What was the nature of your job before you decided to join the EMTM program?
When I joined the EMBA program at Stevens, I was the Manger of Consumer Websites for the Cendant Hotel Group (Now Wyndham World Wide). I was responsible for the day-to-day operational management and tactical decision making of the booking websites for the 9 hotel brands owned by Cendant.
What made you decide to go back to grad school? Why the EMTM program at Stevens?
I felt that I needed to get an MBA as part of moving my career forward. I had a lot of practical hands-on general knowledge in a few specialized areas. I even had a lot of in-depth knowledge, but overall I needed the rounding and career legitimacy that comes from a formal management education. I chose Stevens because it offered a program that is friendly to working professionals, while providing the mix of technology and business centric learning that appeals to me. The other reason I chose the EMBA/EMTM program is that my wife is a graduate of NYU's Stern MBA program so it was natural for me to compare the two. At that time I found that the types of courses offered and the faculty teaching them were generally on par with what she had experienced. Now, in retrospect, I feel that if you are in the field of technology or engineering the Stevens program is in fact the superior program.
What value did you derive from the program?
The program provided me with the ability to communicate, work, and lead effectively outside of more than just the IT domain. I feel confident that I can now "speak" marketing, finance, operations and HR well enough to be truly effective when working with any of these functional teams. When I joined the program, I felt that I was a good presenter and writer of presentations. Now I realize that I have been able to take my presentation and communication skills to a whole other level.
What changes have occurred in your professional life since taking the program?
When I joined the EMTM/EMBA program, I was a manager and worked mostly at the tactical level. During the program I was promoted to Director of Consumer Systems and Security for The Cendant Hotel Group (Now Wyndham World Wide) and began to take on a more strategic role. I also took over responsibility for the security of the online components of the websites. Currently I hold the position of Director of Global e-Business for the Westcon Group, reporting directly to the CIO. I lead a global team with members in the US, Canada, England, Holland and France. I am responsible for the overall, global strategic management of both the B2C E-commerce websites - a total of 22 sites across 14 countries, and direct B2B backend transactions with partners like Cisco, Nortel, and Avaya, and customers like IBM, Fujitsu, British Telecom and CDW. I firmly believe that the knowledge gained from the EMTM/EMBA program, and subsequent pursuit of my MBA in Technology Management degree from Stevens was an important factor in being offered the position at Westcon. I also continue to be surprised at how much of what I learned from this program is directly applicable in my everyday work environment. From managing the technology function, to management of multifunctional teams, to finance and marketing, it has all been applicable.