Embracing a growth mindset

How the MIT EMBA helped one alum develop a new analytics platform

With the MIT Executive MBA, “time is now”

MIT Executive MBA

Navigating the MIT EMBA journey

Piers Dormeyer is Chief Executive Officer of EagleView and a member of the MIT Executive MBA Class of 2023.

What made you want to pursue an MBA at this point in your career?  And why the MIT Executive MBA? 

Piers Dormeyer, EMBA '23

Going back to school to pursue an MBA was something I had always planned to do but between operating startups, challenging work assignments, and managing the family dynamic, I couldn’t fit it in until 2021.  

Then, two things changed. I’d risen to a level in my career where certain knowledge gaps needed to be filled, particularly in functions in which I hadn’t developed much operating experience. I also had an incredibly supportive CEO who encouraged me to take on the program, despite increasing business responsibilities. 

MIT was an easy choice. As a technologist and engineer, MIT has a special significance. But on top of that, the program’s quantitative rigor that focuses on applying technology and data to solve difficult problems, along with the caliber of students the program attracts, were key drivers of my decision.   

You traveled in from Florida for the program. Can you share some of your tips on how to balance travel, along with work, life, and school? 

Minimize the amount of time you’re away if you have a family back at home. Try to limit overnights, even if it means you’re taking midnight flights on Saturday. It can be hard on the home front being away on the weekends. Also, when possible, try to book direct flights because delays are common through connecting hubs during the end and beginning of the calendar year. Remember that flight time is precious. If you can, stay away from Netflix and use this time to do your work and readings. 

As the Chief Executive Officer of EagleView (EV), how do you see generative AI (GenAI) influencing the future of aerial imagery and impacting your industry? 

Advances in GenAI will transform a myriad of industries. At EV we’re already using Generative Adversarial Networks in data solutions for the solar and utilities spaces. For example, through AI, we can instantly tell you the potential energy production of any rooftop, helping to efficiently convert these spaces to sustainable powerplants without worrying about whether an owner will see a payback or ROI on their investment. Other applications around change detection and object identification will become commonplace in the coming years as AI models and computers evolve. 

Was there a particular framework or learning that you were able to immediately integrate in your work?  

There were several frameworks that I began to implement almost immediately. In Competitive Strategy, “Five Forces” was particularly useful, as I opened new geographies and vertical markets. Additionally, the simple process taught in Financial Management for evaluating companies’ financial statements was very helpful.   

We often talk about the profound inflection points students have while enrolled in the MIT Executive MBA. Did you experience any? If so, what were they? 

Near the end of the program, I was appointed CEO of my company. I began the MIT EMBA with the goal of preparing myself for the job but didn’t expect that I would be in it before graduation. Because of MIT, both the training, as well as the relationships and support network built, I was more prepared to take on the challenge.       

If you could give prospective students one piece of advice, what would it be? 

First, you must have complete buy-in from family and work. And the family part is the priority. School-work-life balance is like a bank account. When you’re traveling for a conference or a weekend away at school (especially when you’re doing fun and exciting things without them), you’re making withdrawals. For every withdrawal, make a deposit. That means including them in the events and activities that the program organizes. It also means you should consider pausing other hobbies and activities you did while you’re in school. Lastly, don’t skip out on family vacations. You’ll figure out how to get the schoolwork done. Whatever you do, don’t get overdrawn. 

For more info Tom Little Marketing Coordinator, Executive Degree Programs