Alumni Profiles

Executive Master’s

Kyle Scott MS’13 earned an executive master’s degree in systems engineering and management in spring 2013. Kyle, a principal systems engineer with Raytheon, was one of the first students to graduate from the joint program offered by the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and the Naveen Jindal School of Management.
Kyle is married and has five children, four of whom are teenagers. He credits his family with supporting him and helping him find time to complete his coursework.
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“I’ve spent much of my nearly twenty-year career in between systems engineering and management because there has always seemed to be a gap between the two. Managers and engineers don’t always speak the same language, and they don’t think about things the same way. I have repeatedly found myself in the space between the two, and it has been a good place to be. Because I’ve been working between the two different disciplines, it was exciting to find a degree designed to fit both practices and to actually bridge that gap.
“The thing that has been so impressive about the master’s program in systems engineering and management is that we’ve looked at lots of different viewpoints. The professors have all been very knowledgeable in their areas of expertise. So what we discuss in class are relevant issues and different points of view. We also talk about the various strategies that one might use in order to manage a given situation.“One of the most beneficial courses I took was strategic leadership. The concepts in it about taking a bigger picture of the world around you and making sure to look at things from other people’s points of view are very applicable. I was able to use that strategy within the last few months while dealing with issues at work to make sure that we took a balanced look at people’s opinions and to make sure the decisions we made weren’t weighted too heavily in one direction or another.“When it comes to my long-term career goals, I’ve started to move over to the technical management area. This degree has really strengthened me from the leadership side, helping me do the things that I need to do to improve my management capabilities.”

Traditional Master’s

Preethi Ramaraj plans to graduate in May 2014 with a degree concentration in business intelligence and data management systems. Preethi is currently an intern at Ericsson as a Quality Data Analyst and is the founder (President) of Systems Engineering and Management – Student Organization (SEM-SO) at UT Dallas. She created this organization because she saw a need for effective student-faculty networking and wanted to build awareness of the SEM program. Preethi also assists one of the SEM professors with her research project in Systems Engineering and Computer Science. In her down time, she enjoys taking photographs, reading, travelling and playing badminton and racquetball.
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“I’m the kind of person who loves venturing into fresh and challenging territory, and pursuing a degree in a relatively new course like Systems Engineering and Management here at UT Dallas has empowered me to broaden my horizons and has set me in the right path towards achieving my career goals. One of the reasons I like SEM is its uniqueness. I feel like I’ve been prepared very well for the professional world because of the perfect blend of engineering and management courses SEM offers.“There’s also a great mix of students in my classes. I love interacting with them because they have such wide ranges of interests and backgrounds. Being surrounded by these students has taught me to approach challenges from multiple perspectives. The faculty has been equally great and has been extremely helpful and supportive of my interests and aspirations. I feel like the faculty really value my opinion and welcome feedback and suggestions.“In addition to everything I’ve learned from faculty and students, the knowledge that I acquired on business processes and methodologies in SEM was put to use in my internship at Ericsson. My time at Ericsson gave me a head start on figuring out simpler approaches to complex projects within my team, and I believe that this will facilitate my career path. The SEM program provides business knowledge and project-oriented perspective which I feel is imperative to the business world today.“I believe a good SEM student has a varied skill set including problem-solving techniques, innovative thinking supported with an open mindset and an ability to adapt to the dynamics of the coursework. I’m glad UT Dallas has helped me build my skills and has prepared me for a career in SEM and so much more.”