Dreams are never over, only delayed. That’s the lesson that Andrea Romero-Peters from Ecuador learned when she took a detour en route to graduate school to start a family. Business has long been a passion of hers, thanks to the influence of her maternal grandfather, a self-made man with a strong work ethic who established his own businesses.
It was her grandparents’ support that eventually led her to the US, where she embarked on a work-travel program during her senior year at a university in Ecuador. “When I had to choose a US region to visit, I told the program director, ‘I don’t mind where I go, I just want to make sure I improve my English,’” said Romero-Peters, whose native language is Spanish.
She knew the Keweenaw Peninsula had a small-town feel, but she wasn’t prepared for just how remote it was, or the hundreds of inches of snow it receives annually, but her time at Michigan Tech would prove to be life-defining. It’s where she met her husband, Steve. After finishing school, Romero-Peters subsequently started a family and a contracting business with her husband. Her stints in local tech-focused businesses over the years opened her eyes to the extent the industry had evolved.
With her children growing older, Romero-Peters knew she had an opportunity to return to school to achieve her MBA. “I knew I needed an MBA to advance my career and be current in my field. Marketing had evolved since I completed my undergraduate degree a decade prior.”
The solution? Going back to business school with a specialized program that seamlessly integrates STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) into its curriculum. It’s why Peters chose to do her Master of Business Administration (TechMBA®) at Michigan Technological University (MTU) College of Business. “I felt an MBA from MTU would carry more weight and provide me with more professional value,” Peters remarked. Drawn to Michigan Tech’s graduate success stories and reputation, she finally realised her goal of completing graduate school.
Future-proof skills for career readiness
There’s a reason why TechMBA® graduates are good at what they do. Businesses have evolved to match a fast-paced world that is increasingly reliant on digitization. That’s why the old MBA model won’t suffice if you want to remain marketable. Michigan Tech knows this fact all too well; their MBA program is cross-disciplinary by design to include technological competency and data analytics to keep its students ahead of the curve.
As a top-ranked MBA school in Michigan, MTU’s TechMBA® program and Master’s of Science in Accounting are both accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This means that graduates have a distinct advantage in job placements due to their affiliation with a distinguished university known for its technological prominence.
“Michigan’s TechMBA® has created incredible opportunities for me, professionally and personally. It provides me with academic tools to feel confident,” says Peters, who has since started a new career in international market development consulting after graduating from MTU.
Michigan Tech’s graduate students in accounting share the same trajectory in professional success: its graduates have a 100% job placement rate. Mastering the “language of business” has never been more dynamic in an environment where real-world experience is brought into the classroom. Students can opt for a certificate in accounting analytics or in forensic accounting within the MS in Accounting program to gain additional industry insights.
When STEM means business
If you have a background in STEM, the Master’s in Engineering Management (MEM) program at MTU is the ideal springboard for you to make your mark in business. This program is where business acumen and applied engineering — two in-demand industry skills — intersect, optimizing project execution to its fullest. The payoff for an MEM degree is worth the investment: engineering managers with similar backgrounds earn a median annual wage of nearly US$150,000 in May 2020.
An MEM degree is a signal to companies that you possess both leadership qualities and technical capabilities to reach strategic goals. You’ll learn to support projects from conception to completion, in addition to spearheading research teams to improve and develop products, processes, or designs.
In essence, all businesses are technological businesses, considering how much technology is required to propel ideas into execution. MTU’s Master’s of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics (NRE) recognizes that the field of natural and environmental resource management requires innovative problem-solvers who are equally adept at science, economics, and technical communications.
The ANRE graduate program equips students to solve the world’s most pressing environmental questions from a unique perspective, which leads to diverse career paths and opportunities. Through experiential learning and class projects that emphasize practical skills in addressing real-world challenges, students tackle environmental issues with elements of policy analysis, economic theory, and commodity markets. It’s hardly surprising that its graduates include distinguished academics and senior economists at the Asian Development Bank.
Whichever path you choose at the College of Business, being a part of its community in small-town Houghton means access to a strong network of industry connections. In a place where technology plays a large part in its academic culture; you’ll leave with valuable technical knowledge and experience for impactful decision-making in the workforce. To start your immersive and experiential STEM-based business education, click here.