Huntsman Teaching Case Series
Utah State University
Cali Christensen started her summer at Quantum Frontiers (QF) at an intern lunch. Seated around her were 20 other interns from universities all over the country who had been selected from a pool of over 900 applicants to participate in high-tech, space-related research endeavors pushing the boundaries of various fields such as engineering, mathematics, computer science, machine learning, and physics. Cali quickly realized after the first presentation that she may be one of the only non-engineer or scientists in the room. Her internship was different from any others that QF had yet sponsored. Instead of making space-related discoveries in new science, technology, or engineering Cali had been tasked to provide recommendation for the supply chain strategy for QF’s fastest growing division that designed, produced, and operated small satellites for US Department of Defense (DoD) customers. As an MBA student studying supply chain management and with background in data analytics and operations in the agricultural industry, Cali thought she was prepared to tackle the challenge head on, but she had reservations upon hearing the science-speak of the first internship meeting. Will she be able to make a difference in how supply chain decisions are made in the super high-tech world she suddenly found herself in? Where would she start and where will her summer investigation lead her? Still, what could be cooler than spending time learning about the supply chain of spacecraft?
Dixon, Mike; Christensen, Cali; and Leisek, Rachael, "Quantum Frontiers: To Boldly Go" (2020). Management Faculty Publications. Paper 374.