Jean Hartnett, MEM '19 | Tufts Gordon Institute
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Jean Hartnett, MSEM '19

Senior Civil Engineer

Undergraduate University: University of New Hampshire
Degree and Major: B.S. in Civil Engineering
Work Experience before Tufts: Civil Engineer at WSP (formerly Parsons Brinckerhoff)

Where were you in your career and what drove your decision to go back to school?

I had been working as a civil engineer in private consulting for 8 years and knew that I eventually wanted to take that to the next level and become a project manager. The types of projects I worked on were high profile, complex and multi-disciplinary and I recognized that I would benefit from having strong management and leadership skills.

Why did you choose to pursue a M.S. in Engineering Management at Tufts?

When I made the decision to go back to school I debated between a masters in civil engineering and an MBA. I heard about the MSEM program from a coworker it sounded like the perfect mix of the two. I liked that the classes were offered in person as opposed to online - I think I get a lot more out of the class being face-to-face with other students and professors. I work in Boston so the evening classes are convenient. Plus, the catered dinners before class are great for not having to worry about finding a meal between work and class, and they are a great way to catch up with classmates.

How have you been able to apply aspects of the MSEM curriculum at work?

After the first year in the MSEM program I feel more confident speaking in front of people. The three speeches we had to do in our leadership classes got me out of my comfort zone in a good way. In addition, we had several presentations for group projects over the first year. Everyone in the class is so supportive of one another and we all want to see our classmates succeed. I had never taken a business or strategy class before so those opened my eyes to more than just my day-to-day project related tasks. Now I understand how important it is to think about the company strategy to sustain business for the long term. 

Favorite MSEM course so far:
New Product Development

What scientific or engineering innovation would you like to see in the next 100 years? 
I would like to see a transition to 100% renewable energy and green infrastructure.

Advice for future MSEM students: 
Consider taking a Professional Education course before you enroll - you are able to transfer those credits towards the degree, which helps manage the cost and workload.