Students in the Living Lab took on a major computer imaging project for Fortune 500 corporation Simon Property Group in preparation for Black Friday; a project that would be a challenge to even the largest industry IT departments. Joined by Living Lab staff and other student volunteers within the Computer and Information Technology (CIT) program at IUPUI, these students knocked out the imaging, testing, deployment and shipment of nearly 380 computers within a six day period.
Over the six day period, a total of 26 people, including 12 Living Lab students, 6 staff and 8 CIT volunteers worked over 1500 hours collectively to complete this project. Living Lab staff divided the work into units of unpacking and set up of computers, imaging each computer (monitored individually), followed by labeling and tagging each machine for its destination; finally each computer was repackaged for shipment to Simon mall properties throughout the United States.
Instrumental to the project success, lead Living Lab project managers Nick Barnett and Joe Walters shared their thoughts on the experience: “This task was very large but with the help of volunteers it [went] very efficiently and smoothly.” (Barnett) ” [Developing a project tracking system] and having other managers to share ideas with [taught me how important] communication is to the success of any project.” (Walters) Nick Novotny, a graduate assistant-instructor in the Living Lab stated: “This experience taught me a lot about project management and matching requirements …[in order to] to carry out the project.”
According to Professor Connie Justice, founder of the Living Lab “It is an honor to be a part of the Living Lab and be able to create an experience for students that will allow them to participate as part of a corporate team. I am so thankful for the relationship that I have been able to build with Simon Property Group, L.P.”