Hometown: Canton, MI
Current Job: Engineering Manager, Caterpillar Inc.
MS Program: Engineering Management
Why did you choose UTC CECS?
I applied a rigorous and methodical approach to my school selection process. I considered overall cost, the quality of the online classroom experience, time to completion, rankings from various publications, and whether the curriculum offerings checked all the boxes I was looking for.
Comparing the curriculum offerings was an interesting exercise. I considered whether specific topics were “new” to me and got feedback from my leadership and Human Resources department regarding how useful they would be for my career growth. UTC scored well in the areas of management science, entrepreneurship, strategic management, and product development.
When I tallied up all the metrics, UTC emerged as the clear winner. It was an easy sell to my HR department that this program was the right choice.
What is your career ambition and how is the MS program helping you get there?
I probably look at my career aspirations through a different lens than most. Rather than projecting 5-year, 10 -year, or “end game” goals, I view my career needs as more dynamic and fluid.
I am constantly assessing whether I am challenged, if my skills and competencies are growing, and if I have opportunities to increase my level of influence and responsibility.
Overall, I would summarize my career ambition as maximizing my potential and contributions. I am not quite sure where this will take me, but embarking in the MS ENGM program has been one of the best investments I have made in myself.
What have you liked about the MS program?
There are many positives aspects about the program. The diversity of courses is a big one. Managers need a wide range of skills spanning leadership, financials, strategy, development, and quality. The broad portfolio of course offerings is great.
I would also highlight the interactions with students and teachers. UTC has nailed how to make this effective in an online environment.
Most importantly, I can consistently apply the material to both my professional and personal life. I view formal education programs as a transfer of knowledge that leaves it up to the students to decide what are the “golden nuggets” of learning. UTC made it easy to apply and reinforce the knowledge, and that is what I have been seeking.
Did you take any online courses?
Yes, all my courses were online.
The two benefits that stand out to me are flexibility and the overall organization of the courses and materials. My job coupled with my family commitments can be demanding at times; the program allowed me to balance everything.
Have you had support from CECS faculty/staff?
My interactions have been positive across the board. I would like to give a shout-out to Dr. Gerald Stark in particular. His Product Development and Strategic Management courses were very engaging. The course materials are overall experiences resonated well with me. I felt motivated to go out and apply these topics to my current profession.
How has the program helped you?
The clear takeaway is that this program helped fast-track me on a managerial career path. It has provided me the knowledge and skills to effectively lead and develop a team, manage our deliverables, effectively communicate with stakeholders and customers, and articulate a strategy for the future.
What has been the best part of your experience?
The continued learning and interactive nature of the experience has been awesome. Just about everything I have studied has been applicable to what I am doing and where I want to go. The program has been great to foster not only my career objectives, but I’ve applied a lot to my personal life.
Although I am busier with the program commitments in addition to my job, the MS ENGM program has given me the tools I need to be successful in what I do. As a result, I am more confident and energized.
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