MSIM Alumni Spotlights - Gordon Institute
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Meet the new wave of innovators.

Whether you aspire to be a product manager, work in technology strategy, build sustainable cities for the future, help support clean tech startups, become a data scientist or launch your own business, Tufts M.S. in Innovation & Management prepares you to innovate and have impact in a variety of roles. Check out how some MSIM alumni are leveraging their degree.

Sophia Atik

Sophia Atik, MSIM '19

Human Factors Specialist, EMERGO by UL

Background: B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Minor in Dance
Undergraduate: Tufts University

"This program is made up of intelligent individuals with common goals and engaging faculty that are willing to help in any way possible. It is an extremely encouraging environment that allows for ultimate creativity. I value how this program allowed me to harness my imagination and develop a product that could positively change society.”

Click here to learn more about VASERA Male Contraceptives, Sophia's award-winning venture that was selected as one of 8 finalists at the Sloan Healthcare Innovation Prize Competition at MIT.
Click here to hear Sophia speak about how the Tufts entrepreneurship community has played a role in the success of VASERA.

Maren Brenninkmeijer, MSIM '17

Marketing Trainee at Philips

Background: B.S., Architecture
Undergraduate: Delft University of Technology, 2016

“One of the things that made [the program] so impactful were the personal connections I had with my fellow students, professors, and the Gordon Institute staff. Everyone was so open to sharing ideas to help us accomplish our goals. Everything that I learned in the MSIM has returned directly in my work [at Philips]."

Jinsu Chang, MSIM '18

Founder and CEO, Lumen Energy Solutions

Background: B.A., International Relations
Undergraduate: Tufts University, 2017

“Throughout the MSIM program, I was trained to really learn on the fly and adopt all the skills necessary in running a business. I felt really prepared when I came out to the real world and decided to start my business; I knew where I should start and how I should start building the company."

Rahul Chavan, MSIM '18

Product Manager - ERP Cloud Fintech, Oracle

Background: B.Tech., Computer Engineering
Undergraduate: SVKM's Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, 2016

"The MSIM program has been the most empowering choice I've made. When I entered the program, I knew I wanted to do something at the intersection of business, tech and marketing. What the program has helped cultivate in me is that entrepreneurial spirit, and you can take that to any job that you go into."

Fan Chen, MSIM '18

Senior Solutions Designer, 6 River Systems, Inc.

Background: Bachelor of Electrical Engineering
Undergraduate: McGill University, 2012

"I chose Tufts because I wanted to learn about customer discovery and design thinking skills. I was debating if I should go to an MBA or something more unique, like MSIM, and I definitely made the right choice. Throughout all of our Sprint team projects, I learned to lead, influence, and negotiate effectively."

Ashwini Chidirala, MSIM '17

Senior Analyst, Nuvera Life Science Consulting

Background: B.S., Biomedical Engineering
Undergraduate: Rutgers University, 2016

"All of us [in my cohort] learned more ways to learn something rather than just learning a concept. We relied equally on our peers as we did on our professors, and I think that helped me prepare for what working experience is like. We learned more than what anyone could learn from a textbook; our professors were industry professionals who have excelled in their fields."

Aditi Deorukhakar, MSIM '18

Co-Founder, ZwitterCo

Background: B.E., Chemical Engineering
Undergraduate: University of Mumbai, 2015

"The [MSIM] leadership program had the highest impact on me because it really pushed me to figure out myself and where my leadership skills lie. It helped me develop the discipline and structural thinking that I need to do with every personal and professional decision I make, and I see that really bearing fruit every day in my life."

To read more about the success of ZwitterCo, a startup originally developed as an MSIM Innovation Sprint, click here.

Yongtao Ding, MSIM '17

Data Scientist/Architect, Didi Chuxing

Background: B.E. in Software Engineering
Undergraduate: Wuhan University, 2106

“The Applied Data Science course inspired me and has guided me to a career as a data scientist. My classmates and the Tufts community were very collaborative throughout the year and continue to be a great support network.”

Sarah Drury, MSIM '17

User Experience Researcher, DraftKings

Background: BA.&Sc., Cognitive Science
Undergraduate: McGill University, 2016

"The focus of my role is to understand how people interact with technology so that my team can create great digital products. This means looking at improving the usability of existing products and uncovering unmet needs for future offerings. Knowing how to approach a customer and extract insights, conducting both quantitative and qualitative customer research, creating a customer journey map, analyzing data – these are all skills I learned during the program and leverage as a user researcher."

Nadia Ferrer

Nadia Ferrer, MSIM '19

Background: B.S. in Engineering Psychology
Undergraduate: Tufts University

“We were trained to make an impact through our ideas and leadership abilities and not to just increase our capital. All of the people in the program were amazing! Most of us didn't have a whole lot in common, and I think that's what drove our conversations the most.”

Click here to learn more about VASERA Male Contraceptives, Nadia's award-winning venture that was selected as one of 8 finalists at the Sloan Healthcare Innovation Prize Competition at MIT.

Michael Geiger

Michael Geiger, MSIM '19

Product Management Co-op - Lawn Care Team, iRobot

Background: B.S. in Electrical Engineering
Undergraduate: Union College

“MSIM allowed me to pursue my passions of problem solving and innovation, and combine it with my engineering background – MSIM brought everything together."

Chad Goldberg

Chad Goldberg, MSIM '19

Research Associate at Lux Research

Background: B.S. in Engineering Psychology
Undergraduate: Tufts University

“I chose MSIM for its unique course offerings and incredible faculty. The Sprint projects were extremely beneficial for developing a unique and varied skillset. The program encouraged risk-taking, coupled with a ‘fail fast and fail often’ approach that I think made for an incredibly challenging, fun, and rewarding experience.”

Click here to watch a video highlighting Chad's venture, Sterilyse, that won 1st place in the 2019 $100k New Ventures Competition's Medical Device track.

Edith (Yihan) Hu, MSIM '17

Operations Analyst, ZypMedia (San Francisco)

Background: Bachelor of Business Administration
Undergraduate: East China Normal University, 2016

“I was surprised by the diversity of my MSIM classmates. They are an extremely intelligent and dynamic group from all different backgrounds. I learned so much from them about communication, styles of leadership, and the spirit of learning new things.”

Cameron Irwin, MSIM '18

Associate, BitOoda Technologies

Background: B.A., Economics
Undergraduate: Tufts University, 2017

"It's an engineering degree, but it's not a technical engineering degree. It's a great crossroads that you get all these technical people and teach them the business skills, how to actually make money, and how to change the world using their skills. I don't want to use this as a stepping stone; I want to actually make a positive difference in the world."

Benny Kim, MSIM '17

Greentown Fellow with Greentown Labs, the nation’s largest clean technology startup

Background: B.S., Electrical Engineering
Undergraduate: Tufts University, 2016

“My main task is to establish a strong relationship between Tufts University and Greentown Labs by connecting students, faculty, researchers, entrepreneurs, and thinkers in the clean technology field. I will also focus on global outreach and identification of international opportunities.”

Hirosei Kuruma, MSIM '17

Operations Associate, Uber

Background: B.S., Chemical Engineering
Undergraduate: Tufts University, 2016

“We produce research reports for industrial clients on emerging technologies. I am contributing to the wearable electronics and autonomous systems teams. I am producing research and insights on trends and the state of the market, while also helping clients with their business strategies. I could not have qualified for this job without the MSIM degree.”

Tyler Leong

Tyler Leong, MSIM '19

Co-Founder, Vasera

Background: B.S. in Biology, Entrepreneurial Leadership
Undergraduate: Tufts University

“I was amazed by the insights from professors who were CEOs by day, and professors by night. The MSIM program gave me the opportunity to become close to these professors and soak up more of their insightful and practical knowledge.”

Click here to learn more about VASERA Male Contraceptives, Tyler's award-winning venture that was selected as one of 8 finalists at the Sloan Healthcare Innovation Prize Competition at MIT.

Lulu Li

Lulu Li, MSIM '19

Co-Founder, HeroPatch

Background: B.S. in Integrative Biology, Minor in Computer Science
Undergraduate: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

“What drew me to the MSIM program was the shared passion that I saw in each individual to come up with creative solutions that will have a strong and positive impact in different fields. I learned from my diverse classmates as well as from my classes. The multitude of experiences that everybody brought to the program provided so many opportunities to learn and master teamwork and leadership skills that can be applied in both professional and personal settings.”

Click here to watch a video highlighting Lulu's venture, Hero Patch, that won 2nd place in the 2019 $100k New Ventures Competition's Medical Device track.

Barton Liang, MSIM '17

Senior Construction Analyst, Lidl US

Background: B.S., Civil Engineering
Undergraduate: Tufts University, 2016

“New Product Development had the biggest impact on me because I was taught a whole new way of holistically approaching problems, including how to find and address a potential customer or other stakeholder’s (spoken or unspoken) needs. I was able to apply these skills not only to my Sprint project and the start-up that followed, but also to my summer internship at a multinational construction company.”

Wei Hsun (Rodney) Liao

Wei Hsun (Rodney) Liao, MSIM '19

Background: B.A. in Business Administration, with specialties of Economics & Management
Undergraduate: National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

“I chose MSIM because I wanted to develop skills and insights to be able to serve society and influence technology that is going to make enormous and revolutionary impacts on our lives. I hope to bring my humanistic perspective to the technology industry.”

Click here to learn more about Rodney's award-winning VacuuSafe, which took home an award from the 2018 Ideas Competition hosted by Tufts Gordon Institute's Entrepreneurship Center.

Teresita Liebel, MSIM '18

Human Factors Engineer, Farm Design

Background: B.S., Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Concentrations in Mechanical Engineering and Social Sciences
Undergraduate: Lehigh University, 2017

“Working in interdisciplinary teams of designers and engineers, I am responsible for usability testing and design ethnography of our medical and life sciences products. MSIM prepared me to dig deeper to find the root cause of a customer’s potential problem.”

Jake Lombardo

Jake Lombardo, MSIM '19

C0-Founder, HeroPatch

Background: B.S. in Biomedical Engineering
Undergraduate: Union College

“I was really impressed with the diversity of the people in the program. Hearing all of these different perspectives from around the world, and having been all together in one classroom collaborating, I think really helped to generate a better understanding of the people that we’ll be solving problems with [in the workforce].”

Click here to watch a video highlighting Jake's venture, Hero Patch, that won 2nd place in the 2019 $100k New Ventures Competition's Medical Device track.

Brendon Meknavin

Brendon Meknavin, MSIM '18

Marketing Specialist, Search, APAC, Google

Background: B.S., Mechanical Engineering
Undergraduate: Purdue University, 2014

"The MSIM program not only built my business acumen but also sparked my interest in effectively solving customer problems by creating compelling products. The hands-on experiential learning gave me the chance to apply the concepts I learned in class and work with multidisciplinary teammates simultaneously, which prepared me well for the contemporary technology industry. The faculty members have also been a source of insightful academic and career advice that I believe will be beneficial throughout my long-lasting career."

Sam Miller, MSIM '18

Sales Development Respresentative, NanoString Technologies

Background: B.S., Biology & Biotechnology
Undergraduate: Tufts University, 2016

“The Innovation Sprints taught me that, no matter what, there's always more to learn. My favorite takeaway has to be the network you walk away with. You never really leave [Tufts] because you always have your professors and peers if you need them later."

Firas Mouasher

Firas Mouasher, MSIM '19

Background: B.S. in Engineering in Industrial & Operations Engineering
Undergraduate: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

“Every course taken incorporated our Sprint Projects in a challenging way. This program does a great job of teaching both the academic principles of building a business and the leadership and management skills needed to grow and sustain one.”

Click here to read about Firas's venture, Potentia, and their pilot program to improve language learning services available to international refugees.

Ottillia Ni

Ottillia Ni, MSIM '19

Digital Product Management Intern, iRobot

Background: B.A. in Physics
Undergraduate: Williamette University

“I appreciate how the Tufts MSIM program pushed its students to continuously ask questions that stimulate curiosity and innovation, while bringing together students of various backgrounds and experiences.”

Julia Novakoff

Julia Novakoff, MSIM '19

Background: B.S. in Engineering Psychology
Undergraduate: Tufts University

“There is no such thing as a bad idea in the MSIM studio, and I love how much support we received to pursue our passion projects.”

Click here to learn more about Kandula Hard Kombucha, Julia's venture that won 1st place in the 2019 $100k New Ventures Competition's General Technology track.

Trish O’Connor, MSIM '17

Application Support Engineer, MathWorks

Background: B.S., Electrical Engineering
Undergraduate: Tufts University, 2016

"I am drawing on my MSIM experience in my current role as I provide technical support directly to customers. The Leadership class prepared me to communicate confidently and effectively and the New Product Development class has helped me to understand the customers' pain points and deliver useful reports to our developers.”

Rebecca O’Connor, MSIM '17

Assistant Project Manager at NV5

Background: B.E., Biomedical Engineering
Undergraduate: Stevens Institute Technology, 2016

“The skills developed in the MSIM program apply to so many different fields. I have the technical background, but really wanted to learn the people skills.It was great to have classmates, now friends, with different backgrounds and career interests come together and learn from each other.”

Nico Pollack

Nico Pollack, MSIM '19

Business Development Representative, IQVIA

Background: B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering
Undergraduate: Tufts University

“This program promotes creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. I was able to round out my technical background with business acumen. I found a profound importance in having both to do great things in today’s tech world, and I’m excited to work with people that want to do great things.”

Rahul Rakhit, MSIM '18

Equity Research Associate, LifeSci Capital

Background: B.S., Biology & Bioinformatics
Undergraduate: Boston College, 2017

"The Career Development class was one of the most important thing to happen [to me]. Once I was in the door [at LifeSci Capital], I found I was actually ahead of the other people I started with because of the different classes I took and understanding the macro & micro economic aspects of what goes into a company."

Alex Rappaport, MSIM '18

Co-Founder & CEO, ZwitterCo

Background: B.S., Environmental Engineering
Undergraduate: Tufts University, 2017

“With so many resources and mentors, the MSIM program is the perfect foundation to take your venture as far as you can. The success we’ve seen this year has been incredible. We placed First in Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition in the high-tech track, and we recently secured funding from Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.”

To read more about the success of ZwitterCo, a startup originally developed as an MSIM Innovation Sprint, click here.

Sagun Sanghi

Sagun Sanghi, MSIM '18

Data Solutions Developer, Silicus

Background: B. Tech., Computer Engineering
Undergraduate: Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, 2016

“The MSIM program gave me the necessary skills and techniques to tackle each client’s problem in the most innovative and thorough way possible to help them fulfill their objectives. It is okay to fail and okay to fail quickly since there is a lot to learn from your failures. I believe that failures give you a fresh perspective on how to lookout for potential problems that may arise on whatever venture you have undertaken."

Kushant Sunkara

Kushant Sunkara, MSIM '19

Manager - Clinical Programs, American Well

Background: B.A. in Biochemistry; M.A. in Bioethics
Undergraduate: Case Western Reserve University

“I chose the MSIM program because of its innovative hands on project-centric teaching style instead of traditional lecture-based courses. I achieved a strong business acumen and have the knowledge to make key strategic business decisions. I was able to come out of the program as a strong leader."

Click here to watch a video highlighting the $100k New Ventures Competition, where Kushant's venture, Cermontix, was a top finalist. 

Laura Taraboanta

Laura Taraboanta, MSIM '19

Clinical Programs Manager, The Learning Corp

Background: B.A. in Biochemistry, M.A. in Bioethics
Undergraduate: Case Western Reserve University

“MSIM stood in clear contrast to other graduate programs due to its focus and commitment to the quality of support for its graduate students. From learning directly from industry experts, to one-on-one dedicated career development, the MSIM program delivered on its promise to equip students with the necessary tools for the careers they envision and supports you well beyond the classroom setting.”

Zachary Zager, MSIM '18

Product Manager, Onapsis Inc.

Background: B.S., Engineering Psychology
Undergraduate: Tufts University, 2017

"MSIM was really pivotal for what I'm doing now in terms of working with a group of interdisciplinary people at the company and in terms of understanding the business side. Being able to have a better sense of all the elements of a business is pretty profound; I have a much better understanding of all the puzzle pieces that go into a company now."

Danhui Zhang

Danhui Zhang, MSIM '19

Business Analyst - Global Investing IT, Cambridge Associates

Background: B.S. in Chemical Engineering; A.B. in International Studies
Undergraduate: Lafayette College

“At MSIM I was surrounded by a group of people that was so diverse in their backgrounds and yet all so driven in paving their own paths. We built one another up and together we created meaningful ventures.”

Click here to watch Danhui speak about the MSIM program's Innovation Sprints.