Three of our engineers: Kyle, Travis, and Jeffrey
The M.S. in Commerce is made up of over 40 different majors, but in this post we wanted to focus on just one of them—engineering. This year we have nine engineers in the program, and a few of them were kind enough to share their experiences and their thoughts on the combination of engineering and commerce.
1. How will the M.S. in Commerce Program complement your engineering degree?
“I think the Program is an excellent opportunity for engineers who are interested in working non-engineering jobs down the road. Whether you’re interested in finance, marketing or even an engineering job, you become a largely valuable asset to any employer by bringing both the business and problem-solving mindset to the table. People recognize that it is easy for engineers to get jobs, so by staying another year to complete a master’s degree it shows drive and desire to learn.” –Jeffrey (Financial Services)
“I wanted a degree in commerce to complement my engineering background to provide me fluency with both technical and business concepts in order to work as a consultant on both sides of the project. I wanted to be able to effectively work with a client while breaking down and solving their needs on a more technical level.” –Evan (Marketing & Management)
“My engineering degree taught me a valuable way of problem-solving oriented thinking. Four years of engineering gave me the necessary mindset to tackle many problems. The M.S. in Commerce degree gives me a business context to solve these problems.” –Kyle (Financial Services)
“The M.S. in Commerce degree provided me with the missing human element of engineering. As an engineer I was trained in how to perform a technical job. Now I understand why that job is needed, how it fits into a company’s overall business strategy, and how to market myself as the best candidate to perform it. I feel much more confidant that I can join a company and add value beyond the task I am hired to do.” –Dan (Financial Services)
“The M.S. in Commerce degree gives a better understanding of how a business actually runs. I hope to utilize everything that I’ve learned about computer science with what I’m learning about business in order to make more informed decisions. Because I will be going into a software engineer role after I graduate, the M.S. in Commerce will give me the tools to objectively analyze any decisions being made on a project and properly respond to any pushback that I might encounter on a project.” –Chris (Marketing & Management)
“In my engineering classes, we talked about systems and the interrelationships that exist within them. The easiest way to sum everything up is through the apt cliché, “Only as strong as the weakest link.” The financial markets and businesses have this same interrelationship. Engineering taught me to search for the most vulnerable connections or parts of a system and focus on mitigating risks.” –Travis (Financial Services)
2. How has your engineering degree helped you in the M.S. in Commerce Program?
“I’ve found that regardless of the degree any student who graduates from an engineering program has a huge advantage when it comes to time management, attention to detail, and analytical thinking. These three skills are incredibly important to both success in the program as well as in one’s career.” –Jeffrey
“Biomedical engineering was a very challenging and time-demanding program. I was prepared for the rigors of the Program. Additionally, I am very comfortable with anything math-related, and I’ve become better at explaining quantitative concepts on a basic and understandable level.” –Evan
“The Program brings diverse perspectives together to develop rich insights to open-ended business problems. My engineering degree allowed me to problem-solve differently than other students in the Program and provide unique answers to subjective questions. I was also more comfortable when working in Excel and SQL.” –Dan
“I think software development has given me a different approach to problem solving than most other undergraduate disciplines. I believe this has helped greatly in my group work because it allows for better discussions about our approach to projects. I also believe that the nature of the group work I did as an undergrad helped me effectively work in teams, particularly on group writing assignments.” –Chris
“I have lots of experience with Excel. Quickly and accurately building and using a spreadsheet was a must during my undergraduate years and this has definitely come in handy.” –Travis
3. What do you want to do after the program is over?
“I’ve been mostly applying to finance-related jobs, as I have no desire to do the work of an engineer. I’ve been looking at both buy-side as well as sell-side firms and would love to work in private equity in the future.” –Jeffrey
“I want to work in consulting in either DC or NY. When I am older, I want to be a college professor.” –Evan
“I want to work in a job where I will be able to learn a fundamental skill set that I can apply the rest of my career. My long term career goal is to own my own business and my first job will provide a place to learn as much as I can.” –Kyle
“I’m still trying to figure out what I will do next. I feel like I am in a good position to join an engineering firm in my field on either the technical side or financial side. I am also considering investment and risk management roles.” –Dan
“I want to work in software development either in a managerial or developmental role. My main goal with this program was to augment my software development knowledge with a firm understanding of the underlying business aspects that influence decision making. I want to put myself in a position where I can apply both of these knowledge sets.” –Chris
“I’m honestly having trouble narrowing down my interests. The market a big place, so I am trying to find a career where my skills and experiences would be the most useful.” –Travis
4. If you have a job lined up, what is it and why did you accept the offer?
“I accepted an offer as a business analyst at an IT consulting firm in Reston, VA called Ventera. I accepted the offer because it was very much in line with what I wanted out of a consulting company: smaller company, highly valued culture, good work/life balance, great mentorship, and growth opportunities.” –Evan
“I will be working for Accenture doing management consulting in DC. This is a great fit for me as I will be able to learn about analyzing businesses and will be in one of my favorite cities!” –Kyle
“I will be working for Capital One in their IT Development program as a software engineer. I accepted this offer because I believe that it will give me the tools to effectively utilize everything that I’ve learned in my undergraduate and graduate education. I also believe that Capital One provides me an excellent opportunity to advance my career in whatever direction I desire.” –Chris
Questions by Annie Marshall