Software Engineering Manager/Software Architect, BAE Systems
Education before Tufts
B.S. Computer Science, SUNY Buffalo
Work experience before Tufts
BAE Systems, SW Engineer
Where were you in your career and what drove your decision to go back to school?
Prior to applying to Tufts, I was the technical lead for the embedded software in one of BAE Systems core products. My decision to go back to school was rooted in my desire to be able to shape the future of the products we produce. BAE Systems has a rich history in providing cutting edge technologies and I wanted to be part of that legacy.
Why did you choose to pursue a M.S. in Engineering Management at Tufts?
I chose to pursue my degree at Tufts because of the unique program that was offered. To be able to shape the future of products, one needs to be more than just tech savvy. You need to understand the business side to gain the influence and resources needed. The MSEM program provides that unique curriculum around the business side of technology innovation and development. I also chose the MSEM program because of the flexible schedule. I am a working professional who needed to balance work, family, and school. The weekend cohort allows me to do that. I would not have the time if I needed to attend classes twice a week. I chose Tufts because it was the only program that lined up with my career goals and fit within my busy schedule.
What is your favorite part of the Tufts MSEM experience so far?
My favorite part of the MSEM experience so far has been the semester team projects. These projects closely simulate what a person would do at a real company and has allowed me to get real, hands-on experience when it comes to leading teams and developing strategies and plans.
How do you balance the demands of work/family/school?
Balancing work/family/school was a very important part of my decision to go back to school. Balancing the demands is all about scheduling and priority. Having two weeks between classes really helps to give me the leeway to fold school work into my weekly schedule. My company also allows me to have flexible hours so I work 10 hour days Monday – Thursday which gives me all day the Friday between classes to do school work. Team work is a very important part of the program and today’s technology helps make the collaboration possible without taking over all my time. I live an hour away from Tufts in NH and meeting for team assignments outside of classes would be a big time commitment if we needed to meet in person each time. Through the use of such tools as WebEx, Google Drive, and Google Docs, the teams I am working with can work remotely and still collaborate and be effective. This allows me more time to do school work instead of sitting in my car driving.