Semester in Strategic Operations

Semester in Strategic Operations (SSO)

Get the in-depth knowledge, skills, and experience you need to succeed by spending a semester working at the heart—and with the hands—of a business.


Students in the SSO immersion will learn the fundamentals of business operations, from the shop floor and beyond. Alongside peers from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) and the College of Engineering, students get a thorough grounding in all facets of operations, as well as current and core operations issues.

Career Paths

  • General management
  • Consulting
  • Operations – including supply-chain management, strategic planning, and production management

A Sample of Companies Recruiting Here

Recent SSO students secured MBA internships and full-time employment at prestigious companies such as:

  • McKinsey & Company
  • Ernst & Young
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Corning
  • BCG
  • General Electric
  • General Mills
  • American Express
  • Intel
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers

And more.


The semester in strategic operations is Johnson’s original immersion. It is a comprehensive plunge into the heart of operations that has provided students with a unique, intense learning experience for nearly a quarter century.

Curriculum Details

Students enrolled in the Semester in Strategic Operations immersion focus on how operations strategies are developed and aligned with business strategies. SSO’s dynamic curriculum includes:

  • Core classes focusing on supply-chain management, retail operations, advanced data analytics, statistical programming, probability, and visualization tools
  • Site visits, which typically consist of visiting 15 sites over the course of 11 days to see firsthand how corporations align operations to overall business strategy
  • Continuous-improvement project, which is a week-long capstone event at a major corporation

Key Skills Developed

The semester in strategic operations immersion cultivates and strengthens your skillsets with a special focus on:

  • Learning the fundamentals of operations execution
  • Understanding operations from the shop-floor perspective
  • Simulation data analytics
  • Value-stream mapping
  • Understanding human capital

Clubs & Associations

Take advantage of clubs, associations, and networking opportunities related to the semester in strategic operations immersion, such as:

Semester in Strategic Operations Immersion

Semester in Strategic Operations Immersion Handout

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Semester in Strategic Operations Immersion at Work

Laura M. Wendt

A Hands-On Approach to Cross-Functional Business


Laura M. Wendt ’15, Industrial and Labor Relations School

Winston Sun

Low Tech Innovation


Winston Sun, MBA ‘16

Rick McGuire

Performance Learning at its Finest


Rick McGuire, MBA ’14

Rafael Alton

From Fire Hydrants to Finance


Rafael Alton, MBA ’14

Hilori Kaloti, MBA ‘13

Finding Success in the Strategic Operations Immersion


Hilori Kaloti, MBA ‘13