Educational background: CornellUniversity (School of Hotel Administration), Hotel and BusinessAdministration
Current or most recent position: Siemens ICM LLC; Mobile Phones North America, Product Manager
As an undergrad, quantitative methods really were not my strong suit — and that didn't miraculously change when I got accepted to MIT. DMD (Data, Models & Decisions) is a first-year course dedicated to numbers — crunching numbers, thinking about and manipulating numbers — and it pretty much gave me the heebie-jeebies before I even entered. I was lucky enough to have an amazing professor, Georgia Perakis, who was very patient with me and challenged me in a way that didn't make me feel small in a class with math whizzes.
But I felt luckiest when I realized how blessed I was to have classmates equally patient, understanding, and willing to help without making me feel small or uncompetitive. One day in particular, there was a topic that I just didn't get. No matter which way I phrased my question and Georgia phrased the answer, the puzzled look on my face gave away my frustration. Throughout those trying minutes, other classmates offered alternate explanations and simple examples — without talking down to me.But the real result was that at the end of the 90 minutes, no less than seven people approached me either immediately or later to offer in some cases personal assistance and in others fully written proofs that showed a comparison in technical and laypersons' terms to help me understand in the way that I learned best.
Like many Sloanies, I was a career changer. But in an economic climate where tech firms had a host of laid off, experienced talent, jumping careers from hotels to technology was a long shot. Prior to MIT Sloan my stated goal was to become a Product Manager in the CRM Software field. After my summer internship, I broadened and became slightly more flexible. The revised stated goal was to become a Product Manager in a heavily Software Oriented High Tech Field that produces a tangible product with which I can personally identify.
I am now a Product Manager in the heavily software driven world of the very accessible product class of Mobile Phones. Not to mention I am based in lovely San Diego! While I would love to attribute my success in making the jump to my intellect and tenacity alone, it is a plain fact that without the MIT Sloan brand, education and alumni network (how I heard of the job), I would not have achieved this transition.