Favorite place you’ve visited:
Mount Katahdin, Maine
Eli Cushner, MSEM ’15
Technology Consultant, Paytronix Systems
Education before Tufts
B.S. Engineering Psychology, Tufts University
Work experience before Tufts
Department of Defense & Genuine Interactive
Where were you in your career and what drove your decision to go back to school?
After 2 years as a project manager in the software industry, I found that I needed to learn more about the nuts and bolts of leadership. I considered getting my PMP (project management professional) certification, but found that the more in-depth and holistic education offered by the MSEM program would encourage me to learn knowledge areas beyond just project management. I saw myself needing this degree 5 years out and said “why wait?”
I studied Human Factors Engineering and Entrepreneurial Leadership in my undergraduate Tufts experience. I found my classes on leadership, project management, and innovation fascinating. Although I had some background in these subjects, I knew that taking classes at a graduate level (after speaking to the MSEM professors) would only give me a more nuanced approach to these topics.
How do you balance the demands of work/family/school?
I trust my classmates. They are awesome! Everyone is constantly checking in with everyone else: reminding you of homework, helping you with problem sets, staying flexible with meeting times. One key to pushing through the semesters is going with the flow. You spend a lot of time with your classmates (especially your project groups) so you build a great dynamic with everyone with shared experiences.