Q&A with John Siefken, TMMBA student

John SiefkenJohn Siefken, senior project manager at Pacific Project Management, shares his experiences in the UW Foster School’s Technology Management MBA program.

Why did you choose the Technology Management MBA program at the Foster School?
I knew I wanted a robust in-class program that would be interactive, consist of students at a similar level of career experience, and a program where I didn’t have to manage credits and scheduling classes.

How has your study group affected your experience in the TMMBA program?
My study groups have been a great way to review material and see the information in a different way and to work through questions. Without the study group I cannot imagine getting through the program. The study groups are the fuel that power out-of-class activities.

Have you had the opportunity to meet and network with TMMBA (or other Foster MBA) alumni? If so, what is your impression of the Foster alumni network?
I have had the opportunity to meet and network with a number of TMMBA alumni through connections provided by the staff, mentorship program, and networking events. All of the experiences have been fantastic and I have been very impressed with the willingness of all alumni I have encountered to provide assistance and guidance.

What class has been the most useful or interesting to you so far?
The class that I have found both the most useful and interesting is decision modeling. It drives you to think about problem solving in terms of an equation and how to formulate the equations based on the information available.

What are your impressions of the faculty?
I really only have one word to describe the faculty—amazing. The knowledge and energy that each of the members of the faculty bring to the classroom is remarkable. The classroom sessions are always thought provoking, engaging, and challenging.

Has the TMMBA program had an impact on your job/career? If so, what has the impact been?
The program has made me think differently. I am currently working on building a new business and am more energized than I have ever been about what is possible in my career.

Where do you think the tech industry is heading and how is the TMMBA preparing you for that?
The tech industry is headed in a lot of different directions. We live in a time when things are changing rapidly in traditional sectors, which is causing people to challenge their notion of what is possible and realistic. The changes being made are by those who think big and make the impossible a reality. The TMMBA program is undoubtedly preparing all of its students to understand what makes an idea profitable and how to bring it effectively to market as well as how to ensure new ideas are developed by work teams.

What do you think are the most convenient benefits of the TMMBA program?
The TMMBA program is very well structured in order to make completing an MBA as convenient as possible. The benefits I have found most useful are the full scheduling of all classes, the team structure, and the food services. These aspects remove the need to worry about logistics that are not core to gaining a great education.

Is there anything else you want to tell prospective students about this program?
I could not be happier with the decision I made to join the TMMBA program. I know a number of people who have received their MBA’s locally recently and in comparing my experience to theirs, this program is clearly the best managed program available.