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MSEM Students Showcase Business Knowledge Through Milestone Project

To develop refined, in-demand skills, Online MSEM students created solutions to unmet needs for seven weeks before presenting to industry-leading faculty.

For Online MS in Engineering Management students, applications of their knowledge are integrated into the curriculum, enabling them to leverage learned skills the next day, and gain a hands-on understanding of course material. Recently, their newfound skills were on display during an integrated seven-week milestone project where they had to create a product and present the roadmap, financial projections and more in a simulation.

“The impressive faculty are truly a wealth of knowledge,” said Julia Bushell, MSEM ’22. “In such a short amount of time, they have shared so much with us and constantly push us out of our comfort zones to be the best that we can. This project was a fast 7 weeks, but I think we walked away having a well-rounded grasp on what developing a new product or idea really takes.”

With a comprehensive approach in mind, the cohort tackled ideas related to data privacy and the current pandemic. While those two ideas are topics that both digital security, and public health sectors, continue to grapple with, topics with no set playbook are also encouraged to best simulate what industry professionals contend with.

“As a young design engineer, almost all of the work that I do on a project takes place after it has already been theoretically developed and the financial and marketing decisions have been determined,” said Aaron Forrest, MSEM ’22. “By working on this new product pitch, it gave me a lot of insight into the process of how the products that I am developing are being created and selected. And it gave me a better appreciation of the importance of always considering the customer when I am working on a difficult design trade-off.”

A group of industry-leading faculty served as judges to the group and shared feedback from the perspectives of senior leadership. Alongside the course’s instructor, Sam Liggero, PhD, Professor of the Practice and Academic Director of the Online MSEM program, the panel included: 

  • Frank Apeseche, Professor of the Practice; Chairman of Amstar; Co-Founder of J. Locke & Company
  • Jerry Brightman, PhD, Lecturer; President, The Leadership Group
  • Steve Caplow, Lecturer; Principal, Caplow Associates
  • Scott Hilton, Lecturer; Principal, Scott Hilton Consulting LLC
  • Tina Weber, Lecturer; Founder & CEO, A Starting Line

“We came up with the idea for the product by exploring actual problems we currently face with no known solution,” emphasized Gesnel Gachelin, MSEM ’22. “We researched the different products already existing out in the market, and no one had a functional solution that easily solves the problem. We performed market research with individual, one-on-one interviews and found everyone we spoke with would love to have access to a product that can solve their security concerns around data privacy.”

While the Online MSEM experience continues, the key outcomes of the program endure.  “I think the program really embraces a theory and practice approach where we learn in the 'classroom' and then almost immediately we apply what we learn in projects that demonstrate real problems we will face as we progress throughout our careers,” Julia highlighted.