What was the nature of your job before you decided to join the EMTM program?
Prior to joining the program, I was a manager in AT&T's Sales organization creating complex custom solutions for the largest of AT&T's telecommunications customers. It was a mid-management technical sales position, which leveraged my previous network deployment experience. I had hit a plateau within AT&T and had not received a significant increase in responsibility for several years.
What made you decide to go back to grad school? Why the EMTM program at Stevens?
As a technical sales lead, I started hearing about clients expressing interest in creating solutions that required Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as a way of creating next generation applications to increase productivity, provide higher resource utilization and to dynamically control changing business environments.
I wanted to participate in the explosive growth I felt was coming in the VoIP space and position myself to be in the organization that was creating these exciting new applications. AT&T's VoIP Product Management was the epicenter of this groundbreaking VoIP development. For the first time in my career, I had a deficiency in my education that simply reading a few books, trade magazine or short courses could not fill. I knew I had experiences from my technical sales and network deployment background that could bring value to AT&T, but I had never worked in product management. I was at a crossroads and after some consultation with a few mentors at AT&T, I decided to look for a graduate program that would be broad enough to prepare me for a position 10 years from now, but focused enough to satisfy my immediate need for credible product management knowledge. One of AT&T's most respected senior executives in charge of its global network had graduated from the Stevens EMTM program, which caused me to include the EMTM program in my search.
As I looked across masterÂ¡Â¦s programs in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, the potential choices were quite daunting. Several schools with MBA programs that focused on finance or marketing were interesting, but mapping their curriculum to my needs quickly showed that they would not adequately prepare me for senior management in a technology-driven company like AT&T. The Stevens EMTM program is about harnessing the power of technology to deliver sustainable, profitable growth, and its curriculum was the primary reason I entered the EMTM program
What value did you derive from the program?
I wanted to attend the Stevens EMTM program based on its curriculum, but what I received was so much more. The EMTM program is a step program where everyone in your graduating class takes the same courses. You form bonds with students and with your professors, thanks to small class sizes.
Dr. Aaron Shenhar once told our Strategic Project Leadership class that "nothing is more practical than a good theory." That thought really resonated with me because I found myself learning techniques and approaches on a Thursday, and using them at AT&T on Friday. I found that nearly everything that we learned was directly applicable to my work at AT&T. I found myself coaching my colleagues who had MBAs in the finer art of product portfolio strategy and the use of alliances and partnerships to further AT&T's business objectives.
The EMTM program gave me the tools to become a leader in AT&T's VoIP Product Management organization, where I'm shaping the future of telecommunications at the world's largest telecommunication company. Had I not entered the EMTM program, I would never have had the confidence or the skill set to make the transition from sales and product management
What changes have occurred in your professional life since taking the program?
Today, I'm a leader in AT&T's Business VoIP Product Management. Within one year of graduating from the EMTM program I doubled my responsibility and now control a product line that will reach $400 million within the next 3 years. My colleagues and corporate leadership see me as a strategic thinker and a thought-leader.
Before EMTM, my career had hit a plateau. I was missing requisite skills and lacked the thirst for new knowledge. Now my career is on the move. I have a more enjoyable position and I'm making decisions that are shaping the future of communications as we know it. This personal growth would not have been possible if it were not for me taking the first the step and recognizing that Stevens was the right university and the EMTM program the perfect fit for my professional goals. You never know what the future will hold for you, but I know that I'm prepared for anything that business will throw at me thanks to the EMTM program.