What was the nature of your job before you joined the Master of Technology Management program?
I was managing a database organization for AT&T Business Services. I managed employees and variable staff (consultants) totaling 45 in three locations (New Jersey, Florida, and Virginia). AT&T's sponsorship of this program was in line with the direction to have me promoted to District Manager supporting various initiatives. Early into the EMTM program, I had been promoted to district manager; and supported several initiatives 1) Year 2000 compliance, 2) All-in-one program - strategic initiative, and 3) IT architecture.
What made you decide to go back to grad school? Why the EMTM program at Stevens?
Not only have I always enjoyed education, but I have valued education. As a result I had interest in furthering my knowledge via advanced degrees; and more specifically had interest in becoming a better manager and business leader.
As I considered my options, the technology management program offered via Stevens was of most interest. At the time a number of factors were considered among cost, convenience and quality of education. It was certainly appealing that AT&T would pay for the program and also allow time off to attend the program during work hours. I had talked with a number of persons who spoke highly of Stevens via personal experience and reputation. Furthermore, the program curriculum appeared to be relevant to my interests - understand aspects of business from strategy to capitalization.
What value did you derive from the program?
Ironically, it feels as if I had just completed the program with the sale of my first entrepreneurial venture. Allow me to elaborate. The program focused on the tasks necessary to identify a niche or void in the market for technology, manage the intellectual property, identify opportunities for capitalization, develop strategy for marketing, business development and potential strategic partnerships, and to explore various possible exit strategies. The program ended with a simulation project - running a virtual company and making critical decisions impacting the health and well being (cash flow) of the company. Seven years later, and the experience of going through the sale my first entrepreneurial venture, it feels as if I have just completed this project. Following the actual completion of the simulation project, I had the opportunity to conduct research for a breakthrough in technology invented at Stevens. The research let to the opportunity to spin-out a company from Stevens to focus on commercializing this technology. This is where it feels as if the simulation project continues - only not virtual; it is reality. The EMTM program experiences were incredibly relevant to real world - and provided the foundation to build a business with knowledge and confidence. Most recently, and 7 years following the completion of EMTM I had completed the sale of my first venture.
What changes have occurred in your professional life since taking the program?
Night and day... Upon graduating from the program, I had begun to conduct marketing research for a breakthrough technology developed at Stevens. Following the research, I along with my partners (classmates from EMTM and Stevens faculty) had the opportunity to establish a company to focus on the commercialization of such technology. Fast forward 6 years from founding company - sold company to fortune 100 medical company. Along the way I have become very involved in mentoring and assisting start-up and early stage companies with business advice - from business plan to marketing; and from strategic planning to capitalization. I have been invited to serves on the Board of the New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC) and chair the NJTC Environmental, Energy, and Engineering Industry Network; as well, serve as an advisor to the Rutgers Technology Commercialization Fund and the NJ Economic Development Authority's Technical Advisory Board. Furthermore, I have been invited to speak on numerous subjects ranging from "doing business with the government' to entrepreneurialism. Since the sale of my venture, aside from providing business consulting services, I have founded another company to focus on combating the epidemic of overweight and obesity.