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Ben & Jerry’s

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This American Life

Name Dana Martin, MSEM ’16
Position Engineer II, Weston & Sampson
Education before Tufts B.S. Civil Engineering, University of New Hampshire
Work experience before Tufts Weston & Sampson

Where were you in your career and what drove your decision to go back to school?
I was a design engineer who was inspired by the leadership I saw at my company. I was looking to advance my career and realized that I had a strong technical background, but lacked any education in leadership, management, or business. I admired my boss and other leaders at my company, and was inspired by a conversation with a Team Leader to pursue a master’s degree in order to develop these skills. I decided I was at a perfect stage in my career and my personal life, and wanted to pursue this degree as soon as possible.

Why did you choose to pursue a M.S. in Engineering Management at Tufts?
Tufts University is an esteemed institution and carries an impressive reputation. Research taught me that the Gordon Institute at Tufts is no different. After attending the information session at Tufts University’s Gordon Institute, I felt even more motivated to pursue my MSEM. The faculty members have fine-tuned the program so that it works around the schedules of busy, full time engineers and it has a wonderful success rate. The MSEM at Tufts is also unique in that the program integrates classroom work and real-world experience, with a strong focus on group work.

Has there been a professor or module that has impacted you and why?
I have found some of the so called “soft skills” we have learned in modules such as Learning to Lead, Business Communication, and Humanistic Perspectives to be the most impactful. I view my company, myself, and my coworkers through a new and more thoughtful lens. I think that better understanding yourself and others is crucial to becoming a good leader, and I am grateful for these modules that help me develop these skills.

What is your favorite part of the Tufts MSEM experience so far?
This program has allowed me to develop new relationships and networks I would have never experienced otherwise. I have truly enjoyed getting to know the members of my cohort and the Gordon Institute faculty. It is exciting to work with engineers and professors from different backgrounds and career paths. I have enjoyed working on cross functional teams, where engineers from different industry sectors can all bring something new and different to the table.