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Darla Moore School of Business

MBA presents engineers with a broader scope beyond operations

Oct. 14, 2020

The Moore School Professional MBA program can benefit professionals from any industry, including engineering. The skills learned through the Professional MBA program help engineers have a broader understanding about business and strategic decision making as managers. Having a greater understanding about the financing, supply chain and other business aspects of a business are crucial for those in leadership roles.

Moore School alumnus Cedric Green (’15 USC Ph.D., mechanical engineering, ’08 USC Master of Mechanical Engineering, ’02 MBA, ’97 USC mechanical engineering) has seen his career opportunities grow since he obtained his MBA from the Moore School and doctorate in mechanical engineering from USC.

Green decided to enroll in the Professional MBA program so that he could expand his knowledge about business and finance. 

“Working in a heavily regulated industry, I am fortunate to have learned through the Moore School how to be strategic in my new roles,” he said.

Currently the vice president for gas services at Dominion Energy Group, Green uses both his engineering and business skills on a daily basis.

“I navigate decisions regarding the design and build of the pipeline and underground storage systems while leveraging technology to automate both,” he said. “We ensure the overall integrity of both systems to mitigate risk, so my current position marries the two disciplines.”

Green acknowledges that he made sacrifices going back to school to get his MBA while working a full-time job in a power generation environment.

“However, the return on that investment has been exponential,” Green said. “The Moore School helped me become a more strategic thinker, and the MBA opened doors for me to work in positions beyond operations. As such, I continue to benefit from understanding the big picture when I make decisions.”

Two Moore School Professional MBA students Elizabeth Haughton, a process engineer with Savannah Nuclear Solutions in Aiken, South Carolina, and Will Coughlan, a sales manager for Metglas, Inc., in Conway, South Carolina, were also able to apply their knowledge from their Professional MBA classes while working on a 3D printing and prosthetics project with TIGHITCO, a manufacturer of aerospace parts.

“While most of our work was spent analyzing existing market research, industry reports and websites, we also interviewed people in the medical device industry,” Haughton said. “It really pushed us to not only learn new concepts and industries, but also how to apply USC and TIGHITCO’s technology to the prosthetics market for Extremiti3D.”

Both Haughton and Coughlan were able to utilize their business skills in a field that they were not as familiar with. Coughlan said he was easily able to transfer his skillset in product management from Metglas to the prosthetics project, despite the two companies possessing different technologies and being in different industries.

Having both Professional MBA students on the team added business skillsets that were missing before. They both proved to be great assets as they helped determine what the next step in commercializing the technology would be. Without their analysis and insight, TIGHTICO would not have the market information and industry contacts they currently have.

Even though some may not associate an MBA with the engineering field, it’s a complementary combination that proves to be beneficial for many. Having business knowledge in the engineering world is a unique asset that many employers value.

-Claire McGrath

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