Nicole LePage

We recently interviewed Master of Engineering Management student, Nicole LePage about her educational experience at the Russ College. Here’s how she responded…

What is your current job position and daily responsibilities?
At my civilian employer, I work as a Systems Engineer in the defense industry. My responsibilities range from documenting engineering efforts to getting my hands dirty and performing work on the floor. As a systems engineer, I have to be very sensitive to schedule and budget parameters, but also satisfy all technical requirements. It’s a balancing act.

At my military employer, I work as a weapons mechanic and future Civil Engineering Officer. As a weapons troop, I work daily on the flight line. I coordinate efforts and resources to ensure successful launches of numerous aircraft in the correct configuration for the proposed mission. As an officer, I will be managing engineering troops and providing technical guidance for the successful completion of projects.

What were some leading factors that made you pursue a MEM?
I’m one of those people that enjoy learning and strive for continued education. I knew I wanted a Masters Degree, but wanted to be smart about it. I originally thought about a MBA, but everyone in my office was pursuing that option. I needed something different, something that would stand out. I also wanted to make sure I enjoyed the program content and that the course material would align with my career. The material in the Engineering Management program supplements my daily work tasks and allows me to utilize my job experiences in my course-work and vise-versa.

Describe one “ah-ha moment” since being in the program.
I think my biggest “ah-ha moment” was seeing how the material I learned in class really does relate to the real world. In my undergrad, I had a hard time linking the course material to my work task. However, during my graduate degree, its exciting to see the ways I can implement my class work into my career. I feel more engaged because I know I will come across the material again.

Will your master’s degree help you with your professional goals?
My Masters degree will show my current, and potential future employers, that I’m motivated to succeed. It shows that I’m staying current in the industry and not just relying on my previously obtained education. My current employer will see that I’m reinvesting in myself and in turn, that the knowledge I gain will benefit the company.

What advice would you give to incoming students of the OHIO online MEM program?
The best advice I can give is to really soak up the knowledge that is provided. Don’t just memorize material to just “get by”. Really learn and commit it to memory. It can only benefit you. The true challenge is benefiting from the experience and retaining the knowledge from the program, not just checking the “I have a Masters degree” box.

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