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This approach is not easy. In fact, it runs against the traditional perspective of more narrow, highly focused curriculum. But the results are highly valued among those who occupy the very top of the corporate ladder.
Donald Trump, at the conclusion of the third season of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” noted to the Associated Press that the winner, Kendra Todd, distinguished herself by working well with others who possessed diverse skills and talents. “I like that she’s a team player,” acknowledged Trump. “That’s how she ultimately won.”
The bottom line is that IPD, a microcosm of the Carnegie Mellon approach, pays off for both the corporate sponsor and the students. The company receives fresh ideas that can produce a marketable advantage, while the students gain invaluable experience working on everything from product prototypes to market-entry plans. They leave the university much better positioned to hear “you’re hired” and much more able to provide their employer with an immediate return on its investment.
Oh Yeah, the Sleeper Cab
So what does all of that have to do with Kapur’s sleeper cab?
As expected, Carnegie Mellon’s five teams of students enrolled in the spring IPD course produced five potential breakthrough products for the company to consider in its quest for a more homey truck cabin. While it’s still too early to tell exactly how many might become part of the sleeper cab, it’s clear that some Carnegie Mellon ideas will be pursued.
“We will be patenting several designs generated by this semester’s IPD course, with the objective of delivering one or more to the end customers,” Kapur says.
Sounds like “on the road again” and “home sweet home” could have whole new meanings in the future.
Master’s Degree Program in Product Development
Integrated Product Development MBA Track
“Creating Breakthrough Products,” the IPD course textbook by Jonathan Cagan and Craig Vogel
“The Design of Things to Come”
International Truck and Engine Corporation