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Farley + Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences

It is more important than ever to understand how IEMS skills exist within a larger entrepreneurial ecosystem

Industrial engineering and management sciences (IEMS) students bring a prized skill set into the world. Their technical ability to produce algorithms, computation, and mathematical modeling informs the data-driven decision-making processes that are vital to business, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, and other massive global industries.

As tall as those technical skills stand on their own, and as necessary as it is to determine how people, machines, materials, information, and energy coalesce, it is more important than ever to understand how IEMS skills exist within a larger ecosystem. This rings especially true given the swelling complexity of the world around us — our increasingly interconnected global economies, evolving workplaces and supply chains, the breakneck pace of technology, surging competition, and shorter product life cycles all demand creativity, collaboration, and swift action.  

Precisely because IEMS touches so many industries and delivers such mission-critical insights, a broader, more entrepreneurial lens positions students to identify opportunities and create value for businesses, customers, and, in many cases, society.  

Pairing the technical skills cultivated through IEMS studies with Farley’s entrepreneurially minded courses provides students with a gameplan for changing the world through the effective use of capitalistic approaches. Students will fine-tune their ability to spot marketplace opportunities, think critically, communicate with others, and nimbly create solutions, whether they work within an established enterprise, join an upstart company, or pursue their own venture.  


How Farley Propels Industrial Engineers  

 In Farley courses, IEMS students develop important skills to power their professional pursuits, such as learning how to: 


Farley Courses for the Industrial Engineer 

NUvention: AI (ENTREP 475) immerses students in the process of building a tech-based venture – from ideation to customer discovery to refining a pitch – centered around artificial intelligence, analytics, and the Internet of Things. In addition, students can explore the following: 


Farley and Beyond 


Farley Bay Area Quarter 

The Farley Bay Area Quarter places students in Silicon Valley, one of the globe’s premier hubs for technology and startups. Over the winter quarter, students take four entrepreneurship classes, network with Northwestern alumni, and visit early-stage and established companies for an on-the-ground look at innovation in action.  

Segal Design Certificate 

Working in team-based, interdisciplinary settings, Segal Design Certificate students develop their design knowledge and skill set by tackling real problems for real clients.  

Master of Science in Engineering Design Innovation (EDI) 

Rooted in human-centered design thinking, a process of user observation, visualization, rapid prototyping, and iteration, the EDI Program prepares students to lead the design of innovative products, services, and technologies. 


Alumni Spotlight 

Anya Kothari (IEMS ’21) 
Master’s degree candidate in industrial and operations engineering at the University of Michigan  

The Farley Advantage:A relentless focus on the end-user is so valuable as an industrial engineer. At the end of the day, if you’re not making the process easier for the people using it most, they’re not going to listen to you – about anything. Farley takes natural compassion and focuses it where it is needed most, on the end-user.” 


Student Spotlight 

Charlotte Oxnam (BS ’23) 
Northwestern student, founder of Cue the Curves 

In 2021, Oxnam launched Cue the Curves, an online platform for plus-size women to find and discuss clothing brands. She sharpened her startup through various experiences at Farley, including courses such as NUvention: Media (ENTREP 473) and Startup Accounting and Finance (ENTREP 330), and at The Garage, Northwestern’s co-curricular space and community for student startups. After completing her IEMS degree in 2023, the Maryland native plans to work full-time on growing Cue the Curves.  

The Farley Experience: “The faculty and resources Farley has to offer have really helped me not only grow as a student but as a founder. Entrepreneurship is all about just trying it and Farley gave me the ability to ‘just try things’ in a safe academic environment alongside mentors who continue to provide guidance and support.” 

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