Owen M. Barton
What was the nature of your job before you decided to join the EMTM program?
Prior to joining the EMTM program I worked as an information security officer for a private Swiss bank (Julius Baer Group). My role consisted of managing information security across North America for the private wealth management firm. Previously, I had held management positions focused on information technology infrastructure.
What made you decide to go back to grad school? Why the EMTM program at Stevens?
My undergraduate degree was in finance, and most of my career was within the financial services industry. The main driver for deciding to go back to school was my desire to expand my reach into other industries and position myself to pursue senior information-security leadership roles within large multi-national organizations. I was seeking a program that would enable my professional growth and make me more competitive while still allowing me to focus on my current role. The Stevens EMTM/EMBA program became the obvious choice for several reasons. I was seeking the engineering credibility that my education profile lacked, a schedule that did not interfere with my career, and professors that actually held or had held senior roles outside of academia. The MBA style of courses and engineering-spin on technology management topics was a perfect fit for my personal and professional interests and goals. Additionally the Hoboken campus was easy to access.
What value did you derive from the program?
The value derived from the program includes all the obvious; for example, expanding my mind, learning and applying new management tools and adding the degree on my resume -- but there is more. Some of the not-so-obvious value came from the EMTM program’s focus on executive communication and presentation skills. This thread ran through the entire program and I can attest from personal experience that these skills have served my career extremely well. I also benefited from the deep wealth of experience of both the professors and the students in the program. The wealth of knowledge and real-life experience from all the professors within the program are world class. Working on team projects was very valuable because not only was I gaining experience applying new management tools, but I was also learning and networking directly with other industry experts on my team and within the program. Professional connections made within the program have become a valuable benefit that cannot be ignored. The experience has helped me to develop skills, gain experience, increase confidence, and generally become prepared to think and act like a senior executive and technology business leader. Ultimately, all of this helped me land my new job.
What changes have occurred in your professional life since taking the program?
I was laid-off while in the process of completing the MBA portion of the program. The financial services industry and the U.S. faced some of the worst economic times in history and my previous employer systematically discontinued running all wealth management businesses out of the United States. My education, new skill/toolsets, self-assurance and connections were a key component behind landing a new senior role within the technology industry immediately after graduation. I am now Director of Information Security within SunGard’s Availability Services division where I develop and lead a global business driven vision for the overall information security of the firm.