For as long as I can remember I wanted to be an engineer. As I grew older, I would create little inventions and try to get friends and family to buy them. However, I found out the latter was challenging. I realized creating a cool product wasn’t enough to convince others they needed it or provide the money to make more. This sparked my interest in business. I soon found out about M&T’s high school summer program, the Management & Technology Summer Institute. I attended as a junior in high school. I thoroughly enjoyed those three weeks at Penn and decided to apply ED to M&T.
I am so grateful to be a part of the M&T community on campus here at Penn. It is an honor to be surrounded by so many driven and intelligent people who have so much passion for their work. What surprised me most about the community is the diversity of interests found within one dual-degree program. I have M&T friends who want to get PhDs while others look to work in fintech/banking. Some are working on their own startups, which others intern at big names like Tesla and Google.
And M&T fosters that community. Every M&T sophomore takes MGMT 237, Management of Technology, together and this really gave me a chance to branch out and connect with my peers in an academic setting. There are M&T lineages, study groups, and common majors that allow the community to grow stronger in various ways. I always can reach out to older M&T students, as well as alumni, for help picking classes or guidance in finding summer internships. It’s these connections, and the passions I can pursue, that make M&T the best fit for me.
Reed is a mechanical engineering and applied mechanics (MEAM) major and math minor concentrating in management. He is a member of the class of 2018 and will be sub matriculating into a Masters in Robotics program after graduation.
Why do M&T? What’s the value of the M&T education?
The M&T education is unique because it teaches a whole new thinking process. Being both technically and business literate at the end of your 4-year undergraduate education is a rarity. M&Ts can look at a product and understand both the technical underpinnings of how it works and business details to bring the product to market. It’s what makes M&Ts so desirable to recruiters and investors.
Why shouldn’t I just do my undergrad in engineering and do an MBA afterwards; isn’t that the same?
When you complete these degrees sequentially (such as pursuing your engineering education and then completing your MBA), you are building an understanding of how businesses work on top of your engineering education. The two layers of thinking processes stack vertically, and you may always lean towards thinking as an engineer first since that process is more mature and developed. With an M&T education, you develop both these processes concurrently, making you comfortable thinking as an engineer and as businessperson simultaneously. In contrast to the two-layered thinking, your initial thinking foundation is infused and strengthened with both business and engineering perspectives.
Why do I love M&T?
What I love about M&T is the wide applicability of the education and the opportunities available to you upon completion. A common misconception is the only way to truly realize an M&T education is to do something that explicitly combines the business and engineering aspects in its job description. However, as the worlds of business and engineering have become increasingly entwined, opportunities are inherently interdisciplinary.
Having a business education as an engineer can prepare you to understand what a company’s priorities are and help you to design project proposals that are appealing to both technical and management colleagues. On the other hand, technical expertise in an engineering field can enable you as an investor or consultant to identify interesting technical companies and be able to communicate with the engineers at each firm. Whether you decide to become a business-savvy engineer, an entrepreneur, or a consultant or trader with technical expertise, it’s all possible with an M&T education. Ultimately, the decision of how to combine your business and engineering education is left up to you.
Dhriti is a computer science major concentrating in finance.