Student Perspectives

Jen Pride, Chemical Engineering

College revolves around community, connections, and growth. The STEM Path to the MBA has provided all three of these for me throughout my college career. Within the program, there are students and professors with the same goals: differentiation of yourself and continuous growth. The community built from having the same professor and sometimes the same students in a classroom for 6 consecutive semesters is one of the main reasons that I have seen so much growth within myself and others. Not only does the program provide growth within itself, but there are many opportunities to apply what you have learned within the classroom. For me, my study abroad experience with the European Innovation Academy was an opportunity to apply my technical, business, and entrepreneurial skills on a global scale. Other examples of great opportunities that I have experienced with the program include the NASA patent challenge and Tuscaloosa Start-Up weekend. Without the STEM Path to the MBA program, I would have missed out on many wonderful opportunities that I have had throughout college. I am eager to utilize these skills in the workforce.

 

Julian Giakas, Biology

The STEM Path to the MBA has enabled my cultivation and development of the critical skills that are intimately connected to the business world. This dynamic educational experience provides the inimitable opportunity for engagement, team-building, and communication development; moreover, it enables my relentless pursuit toward an academic career centered on multiplicity, bolstering my ideals of a well-rounded education. I believe that the STEM Path to the MBA has helped me to acquire the necessary skills to be better prepared to enter the business world by fostering a unique perspective not directly expressed in the normal STEM curriculum. It has allowed me to feel more prepared than ever to enter the professional realm.

 

Jane Gillette, Aerospace Engineering

Coming into college, I knew that I wanted to be an engineering major, because throughout high school I'd always been most interested and most skilled at classes involving physics and math. However, I was always hesitant to commit to an engineering career, as I'd worked all throughout high school in retail positions at local businesses, and I'd always loved working with people, interacting with customers, and getting a little look into the business world. I didn't want to lose that in my future engineering career. So, as soon as I heard about the STEM Path to the MBA program, I knew it was just what I needed. This program is so unique, and it throws together STEM and CREATE students from all disciplines, all learning about business topics which are completely new to us. In addition to the curriculum and all that I've learned about business, I've learned so many valuable lessons about public speaking, presentations, and communicating with team members that I couldn't have learned just anywhere else. This program is one-of-a-kind, unique, and incredibly effective in creating well-rounded students.

Cat Meyn, Mechanical Engineering

Being a member of the STEM Path to the MBA was one of the main reasons I chose, Alabama, and I could not be happier with my decision. I have been exposed to problems in our world from NASA, the Home Depot, projects in rural Alabama, and have had the ability to solve some of these solutions. I have had the privilege of meeting and working with some of the most talented and hard-working individuals through the STEM program, whether that be a professor, student, or professional speaker. Having the opportunity to apply my engineering background to real-world problems has allowed me to grow into much more than a cookie-cutter engineer, and allow me to direct my future career plans around bigger problems and big ideas.

 

Reid Mallette, Chemical Engineering

I think that applying for the STEM Path to the MBA was the best choice I could have made for broadening my options for internships and jobs when I graduate. It's been invaluable for many reasons - I've gotten an overview of six different areas of business, and I've improved my presentation and speaking skills tremendously. I also love the community that the program provides. I had the same professor and many of the same classmates for my first six semesters, and I've gotten to know many other people in the program through the socials and events that are put on throughout each school year. There are also many special opportunities offered like trips to plants and service opportunities with other people in the community. The STEM Path to the MBA expands and builds on my engineering major and gives me options and opportunities that I can't find anywhere else on campus.

 

Clay Wagenhals, Mechanical Engineering, Minor in Randall Research Scholars Program

Deciding to commit to the STEM Path to the MBA when starting college was the best long-term career decision I could have made. Through the program, I have been introduced to value-driven business strategy, customer identification techniques, business analytics, and the foundations of entrepreneurship. After interning, I realized that choosing to complete an MBA before joining the workforce will free me to build the life I choose without having to reconcile paying for and completing the degree while starting a family, committing to an industry, and building the foundation for my career. The STEM Path to the MBA has not only saved me money and time, but has provided a strong and unique business perspective as I enter the engineering workforce.

 

Morgan Lakey, Electrical Engineering

Coming into college, I was barely sure about what I wanted to do, and I wound up switching from computer engineering to electrical engineering in my first semester when I found that coding wasn’t for me. That said, deciding on graduate school before I even knew what undergrad would be like was daunting, but I can confidently say that pursuing my MBA through this program has been one of the most positively impactful decisions I’ve made in my life. The skills I have learned in my classes through this program have made an immense difference in my co-op experience, and have certainly given me a leg up over my peers. In addition, as much as the classes have helped me, the professors are what truly makes the difference. They care about each one of us as individuals, and as long as you show up to class ready to learn, you can expect a truly fantastic experience.

 

Nick Garrett, Mechanical Engineering

As a mechanical engineering student, I cannot recommend the STEM Path to the MBA highly enough. It is a valuable program for any prospective engineering student because it equips students with the tools and skills necessary to succeed in a business environment. The program exposes students to the business world and, when paired with the technical skills learned in engineering courses, allows students who are unsure about what to pursue after graduation the ability to explore career opportunities outside of the field of engineering.

 

Maruka Walker, Biology and History

My experience with the STEM Path to the MBA Program has been amazing! I entered the program as a pre-med student interested in owning a medical practice. However, as I learned about integrated sections of business, I discovered I wanted to use my MBA to manage affordable health care clinics. The STEM Path to the MBA helped me choose this path through the opportunities presented outside of the classroom. Because of the program, I worked to help a local free clinic restructure their electronic medical network, participated in Startup Weekend Tuscaloosa, and I volunteered at the STEM Entrepreneurship Academy.

I believe the program is valuable because it develops communication and social skills in addition to academics. I have grown tremendously in my presentation skills and diversified my portfolio of experiences through STEM Path the MBA. My advice for prospective students is to join the program and take advantage of the opportunities to network and grow outside the classroom. Those experiences will help you get a job you love more than your test scores will.

 

Olivia Ustas, Civil Engineering

I could not picture my college experience without The STEM Path to the MBA Program. It has connected me to students and professionals across all STEM disciplines, and I have created an incredible network from that. Pursuing an MBA in addition to my engineering studies opens up a wide variety of exciting career options as well. The program has given me the opportunity to take the best of both worlds by using my engineering mindset to tackle problems in any professional industry, and to me that is priceless.

 

Evan Dwyer, Computer Science

The STEM Path to the MBA is one of the main reasons why I decided to attend The University of Alabama. It's hard to pass up such a program, especially considering all the opportunities it has afforded me since I've been here. Whether it's been learning the business side of things, the professional development, or the amazing connections (my favorite part), the program has provided more opportunities to me than I thought possible. I have it to thank for helping me land my internship this summer [2017], and I can only imagine what doors await to be opened down the road with graduate school and beyond. More than anything, the STEM Path to the MBA gives back what you put into it and then some.

 

Anna Gant, Mechanical Engineering and Spanish

The STEM Path to MBA has been so much more impactful than I ever imagined it would be. Regardless of your undergraduate degree, you will likely end up working for a company after college, and knowing how your role fits into the operations of that company truly sets you apart. The well-rounded and holistic approach that the STEM Path to MBA takes in preparing its students to be successful is invaluable and rare. Personally, the combination of my BSME and my MBA has given me an edge by providing me with a background in deeply technical work along with the context of business and the operations that bring the technical knowledge to life. I highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the STEM Path to MBA.

 

Kevin Shannon, Computer Science

Being a student of the STEM Path to the MBA as a Computer Science major has been an amazing opportunity for me. Now in my MBA year, I understand what it takes to successfully bring to life new technologies and build innovative companies. The STEM Path to the MBA helped grow my business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit while getting my bachelor’s degree in a very technical field. I plan to use these skills in the future to be a part of building tech startup companies and potentially even starting my own company.

 

The best part of my experience was how all the professors of the STEM Path to the MBA champion your success and genuinely want the best for you as a student and a young professional. Our faculty and staff will truly prepare you to thrive - not just in college, but far beyond. If you are considering applying, I would highly recommend this program.

 

Emily Huynh, Computer Science

I do not know where I would be today without the support of the faculty and students of the STEM Path to the MBA. Joining this program was by far one of the best decisions I have made for my college career. When I started college, the STEM Path to the MBA was my first “home” on campus. The structure of the program allows you to get to know your classmates and professors quickly. In addition to its tightly-knit community, the program provides all kinds of career-building and leadership opportunities. Throughout my undergraduate studies, I’ve participated in entrepreneurial experiences such as Startup Weekend and Crimson Startup. I landed my first internship and my graduate assistant position as a direct result of this program. Of course, none of these opportunities would have been possible without the faculty; the professors are so dedicated to ensuring the success of their students. If you have an idea, they will support you every step of the way. The STEM Path to the MBA is a truly unique experience, and I encourage everyone to see what it’s all about.

 

Nagasai Adusumilli, Psychology on the Pre-Medical Track


Even though I knew that I wanted to practice medicine for my career, the STEM Path to the MBA was a perfect complement that shaped my college experience. As an undergrad on the pre-med track, the MBA classes forced me to think creatively and use parts of the brain that a science-heavy curriculum doesn't emphasize. The graduate level coursework gave me the technical business skills to gain a holistic understanding of the healthcare industry, and presentations and interview prep with an experienced MBA office bolstered my soft skills for medical school interviews.

The faculty develop close relationships with the students and work tirelessly to cater projects to the students' interests and talents. We get access to unique study abroad, speaker, and internship opportunities that bridge the classroom to the real world. Outside of preparing you for whatever path career path that awaits you, the STEM Path to the MBA shrinks the vastness of UA into a close-knit group of people through constant teamwork and collaboration.

 

Ruth Bishop, Biology and Spanish

The STEM Path to the MBA program provided me with a different lens in viewing the world and my path within it. I came to UA with an interest in medicine and was very focused on just the medical science aspect of healthcare without recognizing the bigger picture at play. The lectures, trips, and projects that make up the STEM Path to the MBA experience widened my perspective to include how management, marketing, technology, and numerous other aspects of business can magnify my impact as a future physician, and I think the life lessons you take from the program, if you truly invest in it, will take you far.

 

 

Joseph Wolfe, Electrical Engineering

The connections and career building experiences provided by the STEM Path to the MBA Program are what allowed me to discover what I wanted to do in my career and land my current job with Adtran. As an alumnus of the program, it is incredible to see the growth of both the program and the students in the few short years since my class graduated as the first ever STEM Path class. Some of the projects that the current students have worked on have absolutely blown me away, and I always look forward to hearing about what each new class is able to create through the program.

 

Megan Torman, Chemical Engineering

The great thing about college is that you never know exactly where or who your path will lead you to. The STEM Path to the MBA has something to offer for everyone, no matter what your expectations may be. For me, it helped distinguish myself from the crowd. It provided me with the best kind of friends - those who will challenge and support you and share in your stress and success. The professors are genuine and generous, and they will do everything in their power to see you reach your dreams. This program was not a supplement to my education but rather a foundation. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and see the amazing places it will take you!