Previous Position: Project Manager, Dell
Previous University: California Polytechnic State University SLO
Undergraduate Degree: Manufacturing Engineering
Q: What inspired you to build on your business skillset by pursuing an MBA?
A: I was hired by Dell as a software systems engineer, but they soon needed me to become a project manager to oversee their Thin Client projects. Typically, this position requires 10 years of experience, but two people left the company at the same time, and they asked me to fill in for a few weeks. I did the job for a year and a half, but as an engineer, I didn’t fully understand the big picture from a business perspective. I wanted to fill that gap in my knowledge.
I had also realized that my long-term goal was to lead a team at a smaller business and eventually start a tech company of my own. An MBA was the perfect degree to help me do that.
Q: Having lived in California your entire life, what made you choose Northeastern?
A: I was looking at Full-Time MBA programs that are highly ranked for entrepreneurship, and Northeastern is ranked in the Top 10. I also knew that I learn best when the work is real, so I was attracted by Northeastern’s experience-focused learning.
Q: How will your corporate residency prepare you to achieve your career goals?
A: I will be working at Bella Storage Systems in new product development. My career goal is to lead a Research & Development team, so new product development fits perfectly.
I originally applied to Bella as a marketing intern, but as I spoke to them, they were impressed with my experience in new product development. They created a new six-month corporate residency for me. Bella wants to empower me to help them improve, and having an opportunity like this is very exciting.
Q: How did your participation in the Global Consulting project help you realize your goals?
A: The Global Consulting project was an opportunity for me to see how businesses operate in other parts of the world. My team’s project was with the global logistics firm DHL. Our task was to investigate whether a new segment of their business can be justified. The project is highly confidential.
We began our research in January, flew to Panama over the spring break to learn from other Panamanian companies, and presented our recommendations to DHL executives at the end of the week. They provided feedback, including some additional research, and we will present them with our final report at the end of the semester.
I was the leader of my team and learned how to work with people from a variety of backgrounds. I’m an engineer, and I’ve only worked with engineers, so this experience opened my mind to how people learn and operate differently. This is an important skill for someone like me who wants to become a leader in a smaller company.
“When I did my residency in finance, I was surprised by how much I liked the field…As a result of that experience, I have accepted a full-time job in finance.”
“No other university offered a comparable option that would enable a career-switcher like myself to gain 6 months to a year of applicable work experience while at the same time working towards the completion of an MBA,” says Adarkwa.
“After the MBA at Northeastern, you will be ready to understand business challenges in a global way and tackle them from a holistic perspective,” says Aranzazu,”the MBA will give me the tools I need in order to achieve my long-term goals.”