Jennifer Wei, is recent MEM alumna and a native of Illinois, originally from Crystal Lake. Before joining MEM, she was already a WildCat – she earned her bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University, and now she is working in entrepreneurial opportunities. During her free time, Jennifer particular likes to explore gourmet cuisine, and she believes nothing can beat French fries.
After a few years of working following her undergraduate degree, Jennifer decided to pursue an MEM as she wanted to acquire additional business knowledge to bridge the gap between engineering and business. She also wanted to make sure she was well equipped to pursue opportunities in management. While leveraging available resources to reach this goal, her most valuable memory was the class discussions, where she listened to everyone’s diverse perspective about different management philosophies. Her favorite class was Negotiations, with a straightforward and simple reason, it was fun. The class brought an interesting perspective to relationship building, and taught skills that she still uses in her career today.
Jennifer believes her experience during her MEM degree have offered her alternative views when thinking about problems. She became more analytical and critical not only when facing engineering challenges, but also when she was dealing with relationship building. This change in perspectives and process of thinking has also opened up opportunities that Jennifer would not have seen before. Prior to MEM, she constantly felt that she was limited to a world of engineering. The program has challenged her in such a way that she broke through many of her limitations. For example, she challenged herself in the job seeking process not to be limited by what was in the job description, marketing herself even if she did not meet all the ‘preferred qualifications’.
When advising future MEM students, Jennifer states: “Take risks and think broadly. Rise above the stereotype that engineers are number people that cannot think creatively or have outstanding social skills. It is important to know your strength, but also push yourself to try new classes and experiences that make you uncomfortable.”