What was the nature of your job before you decided to join the EMTM program?
Prior to joining the program, I was a middle manager at Hartz with responsibility for identifying and implementing cost savings initiatives throughout the Corporation. I enjoyed my job but was not truly focused on my career objectives and aspirations.
What made you decide to go back to grad school? Why the EMTM program at Stevens?
It was my belief that I needed that additional education to prepare me for the next level. After discussing my career objectives and aspirations with leaders in many different organizations, I knew that an additional degree was necessary to distinguish me from my peers. Hartz is a very competitive Company, where the proper skills are necessary to grow within the organization.
The EMTM Curriculum at Stevens is well rounded. Many other Masters or MBA programs are one dimensional. I did not want to be another face in a large classroom. I needed to be able to discuss (or debate) issues with Professors and peers. The EMTM program allowed me to ask the tough questions to Professors that have been in similar situations in the working world. The Professors at Stevens all have industry experience.
Finally, I needed a class location that was convenient. Time was limited with a full career and family. EMTM satellite sites allow students to take courses closer to home. That was a big plus!
What value did you derive from the program?
I focused my project assignments on issues pertaining to Hartz. Doing this helped gain visibility and access to managers within Hartz who were interested in the perspective of my fellow team members from industries outside our immediate circle. My colleagues were extremely interested in understanding the teachings and methods that I had learned. I was frequently able to implement the EMTM class work the following day in my job. I can tell you there were many round-table discussions that took place in my office throughout my participation in the program, which led to rapid implementation of procedures and processes that had been taught in class. The brainstorming techniques that we use at Hartz today came directly from my learning's on innovation processes with Professor Gary Lynn.
The presentation skills acquired almost daily in EMTM were critical to my self confidence and development. Interactions with my classmates and the continuous mentoring from the Professors helped make me a stronger manager. The program also gave me the face time with the Upper Hartz Managers including the Corporate Vice Presidents and the CEO. This greatly enhanced my visibility within the Corporation. I attribute the focus and drive that I have today to become one of the top managers in the company to the EMTM experience.
Finally, the program provided me access to the EMTM graduate network representing talented individuals from a range of industries. This has been useful from a recruiting perspective in that I have high assurance that any EMTM graduate will have the skills to run a business, irrespective of their background. For example, my plant manager was actually in Telecom at the time he graduated from the EMTM program. Today, he is one of my top managers in manufacturing.
What changes have occurred in your professional life since taking the program?
Today, I am running manufacturing for a $550 MM company with six facilities globally. Before EMTM, I was stuck in a corner of Secaucus as a manager of special projects. Within 3 years of taking the EMTM program, I had advanced to my current position with responsibility for managing over 900 people. If that doesn't sing praises for the program, I don't know what does. I truly believe the EMTM program deserves a great deal of the credit for my success and has given me the tools that will enable me to reach my goal of becoming CEO.