“Success is the common destination, but the paths we take to reach it are as diverse as the stars. It’s not our differences that define us; the shared brilliance illuminates our way.” This is aptly illustrated by a trio of North Carolina State University Master of Engineering Management (MEM) students, Hardik Birla, Parth Aloni, and Vamsi Engu, who have unique origin stories and a differing array of experiences but found success at the NCSU junction.
Hailing from the dynamic city of Maharashtra, Hardik Birla obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Vishwakarma Institute Of Technology. “The vibrant NCSU culture, the Raleigh vibe, and the flexibility of the MEM program” are the factors that motivated him to shift from a research-oriented chemical engineer to a technical manager.
Transitioning to a new field – Supply Chain, never deterred Hardik. He expertly harnessed NC State’s resources, including the Career Development Center and MEM’s Think and Lead sessions, to augment his professional skills. Furthermore, courses like Project Management with Steven DelGrosso and Database Applications in Industrial and Systems Engineering under the tutelage of Michael Spano left a lasting impression. He perceives his standout accomplishment as the triumph in the Supply Chain Case Study Competition at the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Conference in Dallas. He is thankful to the MEM department for providing this valuable opportunity.
Stepping into the shoes of a MEM graduate student with about a year of experience at Toyo Engineering India Limited, Mumbai, was Parth Aloni. “My experience in a field that combines elements of both business and engineering prompted me to seek opportunities for self-improvement,” he says, and through NC State MEM, he feels that he found the perfect platform to realize his vision.
He considers MBA 551: Predictive Analytics for Big Data and Businesses as one the most impactful courses of his MEM journey, as this course has allowed him to seamlessly integrate his analytics knowledge into the realm of supply chain and manufacturing, equipping him with a more versatile problem-solving approach.
In a journey marked by limited prior experience, the MEM program at NCSU has proven to be an exceptional launching point for Parth. “The emphasis on professional development has been a significant differentiator,” he remarks. He is also constantly in awe of how MEM has helped him translate dynamic classroom learning into real-world business environments. Engaging in various conferences, including ISM and Disney Data & Analytics Conference, has broadened his horizons and enriched his professional network. “These experiences have allowed me to connect with experts and peers, fostering a sense of community and collaboration,” Parth explains. “Networking is paramount,” he says, encouraging prospective MEM students to make the most of the program to foster connections.
In stark contrast, Vamsi Engu set foot into the MEM program at NC State as someone with five years of experience as a product manager at Bajaj Auto Ltd. He sought to climb the ladder and enlist himself as one among the corporate hierarchy and was encouraged to pursue a graduate degree in Engineering Management. His extensive reservoir of expertise aided him when it came to comprehension of coursework. To add more value to his portfolio, he opted into analytical courses to enhance his data-driven decision-making skills, which he believes are vital for any future roles he hopes to pursue.
“MEM at NC State,” he says, “has equipped me with networking skills and emphasized the importance of industry connections. I applied skills gained through coursework and the MEM Think and Lead sessions to engage with professionals in career fairs and seminars.” The Think and Lead sessions, in particular, have significantly influenced Vamsi. He feels that listening to various industry professionals’ success and failure stories has profoundly impacted his growth.
Despite their varied experiences, all three procured internships at well-reputed firms. Their paths converged at a common destination at NC State University. From Hardik’s internship as a Quality Intern at GKN Automotive and a co-op as a Lean Intern at Volvo Group to Parth’s role as a Procurement Intern at Trinchero Family Estates and Technical Sourcing and Cost Management intern at Cummins Inc. and Vamsi’s role as a supply chain management intern at Honda Aircraft Company, the essence of their journeys found unity in shared ambition and dedication. Together, they stride toward success, not just as an outcome but as a way of life.