Student Spotlight: Laura Ortega Goyzueta

Laura Ortega

Laura Ortega Goyzueta is a current MEM full time student at Northwestern. Originally from Puno, south of Peru, she earned her undergrad degree in Industrial Engineering from Catholic University of Saint Mary (Arequipa-Peru). Prior to her study here at Northwestern, she worked as a supervisor in a Dairy Farm in isolated areas in Peru. Leveraging her engineering knowledge, she increased the farm plant productivity by 10 times previous outputs. She recently ended her Co-Op program with Toyota Motor North America in Michigan as a Supply Engineering Development Department. Apart from career life, she is an amazing chef in Peruvian food!

“Great opportunity to learn from one of the best Schools in Engineering”

Laura has her career interests in Project Management and Strategic Management. She first formed her decision to attend MEM as she wanted to forge her entrepreneurship knowledge, leadership and management skill while still leveraging her engineering background – MEM seems to be a program that offers all. She was also attracted by the great opportunity to learn from one of the best Schools in Engineering (McCormick) and the best Schools in Business School (Kellogg) in the U.S. Further, she believed she’d be able to be inspired by the other peers who as well joined the program, and learn from their work experiences in distinctive fields and industries, a chance she believed would not exist in her home country.

“Business Processing Change with Professor Mark Werwath, from which she learned how a process reengineering works”

Now that Laura has studied in the program for almost a year, she is enjoying each class and every single professor she has met. She found all professors have a wide range of experience in many industries.  What is unique is that most of the professors have their own consulting firms, which enables her to learn a lot from their stories and professional experience.  The course that has applied directly to her work at Toyota was Business Processing Change with Professor Mark Werwath, from which she learned how a process re-engineering works, when is the right time to make a change in a process, and how to apply lean principals in the industry.  She was engaged in the class from the beginning, the information flowed naturally, and she was confident to communicate and to break the cultural barriers.  She finished the class with renewed energy.  It has been a win-win relationship between the program and herself, she firmly believes.

Regarding her career, the Northwestern brand has opened many doors with recruiters, which is very important from her perspective, as she came from a different country and sometimes feels she doesn’t have equal amount of opportunities in the job market as local students.  During the program, Laura is learning to connect her engineering skills with her leadership skills. She eventually expects to be ready to play a major role in the globalized world, making educated strategic decisions with supporting evidence.  In the short term she is seeking an opportunity as a senior engineer in the U.S. manufacturing industry, and in the long term, she is preparing to manage an engineering department.

“Be prepared for the change”

To the future students, work hard, the world is changing and the industries are changing. “Be prepared for the change”, says Laura. Take courses based on what you want to do in your future career. And always attend the Student Advisory Board (SAB) social events, this is a great opportunity to increase your social and professional networking.

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