IEM: From the time you started in the IEM program to the time you finished – did anything change in your purpose for completing IEM?
David: Yes, definitely. I originally came into the program with the sole focus of getting a graduate level degree. I figured I would do the required work for the grades and move on. I never expected to have my whole perspective on career and myself change in the process. I definitely have a broader perspective on things now and find myself constantly looking for ways to improve workflows and processes in all areas of my life.
IEM: What is the one biggest takeaway from the program?
David: As mentioned before, the new perspective and mindset on my career and myself. The program not only gives you an entrepreneurial view on the world but you also gain a more introspective look on yourself and your “company of one”. You find yourself having different conversations with people than you did in the past and you also find yourself in a new and expanded network of peers to share those ideas with.
IEM: Any advice for people thinking about entering the program?
David: This isn’t your typical MBA program. If you are looking for a program where lectures are one sided (professor to student) this is not your program. Discussions are solicited and encouraged. The professors in this program take a special interest in the clients and relationships are formed from that. I don’t think you get that in most graduate level programs. I encourage people that are thinking about the program to talk to current and past clients and get their take on it. That is the best way to get the most information on the degree.
IEM: Any advice for clients in their second year of the program?
David: My father used to repeatedly give me the advice to “press on”. That is what I would offer to the 2nd year clients. Don’t stop pressing now. Stay focused and finish strong. This is definitely a degree that gives you what you put into it. Enjoy the classes and time with other students. You will miss that when you graduate. Take every opportunity you get in the program to network with other people and try new things. This is the safest atmosphere to do that.