Written by: Tom Heyward
I write this post to describe my experience of deciding to attend the MIT SCM program and how the program lived up to my expectations. As a disclaimer, my experience is very specific to me, but I hope that it illustrates some basic themes that many of you face and can relate to.
First some background to set the stage for the decision. I am a mechanical engineer with ten years of experience in the offshore oil and gas industry. Over the past few years, I became interested in making some changes to my career path. I wanted to work in a different industry and I wanted to break out of the engineering role into something more related to the ongoing business operations. Making a direct transition from my current job into a new job in a different industry and functional role proved more challenging than anticipated. I considered getting an MBA to help cross the industry and functional role chasm.
I decided that a residence program would best meet my goals for getting into a new industry in a different part of the country. Doing an executive program didn’t seem to give me the exposure I wanted outside of Houston and the oil and gas industry. I started meeting with everyone I knew that had an MBA to ask them about their experience. The feedback I received gave me some minor, but surmountable, concerns about the fit of an MBA program with my specific career interests, which were predominately focused on a manufacturing context. The cost of not working for two years with a family of four to support plus the cost of tuition also gave me pause.
Around this time, I had completed my first attempt at the GRE and was receiving marketing emails from both business schools and other programs I had not previously considered. Mostly, these other programs I ignored, but when I received something from MIT’s Supply Chain Program it immediately grabbed my attention. Researching the program and reading blogs such as this one, the program started making a lot of sense for my interests in business operations, my background in engineering, and my desire to afford school. However, I was wary of the old “too good to be true probably is” cliché. How could I spend only one year to get a masters and get to a seemingly similar place (at least for my purposes) as a two year MBA? Needless to say, I decided to pursue the option. It lived up to the hype and I am very pleased with the results so far.
In December, after four months of school, I found the job I wanted in one of the top industries that interested me. Access to the Sloan business school classes gave me access to typical finance and strategy courses. At the same time, I am learning specific analytical techniques and tools that equip me to analyze business data and optimize business processes. The program offers a lot of flexibility in the skills that you can grow and develop and the experience at MIT’s SCM program has definitely met my expectations.
Hope this helps and good luck as you explore options to make changes in your career!