ABOVE: Glenn Allison, Tractor Supply Company vice president of IT enterprise architecture and IT solutions; LK Browning, Columbia State director of economic and workforce development; Deepa Janakiraman, Columbia State program director and assistant professor of computer information systems; Ethan Pierret, Columbia State student; Shane Sevier, Columbia State student; Adam Gaines, Tractor Supply Company IT enterprise architect; Tabitha Scott, Tractor Supply Company IT enterprise architect; Dr. Dearl Lampley, Columbia State vice president of Williamson Campus and external services; and Laurie Pewitt, Columbia State associate professor of computer information technology. // SUBMITTED
COLUMBIA STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Columbia State Community College computer science students Shane Sevier and Ethan Pierret completed a capstone course in emerging technologies at the Tractor Supply Company Store Support Center in Brentwood.
“At Tractor Supply, we strongly value workforce development and the ability to provide learning opportunities for students,” said Rob Mills, executive vice president, chief technology, digital commerce and strategy officer. “We are excited to be able to extend this passion by partnering with Columbia State to provide local students with hands-on learning opportunities in retail and technology.”
The capstone course allows students to research emerging technologies in the retail industry by exploring areas of study such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, big data and analytics and other progressive topics in the technology industry.
The students started the 10-week course in early October. They recently gave a presentation about their experiences.
Pierret and Sevier, both Williamson County natives, agreed that learning about the day-to-day operations of a large corporation like Tractor Supply has been one of the highlights of the course.
“Learning about the inside of a corporate business has been beneficial,” Pierret said. “I’ve learned about how I work, but also about how other people work and what is expected in the workplace.”
“This opportunity taught me how to understand corporate structure,” Sevier said. “It’s been great getting a first-hand look into what a national retail company is like.”
Deepa Janakiraman, Columbia State program director and assistant professor of computer information systems, has been involved with the program since its inception in December 2017.
“This partnership helps us bridge the gaps between community colleges and the workforce,” Janakiraman said. “Tractor Supply has been an outstanding industry partner and helped to bring this mission to life. The students were able to take what they have learned in the classroom one step further through the program.”
Tractor Supply Company was instrumental in the course development and oversaw the students’ day-to-day work experiences.
“Tractor Supply’s willingness and dedication to work with our students is truly appreciated,” Janakiraman noted. “The feedback from their team was very helpful, and the time spent with Tractor Supply mentors was priceless.”
Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO) is the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, operating as a one-stop shop for recreational farmers, ranchers and all those who enjoy living the rural lifestyle, for more than 80 years. At September 29, 2018, the Company operated 1,748 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states and an e-commerce website atwww.TractorSupply.com.