We recently caught up with Andrea Masala, a Product Manager for Dover Precision Components, who studied a part-time MBA with us, graduating in 2017. As a skilled engineer, Andrea talks us through how the MBA helped him obtain a broader organisational understanding to help gain his current role and has also provided some top tips for MBA students.
What is your role/business and tell us briefly what you do?
“I am a Product Manager within the Marketing and Innovation function of a multinational corporate organization responsible for a broad product portfolio of engineered mechanical and mechatronic products (industrial turbomachinery bearings). I am responsible for leading the product life cycle and innovation roadmap strategy, manage the product portfolio and deliver according to the business plan and strategy. I work extensively with customers, to understand the need and translate into product requirements and with internal functions (a global sales team, engineering, R&D, finance and operations) to leverage internal capabilities and orchestrate the product strategy.
I work with senior executives on special projects involving company structure and business strategies.”
Could you elaborate on how your MBA has contributed to your career?
“I have a mechanical engineering background and have been working for 18 years in engineering and R&D roles in large industrial organizations (General Electric and Dover Corporation). Before and during the MBA studies I was responsible for a distributed team of systems engineers with a very specialized and technical role: from mechatronic products development to field support but also frequent interactions with customers and internal stakeholders.
“With the part-time MBA, I had the opportunity to apply my studies to actual business situations related to my organization or related businesses and apply new skills and perspective in managing the team. The studies helped me to put in context my contribution as an engineer within the overall organization, understand and communicate the business strategy as it was unfolding, and manage interactions with multiple functions with increased business acumen and understanding of the external environment (corporate organization, markets and industries).
“The MBA studies have provided me the opportunity to transition, with confidence, to a new role, with higher responsibility and exposure. I can leverage new skills in finance and marketing, blend with my technical expertise, be able to understand and talk multiple “languages” when dealing with sales, finance and operations functions.
“But most important the MBA has accrued a completely new and broad range of interest: from finance to marketing, micro and macroeconomics. Overall, I can better observe and make sense of the complexities of the organization and outside world, we leave in a professional and citizen of the modern age.”
Andrea’s top tips to new MBA students:
“The MBA is the beginning or the continuation of a life-long learning journey. It requires a reasonable amount of personal effort and lots of dedication. But this effort is well rewarded in terms of personal gratification and short and long-term wins.”
- Plan thoroughly the time that you dedicate to studies and other professional, leisure or family activities and fit studies in you daily routine. Agree time and support needed with your family making sure you leave quality time for them and other activities (regular exercise, social life etc). With the MBA you will become a master of time management. You will learn to prioritize your tasks and become more effective in your professional life and leave more quality time for not job-related activities.
- Prepare assignments thoroughly and deliver your best, without looking for shortcuts or possible ways to reduce your involvement and effort. The MBA is for your personal growth as a person and professional first of all!
- Leverage the resources offered by the University of Brighton and the network opportunities with your colleagues and the supportive staff and lecturers. You will be treated as a professional, not only as a student.
- Try to link as much as possible your studies to your professional environment and future interest. If you are taking a part-time MBA try to get support from the organization and let them aware of your changing interests, wins and expectations. You will be a fast-growing asset for your organization, not a volatile employee when you complete your studies.
- But, most important, enjoy every single day of this fantastic learning journey. You will realize how you will miss it only when you have completed your MBA studies.