenging aspect for educators is creating and refreshing the knowledge base, so that it remains current and relevant to industry partners. Without industry-sponsored research, the ID Program would be theoretical as opposed to application oriented. The ID faculty and its industry partners go to great lengths to ensure that students receive the most impactful education through a creative blend of applied research (like the Talent Incubator) and experiential class exercises (like the live projects described above). The most successful recruiters for the ID Program are those who help us educate our students. Since the partner’s commitment is recognized by faculty and students, we understand that a firm sponsoring our projects understands and cares about the Industrial Distribution Program.

FOR QUESTIONS: Please contact Dr. Esther Rodriguez Silva by email at esther.ersilva@tamu.edu or by telephone at (979) 845-3146.