The TMMBA ROI: Meet the panelists

When considering an MBA program, it is important to consider your return on investment (ROI) since you will be investing a significant amount of time and money. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing valuable insights from a panel of TMMBA alums who impart their perspective and explain how ROI is measured in many ways beyond the financial payback.

Let’s kick off our blog series by introducing our alumni panelists:

Mike McCarter, 2014,  Director – Online Operations, Microsoft
My name’s Mike.  I’m in online operations in Microsoft and it’s an area where we work at the intersection of business and engineering. I originally took the MBA program because I thought that I had a street MBA; I’ve been in leadership and management positions for a long time.  And I just wanted the credentials to go with what I already knew.  It turned out that the most valuable thing I got out of the program was not the credentials.

Amitai Rottem, 2014, Entrepreneur
Hi I’m Amitai. Before and during the program, I worked at Microsoft.  I was there for a little over 8 years. Just after I graduated, I decided to leave and go to the startup life. But what really brought me to the program was that I attended events like this and I knew I didn’t want a daytime MBA.  I didn’t want to leave my job and stop everything. I went to a TMMBA event and I heard people who were more similar to me like, “Hey we’re engineers and we really want to be more business people.”  Or, “We’ve been doing this and we want to do some kind of a change or be more well-rounded.  We’re product managers, but we want to understand how finance works or marketing works.” It just seemed like a much better fit for me.

Bhaskar Dutt, 2012, Engineering Manager, Expedia Inc.
I’m Bhaskar.  I’m an engineering manager at Expedia.  I manage a couple of teams that work on the sort services that sort out hotel lists.  Anytime you go to any kind of Expedia or Expedia-related page like Hotels.com, for example, the services that are providing the lists of hotels and the sort rank, those are going through the services that my team works on.  I graduated 2012 so at the time I came into the program, I had been at Microsoft for about 10 years and I was at a crossroads.  I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next.  My entire background was very technical.  And I was trying to figure out whether I wanted to stay in a very technical role or I wanted to go migrate to SD, the program management, product management, maybe even marketing side, all of which I knew very little about.  This was a jump into an unknown area to try and figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. As it turned out, it was a big game changer for me.  It moved me in very different directions. I’ve heard there are three things that people mostly look for when trying to decide to do an MBA.  There’s the credential, there is the knowledge and information that you gain out of the program, and then there’s the network. For me coming into the program, I was thinking it would be the knowledge and information and the credentials and I completely discounted the network.  But the network turned out to be very, very rewarding…it surprised me as to how useful and how fulfilling it was to meet new people and connect with them.

Todd Cota, 2013, Senior Manager – Technology Services at West Monroe Partners
I’m Todd. I graduated in 2011. I’m currently a consultant with West Mineral Partners.  We’re a business and IT consulting firm based out of Chicago with offices here in Seattle.  For me, I was at a point where I wanted to either make a lateral move to a larger company or move to a similar-size company to where I was working before. I’ve been in IT since my undergrad and I knew I wanted to stay there and I wanted an MBA program that would still allow me to utilize my technical skills, add some more management and business skills on top of that to help me make a move.  I would say that I don’t think the program helped me get my job, my new one, but it actually made me really successful at my new job.  I was able to take my business and technical skills that I got from the program and apply them in my new consulting role.

Viveka Raol, 2015, Former Sr. Scientist with Amgen
Hi.  My name is Viveka  and I graduated in June 2015. I’m a former scientist at Amgen.  Amgen is a biotechnology firm. They recently moved out of Washington and back to Thousand Oaks, California, their headquarters.  I’ve been in biotech for the past 25 years, most of those have been as a scientist at Amgen.  I decided to pursue an MBA because I was science-centric and I thought had a very limited vision.  So I decided to pursue an MBA to comprehend all the different aspects of biotechnology, drug discovery, drug development to drug marketing.  I decided on the Technology Management MBA because I’m in biotechnology and I’m at the intersection of life science and I decided to go for a technology focused MBA.

Stay tuned for future posts about the TMMBA ROI – our next feature will highlight the value of the TMMBA network. Interested in hearing more? You’re invited to attend our next TMMBA ROI Roundtable event on Tuesday, July 19. Click here for event details and to register.