What was the nature of your job before you decided to join the EMTM program?
Before joining the EMTM program I was an Information Technology Development Lead at Verizon Wireless. My team developed and maintained the Point of Sales systems in Verizon Wireless's stores and Telesales centers. We also hosted web services that supported retailers like Wal*Mart and Target in selling Verizon wireless phones and services. The Point of Sales (POS) systems team was also responsible for developing sales and service applications that are integrated with POS peripherals, self-service applications that run on KIOSKs, and store applications such as retail scheduler, inventory systems and cash management.
What made you decide to go back to grad school? Why the EMTM program at Stevens?
Prior to coming to the United States in 1997, I held a graduate degree in Computer Applications & Information Systems. Until then, my professional experience had exposed me to research projects for character recognition software development at the Space Application Center in India, brokerage applications, and telecom applications that involve process engineering, automation, strategic planning, project management, and other information technology functions. Backed by my strong interest in business process improvement, I wanted to become an effective leader with a continued focus on innovative, game-changing ideas that would help in making a business more competitive.
I considered MBA and MSIS programs supported by Verizon Wireless as well as programs at local business schools. I chose the EMTM program at Stevens for several reasons. I was intrigued by the combination of academic and industrial experience of the faculty, career-friendly schedule, and well-balanced curriculum offered by the EMTM program. The mix of MBA-quality and technology leadership courses appealed to my personal interests and long-term career goals. The EMTM program seemed a natural progression for my career growth and the course structure and the program layout was extremely appealing.
What value did you derive from the program?
The most valuable skill I learned from this program was to think strategically with clearly defined goals and objectives. I became better at planning and scheduling. I improved my execution skills and learned to constantly re-evaluate ideas and swiftly implement corrective action plans. I broadened my range of thinking and I started to lead more strategically. The EMTM program provided me with the tools, techniques, and methodologies that helped me maintain focus on some very challenging projects that broadened my horizons. I had begun to think and act, like an entrepreneur. The program helped me to build my confidence which led to my personal and professional growth. Learning how to write clear and concise memos to executives and give effective presentations were another set of skills that were extremely valuable.
Another important asset that I have developed is the ability to think ingeniously, and come-up with innovative solutions that directly impacted Verizon Wireless' revenue and customer growth. One such idea has been successfully implemented at Verizon Wireless and got rave reviews from several end-users and executives nationwide. The most significant aspect of my career growth has been the swift delivery and implementation of innovative ideas. The effective management of time, cost and resources with a strategic focus on business revenue and customer growth demanded some special skills in technology selection and effective planning to support agile development cycles.
What changes have occurred in your professional life since taking the program?
I was promoted twice during my two years in the EMTM program. I was given additional responsibilities as an IT-Manager in the first year and subsequently was promoted to an Associate Director towards the end of the program. Indeed, the most significant growth in my career to date took place over this period of time. I was able to leverage my technology skills to positions of higher authority which provided opportunities to hone my leadership skills. I readily acknowledge that the EMTM program and the course delivery by the esteemed team of professors have been very instrumental in improving my focus on business needs, delivery models and innovation which have been instrumental in my career progression.
The EMTM program and the faculty at Stevens provided me with some very essential skills like creativity and innovation management, risk analysis, planning, project and process management that helps to achieve high standards of quality with a strategic goal. I attribute much of my fast-track success to the knowledge and skills I developed from the EMTM program with the help of the Stevens faculty. The idea generation, development, implementation and follow-up to successful business delivery was a complete end-to-end strategic approach that was a consistent feature throughout the various courses comprising the program.