MSIS Alumni Veteran Spotlight: Patrick Gutiérrez

Student veterans join the Master of Science in Information Systems program with diverse skillsets and leadership expertise. They bring a unique perspective to the classroom and find success in some of the tech industry’s most sought-after sectors. 

In honor of Veteran’s Day, we asked MSIS Class of 2019 alum, Patrick Gutiérrez, about his journey from military to MSIS and beyond.

Patrick Gutiérrez, Support Engineer Manager – Builder Tools at AWS, began his career as a Field Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army where he gained extensive experience leading large teams and navigating complex organizational structures.


After transitioning out of the Army he landed a role at Amazon where he quickly fell in love with the company and technology, but he knew he needed to enhance his technical skills in order to create long-term career success. In 2018, he sought the MSIS program to deepen his technical acumen and transition into tech leadership.

When I started looking at graduate programs, I needed a program that would be compatible with my work schedule. I had leadership experience from the military, but I needed to learn about business leadership so I was drawn to the Foster School of Business. I knew I wanted to specialize in tech rather than go broad across industries. I discovered the MSIS program which balances the business curriculum of Foster with the coding and data science I needed to be successful in the tech industry. 

Leading From the Military to the Classroom

Gutiérrez is a natural leader, sharing that the unique conditions of the military environment gave him the confidence to lead teams through adversity. His leadership was a strong asset in the classroom, where he was able to share his rich military perspective and experience as well as learn from the diversity of his classmates.

“Whether leading a team, leading a project, or proposing a new idea, the class presentations in MSIS help prepare you for those experiences in the business world. Working together on group projects and presenting to the class was especially important and applicable to the work I do today.”

Top Tech Skills for a Top Tech Job

Not only did he deepen his leadership perspective in MSIS, but Gutiérrez was also able to immediately apply the technical skills he learned in class to his role at Amazon engaging with engineers and data scientists. After graduation he continued to build on those experiences, ultimately applying for a manager role on a technical team.

“The hiring manager saw my education and experience and had no hesitation choosing me for the job.”

Making a Lasting Impact

Undoubtedly, Gutiérrez has made a lasting impact on all those around him and continues to share his insights with others. When asked his advice for someone considering MSIS, Gutiérrez shared,

MSIS goes narrow and deep in the skills required to be a successful leader in the tech industry. The balance between case studies and hands-on data science is deeper and more robust than any on-the-job training could accomplish in a similar time. The Foster School of Business and the University of Washington expose you to the best network of companies, leaders, and opportunities that Seattle has to offer. If your goal is to be a leader in the tech industry, then MSIS is a perfect fit.”

The MSIS community couldn’t be more proud of alumni veterans like Patrick Gutiérrez. We thank him for his service and for the rich experience he brought to the classroom and industry. We look forward to seeing his continued impact!


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