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Technical Services Engineer
Program/Concentration: Jack Welch MBA
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB RESPONSIBILITIES AT Williams.
I am a Technical Services Engineer for Williams, a Fortune 500 natural gas processing company in the U.S. In my current role, I collaborate with multidisciplinary teams to implement programs consistently across the company to improve safety and reduce cost. One example of this is an approach to minimize failures of common equipment types used in many different operating areas. Before this role, I was a Plant Engineer for three years and a rotating equipment engineer for two years. I have a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Pennsylvania. I am a Professional Engineer in West Virginia, a Project Management Professional, and a Six Sigma Black Belt.
DID YOU FIND THE CURRICULUM WAS IMMEDIATELY APPLICABLE? PLEASE EXPLAIN.
Absolutely! For me, the best part of the program was the ability to choose your own company or company of interest for the assignments. I had the opportunity to analyze Williams in Strategy, Finance, Marketing, Organizational Culture and Change, Capstone, and many other courses. I learned more about my company going through these classes than I knew during my time at the company. During CEO presentations and earnings calls, I could finally understand what they were talking about and why they were making their choices. JWMI prides itself on students thinking like a CEO, and I believe that they succeeded with me.
LOOKING BACK AT WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT AN ONLINE PROGRAM WHEN YOU FIRST EMBARKED, WHAT WAS YOUR OVERALL IMPRESSION NOW? DID IT MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS VIA DQ BOARDS, EOP VIDEOS, FACULTY ETC?
I completed an online class as an undergraduate, so I was not entirely new to the experience. I had a misconception that an online program would be void of student interaction or meaningful engagement with the professor. However, student interaction is built into the classes at JWMI in a way that works. Yes, you still need to post answers to discussion questions and respond to other students to get a grade. But the quality of responses I received from other students and reading their answers led to exciting dialogue and new perspectives on the material. Often, a student’s response would change the direction I would go on an assignment because they brought up something I did not consider. This type of interaction made the program feel more like a classroom experience. Also, the professors are there for the students. They participate in the discussion boards and are willing to do anything in their power to help the students be successful.
HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE JOB, FAMILY, AND WORK? WHAT STRATEGIES DID YOU IMPLEMENT TO GET IT DONE?
Planning is everything. Early on, I talked to my wife about what I would need from her to get my work done. Having that support is everything since the program does require a lot of work. After the first two classes, I came up with a schedule to get the work done without unnecessarily stressing myself. I would read the book in between classes and try to be one discussion question ahead of schedule. This strategy created a buffer for me if something came up that would prevent me from working. Other than that, I made sure to have my computer with me when I thought I could work on something. Finally, I would read the course guides during the first week of class to start thinking about the assignments and doing research. They give you all the information you need in every course from the first week, so I took full advantage of that.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE IN THE PROGRAM?
During my Operational Excellence course, I used a real problem my company was going through for the project. I met with my boss and showed him the assignment overview and what I would deliver for the company. Besides the excellent grade I got on the assignment, I worked with my coworkers to reduce the time to complete a task by a considerable margin and save the company money. In doing so, I proved to my company that what I was learning in the class was valuable. JWMI tells students that what you learn on Monday, you should be able to apply on Tuesday. This experience showcases that motto perfectly.
WAS THERE A PARTICULAR PROFESSOR OR MEMBER OF THE STAFF THAT YOU FELT HELPED YOU TO EXCEL? PLEASE ELABORATE.
All the faculty and staff go above and beyond to make sure students have the best experience possible. My academic advisors, Danielle Adler and Stephanie Sullivan, were essential to me completing the program. I was injured with a concussion during the second year, and I could not complete some of the work. Unfortunately, I had to take some of the terms off to focus on recovery. Both of my advisors gave me so much support and access to resources. That helped me complete the program much earlier than I initially thought I could. Simply put, I would not have gotten my degree without them.
Please share any advice for new students embarking on the MBA journey.
First, do not forget the reason you enrolled in the program. There will be times that you feel overwhelmed or have doubts about finishing. I certainly had my fair share. Reminding yourself of the reason you want the degree should motivate you to push through to completion. Second, savor the experience and do not take anything for granted. The reading materials, Experts of Practice videos, and Dean Q&A are of high quality, and there may not be another time in your life for you to learn from these resources. Also, the relationships you form with professors and students could last a lifetime. Finally, have fun! Getting your degree should be exciting. Try not to sacrifice too much of your life that the experience becomes a burden. You will want to look back on the experience as one of the best decisions of your life like I do.
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