How to Bring Together the Worlds of Business and Technology

Nicky_1Today technology and markets are both changing incredibly quickly. The world has never been so demanding or required that people understand both technology and business to be successful. A great example is from the mobile world, the area in which I work: ten years ago it would have been hard to imagine people talking about social networks at their finger tips. Now, everybody can publish an app with their idea on App Store. There are more opportunities yet more competition and it’s quite important to keep up with the new market demand and to have real world technical solutions to fit in the emerging market QUICKLY. While many engineers understand the technology, an effective engineering manager must  navigate both worlds to be effective.

 From Software Engineer to Integration Manager

Before coming to the MEM program, I was a software engineer and an academic researcher. I enjoyed innovation and making cool products, but did not have an eye to see how the product or findings benefited the rest of world—our partners and customers. After graduation, I launched my job at Symantec. I am currently working on Norton Mobile products filling the role of both software development and integration management with partners.

As an integration manager, my work is to bridge engineering team, sales, product management and project management to make sure product is shipped with the right features the market needs. I am very proud that as a software engineer, I am able to understand the market needs behind the product, and now as an integration manager, I understand technology and engineering capability to fulfill the business requirements. That’s all benefit from taking MEM program at Northwestern University. The program uniquely features strategic decision, marketing and design, combined with each students’ engineering background. The MEM program equipped me with real world skills learned from real-world projects, business cases, professors’ industry experience, and more importantly: every student has work experience we share with each other.

 What Current Students Should Keep in Mind

I took three things away from the MEM program: product, market demand, and collaboration. A business can only be successful when these three things converge in one business. Now, I can naturally discover the purpose and ideas behind the products on shelf, or on website, and because of that, I am able to form more structured business insights that can benefit from technology.

MEM integrates technology and business together in a well-designed syllabus and real projects, rendering this precious vision to its graduates. I am very proud of doing the job. The practical training from MEM program has allowed me to understand a big picture of the business and to solve problems with insights. I’d like to say, the MEM program not only gives me the ticket to land my NEXT career, but it offers me life-long assets to make me prepared whenever opportunities arise in my life.

Our post today is brought to you by Nicky Liu, a 2011 MEM graduate who works for Symantec and specializes in the field of mobile technology. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin earned her Bachelors of Engineering from the Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications and a Master of Information Technology from the University of Sydney in 2007.


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