Congrats to our Grads
May 18, 2020
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
With the MSEM you can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. Any you know what you know
And YOU are the gal and the guy who’ll decide where to go…..
Out there things can happen and frequently do
to people as brainy and driven as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
OH! THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
Remember your MSEM family as you soar to high heights.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
be your name Val or Qi or Georges or Guillermo
or Nicole or Emmanuel or Zihao
or Joey or Luisa or Keming or Juhi
or Jigar or Mowei or Rishi
or Milind or Xinyi or Ebony
or Mallika or Alper or Jiaqi
or Tianyu or Vishesh or Yue
or Kaiyan or Tianyu or Ore
or Shunpeng or Chris or Lionel
or Troy or Akira or Gabriel
you’re off to GREAT PLACES!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…..get on your way!
(Poem by Annette Leps & Dr. Seuss of course!)
Cinco de Mayo
May 6, 2020
MSEM students celebrated Cinco de Mayo through Zoom yesterday!
Hi From Home!
April 23, 2020
While we may all be home finishing the current semester, we are still “hanging out!”
January 9, 2020
Happy New Year, MSEM! Currently, all of our first year students are on immersion taking the “Practice of Consulting” class.
In Spain, the students have met with one of the CLE board members, Giovanna, and have been working on projects, including Aeon-T (see Cam and Georges below). They have also enjoyed King’s Day in Madrid!
In Portugal, MSEM students visited FLAD, learned from Jesper, ate more than their share of Portuguese cuisine, and are already immersed into their projects with the INL.
In Israel, students have been touring the Ma’arag, set of occupational workshops for developmentally disabled adults where they make and sell arts and crafts; they toured Akko, walked along the old walls, and visited a traditional stonemason’s workshop. They even had their first cooking class!
Happy Immersion, everyone!
MSEM Holiday Party
December 10, 2019
MSEM & the CLE had their annual Holiday Party at the Colonnade. Annette, the Christmas Elf, read her holiday poem, (with the assistance of Santa, or Pam, and Lindsey, a.k.a Rudolph) and everyone celebrated the conclusion of the capstone presentations with wine, beer, MSEM shirts, and lots of food!
Happy holidays MSEM and to all a wonderful break! Good luck on exams!
Read the full poem crafted by the talented Annette Leps (the Elf) below:
‘Tis just weeks before Christmas and throughout the lounge and their rooms
MSEMers are scurrying as the Danfoss deadline still looms.
Yet one more challenge from St. Nick, a new consulting gig
The outcome for Santa, his reindeer and elves is extraordinarily BIG.
This year’s been difficult with tariffs disrupting Santa’s supply chain,
And fluffy white snowflakes replaced by global warming’s dreary rains.
Santa and his team have put the MSEM to the test,
Please find a way for the North Pole inhabitants to have a winter’s rest.
How to leverage the reindeer who’ve come to dislike snow and sleet,
Enabling them to somehow get off their weary, hoofed feet.
Santa wants to set aside his hat, boots and warm suit of red,
Opting for a tropical shirt, shorts, and sandals instead.
Proudly this cohort has successfully tackled the job,
Alleviating the distress of Santa’s North Pole mob.
It is possible for Santa to have his sought-after winter vacations,
Given the MSEM’s recommendation of drone delivery stations.
As Santa and his team now soar to new heights,
Smiles light their faces as they relish time at each site.
A leisurely stop to enjoy the green and sunshine of Bali,
Then across the “Blue Ocean” to India for a belated celebration of Diwali.
Onward to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and to China where the Great Wall soars,
No “fly-bys” this year, but a chance to touchdown and tour.
Then off to the Americas: north, central and south,
Indulging in local delicacies that seemingly melt in the mouth.
Oh the warmth of the sun is a welcome relief from the Artic Pole,
This outsourcing of deliveries Santa can embrace with his soul.
Rudolf’s nose is red, but not from the cold winter bluster,
But cloudless blue skies and no sunscreen result in that lust.
A thought of a diet abundant with Twinkies and Ding Dongs,
Makes our Santa spontaneously break out into song.
The reindeer salivate with a promise of carrots and hay,
While the elves want anything immersed in Old Bay.
Here in B-More it’s the Colonnade’s fare for our MSEM crew,
With appetizers and entrees on the menu.
As for beverages, wine and beer for sure,
Bringing this group together is easy with free food as a lure.
What’s that on the horizon…Santa’s team flying within sight,
Shouting out “Happy Holidays to all and to all a FUN night.”
It seems a personal visit from St. Nick is still warranted for a chosen few,
The best of whom we see in this MSEM crew.
With Santa and his team heading home to their lair,
There seems to be lost of presents for us all to share.
Time is a wasting, pick a Yankee Swap number for fun,
You’ll soon to know if you’ve got the lucky #1.
From Elf, Santa and reindeer we bring a gift to wear with pride,
At your immersion destination and on your airplane rides!
Happy Holidays! Happy Break!
New Project for the MSEM cohort
November 18, 2019
MSEM students began the semester immersed in their hospital projects for their Strategies for Innovation and Growth course, a required core management class. Upon completion of their ethnography projects, they received a new project that entails working with The Danfoss Group, a refrigeration and air-conditioning division that manufactures products and provides services used in cooling food, air-conditioning, heating buildings, controlling motors, compressors, and powering mobile machinery. The project scope is for MSEM students to deliver a disruptive growth strategy in traditional 2-step HVACR Wholesale Channel. Students will consider the following questions: is there a better way for Danfoss to gain share in this saturated market? Should Danfoss re-evaluate its current strategy and position itself to participate or lead in a shift in this market from traditional 2-step to direction distribution (manufacturer à contractor)? The students are working closely with Danfoss to determine solutions and will present their projects on December 5th.
ALUMNI SERIES: MSEM Alum, Manik Arora, reflects on why he chose MSEM at JHU & where he is now
November 6, 2019
WHY MSEM at JHU?
As an undergrad student in 2015, I had a choice between a Masters degree in Computer Science or the Masters in Engineering Management (MSEM). I went with the MSEM program as I already had a strong background in my technical concentration, but was lacking the real-world management skills. I understood that this was possible for me while doing the course in computer science, which allowed me to dream big. Reflecting on that decision, I think I made the right choice, as my career goal has been to manage a product at a tech company. I believe engineers equipped with managerial skills can manage technical products much better than non-engineers can.
The MSEM program not only had academic courses but also gave me real-world professional experience with startups in Israel and the nurses at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. It is intriguing to see that even though these problems were at different places and different industries, the approach to solve these problems is similar. This led me to my first job at a consulting firm in Washington, DC where I was helping a federal client manage and enhance a financial system.
Currently, I am a Digital Product Manager at another consulting firm in the Washington, DC area. We help fortune 500 and other big companies transform their business digitally through websites, apps, kiosks and so on. Having worked on three different projects in a period of 16 months, I can say that I have already made an impact on over a million people worldwide. On the side, I am a Community Organizer at a product management meetup in the DMV area where we bring different product managers together to share their ideas and experience.
Connect with me at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/manik21arora/
October 31, 2019
Happy Halloween. Find out what MSEM has been up to:
October 28, 2019 by Zihao Shen
Current MSEM Student, Zihao Shen, will be graduating in one year thanks to the Home2Homewood program at JHU. Read more about his experience here, and congrats, Zihao! Learn more about H2H here: https://msem.engineering.jhu.edu/home2homewood-2/
WHY & HOW:
By taking the Home2Homewood (H2H) program, I will be able to finish the MSEM degree at Johns Hopkins University within one year (three semesters: summer19 + fall19 + spring20). H2H is a plan to help students begin their courses before they are arrive at the Homewood campus.
I wanted to start my degree as early as possible so that I could start my job search right after my graduation. However, as an international student, I cannot begin taking courses until the program start date, as reflected on my I-20. I contacted Dr. Pamela Sheff, the director of the MSEM program; she also serves as my management concentration advisor. I also spoke with my technical advisor to see if I would be able to take courses during the summer. They kindly helped me and suggested some approved online Engineering for Professionals (EP) courses that would count toward my degree. I started taking two courses, which has allowed me to complete MSEM in one year.
Why it was the best choice?
The primary reason for doing H2H is to complete my degree as soon as possible. Also, the schedule of the online courses is more flexible, which means I am not required to login at a specific time for a live session. I was therefore able to utilize that time to work as an intern and gain career experience. Additionally, an online course meant lower tuition and minimized additional living costs. Most importantly, taking online courses helped me learn self-discipline and responsibility. Ultimately, online courses helped me prepare for challenges and for a heavier workload in the fall semester.
Hospital Project Presentations
October 24, 2019
The MSEM students presented their hospital projects at the East Baltimore Campus on Thursday, October 17th, 2019. The 37 students divided into seven teams and worked with their clinical hosts from the Johns Hopkins University Hospital to present viable solutions to real life problems that affect patient safety.
The projects included:
1. EPIC, Epic User Interface and Notification Problem: working with the Epic System to organize patient information, as well as track workflow throughout the hospital.
2. SORT (team A): Standardization and Optimization of Resources and Time:working to help assess the current state and scope of the different equipment and practices between Pre-Op, OR, ICU and PACU.
3. SORT (team B) Standardization and Optimization of Resources and Time: working to asses the standardization of supplies between units and departments.
4. Transport Monitor Problem: working on solutions to transport monitors from GE healthcare safely from the ORs to the ICUs.
5. The Anesthesia Diaper Genie: working on a solution to reduce contamination from used instruments.
6. Real Time CCT Dashboard: working to help promote communication strategies and provide data for management to use in business analysis.
7. Drain Time and Spine Surgery: working to recommend a process or system to be implemented by the Neurosurgery department to mitigate the risk of infection post-surgery.
See pictures from the presentations below:
Team MSEM Relay
October 22, 2019
Two MSEM teams completed the Baltimore Running Festival Relay on Saturday, October 19th. Congrats to our runners for completing the relay-marathon!
October 14, 2019
Eight MSEM students will be running the Team Relay in the Baltimore Running Festival on the morning of October 19, 2019. The runners will compete with the marathoners, but the race is broken down into four different exchange points: the first leg is 5.7 miles, leg 2 is 6.4 miles, leg 3 is 6.7 miles, and the final leg is 7.4 miles.
Be sure to come support the runners! We are rooting for you, Team MSEM and Team MSEM 2!
Read more about the race and directions here: http://www.thebaltimoremarathon.com/race-information-2/team-relay-2/
ALUMNI SERIES: MSEM Alum, Barghav Subramony, reflects on influential professors from his time at JHU
October 2, 2019 by Barghav Subramony
We love hearing from our Alumni! Barghav Subramony, a 2018 graduate from MSEM, writes about how two professors had an impact on him.
I am an MSEM alumni from the 2018 batch. I currently work for Dassault Systems as a Solutions Consultant in Philadelphia. I am writing to you just so that I can give credit to a couple of professors who were extremely influential and helpful in their commendable effort and support in guiding me. This story has nothing to do with me and the focus is only these professors who deserve the credit.
Julie Reiser was a great guide and a professor who was always ready to listen to me. Julie would take time off her schedule to just listen to me rant about the pros and cons of the offer I had and how I should prioritize one job over another. She ensured I would choose a job only knowing very well that I could continue singing and pursuing my music while working for the company. I still text her every time I need clarity on something.
Prof. Bill Smedick on the other hand gave me great insights into the job. He even foresaw five years into the future of what I could achieve in a role. I was very focused on working with Sustainability as a technological solution that the world needs. While taking a job with a global planning giant I didn’t know where I would fit in and how I’d be able to work on sustainability. He even did his research on the Sustainability Innovation lab that DS had and even guided me on the steps I should take, once inside the company, to slide into that. Today, I’m four months into working in the innovation lab. I couldn’t have foreseen these if it weren’t for Bill’s genius to look into the company’s goals and vision and guide me accordingly.
MSEM Orientation Begins for the Fall 2019 Cohort
August 20, 2019
On Monday, August 19th, the 37 incoming MSEM graduate students began bootcamp. This cohort includes students from Mexico, America, Spain, India, China, Taiwan, Lebanon, and Hong Kong.
The day began with introductions and a few presentations from campus partners, as well as a discussion on culture, and breakfast, of course. Later in the afternoon, the MSEM-ers used icebreakers to get to know each other better. For this exercise, MSEM students wore bracelets created by John Rattray with Aura Spark. After downloading an App, the students answered a series of questions and used the colors lighting up the bracelet to get to know each other better.
After icebreakers, the students began their annual bootcamp scavenger hunt, searching campus for clues. This “Amazing Race” style event included iconic Baltimore and at each clue, students were given a taste of the local Baltimore flavor. This including Berger cookies, Utz Crab Chips, and even brews like Guinness Blonde Ale, and Baltimore’s favorite, Natty Boh.
The day concluded with a much needed dinner at Cypriana’s! Orientation/boot camp activities are scheduled up to the first day of classes on August 29th. We are so excited to welcome this cohort into our MSEM Family as we had a wonderful first day!
Team SteadyAid wins The Lawrence Aronhime Award at the Business Plan Competition
By the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department on April 30, 2019
Jigar Shah, who is pursuing his master’s of science in engineering management from the Center of Leadership Education department and ECE, was a member of the group that won The Lawrence Aronhime Award at the 20th annual Johns Hopkins University Business Plan Competition. The competition is hosted by CLE, and the award is given to the project that has the most impactful solution within international outreach.
Shah’s project, which he developed with Juhi Salgaonkar (pursuing a master’s in engineering management from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (Nano-Biotechnology)) and Milind Joshi (pursuing a master’s in engineering management from the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering), is titled SteadyAid.
SteadyAid is an adaptive, wearable device which enables Essential Tremor (ET) patients to regain control of their hands by dampening the tremor. The device is aimed at improving the quality of life of the patients by assisting them in not just daily tasks like writing, eating, and cooking, but also providing an elegant solution that would allow them to overcome the social anxiety associated with ET. SteadyAid uses micro-controllers, motion sensor and vibration motors to dampen tremors.
“We were working on the idea since January 2019 in collaboration with engineers from Technion University in Israel, where we won the 3DS Hackathon,” Shah said. “Upon our arrival to Baltimore, we built a prototype with the help of the Center of Leadership Education and the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Johns Hopkins. Winning the Lawrence Aronhime Award was terrific and highly motivating. I would like to thank the Center for Leadership Education and [ECE Professor and Department Chair] Ralph Etienne-Cummings for their constant support throughout the project.”
MSEM Round II
By Lindsey on March 15, 2019
Attention: are you interested in pursuing a Master’s degree in Engineering Management? The MSEM program at Johns Hopkins University is opening its applicant portal again on March 15th, 2019. The round will close on May 1st.
MSEM at JHU bridges the gap between technology and business by equipping students with the technical expertise and leadership skills they need to advance their career in the fast-paced world of technology. Read some student testimonials here.
Also, learn about our required immersion experience, a wonderful way to gain practical experience while traveling abroad!
To apply, please provide the following:
· 3 Letters of Recommendation
· GRE Scores (JHU undergraduates are not required to submit GRE scores)
JHU institution code: 5332, Engineering Management Code: 1699
· Toefl or IELTS (waived for applicants whose native language is English as well as international applicants who have received or will received a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an institution in any country for which English is the native language.)
Minimum TOEFL Score for acceptance is 100 (internet based)
Minimum IELTS score for acceptance is 7.0
· Statement of Purpose
· Transcripts (original)
· $25 application fee (LOWERED APPLICANT FEE!!!!)
Please refer to our MSEM blog for tips on letters of recommendation and how to tackle the application process!
We look forward to your reading your application!
MEMPC PriSim Business War Games
By Hongyuan, Joey, Juhi & Luisa on March 13, 2019
Spanning a four week period, over the month of February, the MEMPC PriSim Business War Games Competition was designed to test the ability of students to think like top level management and executives. The competition was in the form of a business simulation where teams of MEM students engaged in a head-to-head battle. This year, 2019, the teams participating were from the following MEMPC schools: Northwestern, Purdue, Dartmouth, Duke, USC and Johns Hopkins.
Each team was in charge of running an auto manufacturing company for a simulated period of seven years. When the competition kicked off, each company had the manufacturing capability of three vehicles. As the years progressed, our team increased the product line and entered new markets and targeted different consumer segments. This had to be done after careful analysis of the market in which the company operated. Financial resources also had to be effectively managed in order to ensure that the company brings in revenue while staying profitable.
Familiarizing ourselves with the various departments in the company and the features of the simulation helped us scope the industry we were operating in. It enabled us to look at the bigger picture and understand the functioning of a company as a whole. We laid out short term and long term goals for our company and decided on an overarching strategy. Our approach was consumer-centric. We made use on the in-simulation tools to identify potential customer microsegments and developed our products based on consumer preferences.
Over the course of the competition, we learnt to think strategically; to think about every small detail right from technology development to production and from marketing to distribution, and how a minor change affects the performance of the company. Participating in the PriSim Business War Games was an invaluable experience. And for a brief period of time, our decision making ability and strategic thinking evolved from that of students to managers.
T2Med Hacks Competition: Israel
By Rishi on March 11, 2019
My experience at the T2MED 3-day start up challenge – Haifa, Israel
It was my second visit to Israel in 2019 and I was excited to go there for the T2Med 3-day start-up challenge organized by the Faculty of Medicine, Technion University. We were a team of five JHU students sent to consult teams of doctors and engineers with technological solutions for challenges in the field of Medicine. At T2Med, I was teaming with four Israeli students to compete with 20 other teams from different parts of Israel. Prior to this I took part in another start-up challenge at Technion University, this was part of my intersession experience offered by Hopkins MSEM. Using the skills and concepts that I learned from my intersession and the courses offered in fall semester, I was able to consult my team of Israeli engineers and doctors in building a business plan for a sensor technology capable of detecting airborne pathogens.
The three-day event was challenging and pushed us to work round the clock in working our way through the business model canvas. We were working with mentors from the Israeli start-up ecosystem to develop the value proposition and the right message in communicating the value. I was responsible in performing the initial market research and analyzing the competitors in the industry. We also looked into initial target market and potential markets and other industries for future expansion. We were tirelessly working from morning eight to twelve in the night to analyze and construct the business plan. Using the skills, I gained from professional presentations class, I prepared a slide deck for our final pitch in front of a diverse panel of doctors, investors and business leaders.
After an intense session of pitches and Q&A by all the participating teams, we were awarded second position at the event. As part of the award, we are invited to Strasbourg, France to participate in the Hacking Health Camp 2019. Our efforts have paid off and we were delighted to receive the invitation to participate in a large event like HHC 2019. At the HHC2019, we will be competing with 70 other teams form different parts of Europe and I am working with my team though virtual means to prepare for the competition that is going to be held between 22-24 March 2019.
I would like to thank our Program Director, Dr. Pamela Sheff, for support my interest to participate in international business plan competitions. I would like to thank Prof. Lawrence Aronhime of the CLE for encouraging me and guiding me through the competitions at Israel. The JHU MSEM program has provided me a platform to explore my interests and work on strengthening the skills needed to excel at them. This has led me to grow more confident and understanding about the capabilities and skills that I bring to the table.
All About Immersion: Portugal
By David on February 4, 2019
The Practice of Consulting, the winter intersession course, allowed me to apply classroom theories in real world situations. I was selected to go to Portugal to work with the Iberian International Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL).
My team, myself and three other hand selected MSEM students, worked as consultants for our client, a research group made up of PhD scientists, on a market entry problem. Specifically, we were tasked with how they could apply their gas sensor technologies in smart cities. Our first task was to validate their selected market (smart cities) as an appropriate starting location – as opposed to other applications such as industry or agriculture. Next, we performed a market analysis of the gas sensor market. Finally, we provided them specific guidance on which gases to develop sensors. All of this was then provided to them in a presentation and final report. Both of which I am able to add to my portfolio to show to future employers.
While working at the INL, we were told of past projects impact. Of note was one project “iGrape” that was worked on back in 2016 and ended up serving as the basis of a grant that won 2.25 million euro for the lab. It is stories like these the drive home the value we add to these institutions and highlight the mutually beneficial relationship that exists between Johns Hopkins University, the MSEM program, and these international partners.
I am confident that my time in Portugal was well spent, unique, and absolutely something that will stand out on my resume. I will be able to discuss this experience in interviews, touching on topics such as lab to life technology transfer, interpersonal team dynamics, and high pressure scenarios necessitating polished presentations and reports. Further, I was able to refine skills critical to success in the workplace. Practicing managing client expectations, defining and defending project scope, building rapport with clients and juggling competing stakeholders project outcomes are all skills that I was able to practice on this trip.
Outside of the rigorous work at the INL during the week, we were able to travel around Portugal with the support and unprecedented access afforded to us through the Luso-American Foundation. All logistics were handled for us, allowing me to focus on expanding my cultural competency. In today’s rapidly globalizing world, international experience is key and I feel that I can now knowledgeably talk about the history, culture, and developing challenges in Portugal and to a lesser extent Western Europe.
Finally, intersession allowed me to develop even closer bonds with my fellow cohort mates. I firmly believe that time spend abroad working closely with my peers develops both professional connections and personal relationships. These are people in my network that I will now be able to rely on for the rest of my career. This is something you can only find at the MSEM program here at Johns Hopkins University.”
See a recap in the video by Angela:
By Omar on December 17, 2018
A brief update on some recent presentations given by our wonderful MSEM students:
We gave a presentation to about 15 people – nurses, charge nurses, case managers and research assistants at a pharmacy that specialized in quality development. The result seemed overall positive – they think that they can combine what we’ve been doing with a pilot program they’re creating to maximize their cost savings. Gail, a Clinical Outcomes Management Analyst told us that they saved about half of their unnecessary annual costs with an on-demand ICU doctor that can take patients out of the operating room and avoid operating room (OR) holds – and the operating costs that come with them. Combined with our solutions, and what we think they can save, they’re thinking they can solve their problem and cut nearly all of their costs (about 95%). It looked as though they really liked what we had to show them.
MSEM & CLE Celebrate the Holidays!
By Lindsey on December 14, 2018
‘Twas two weeks before Christmas and all thru Whitehead….
MSEM & the CLE had their annual Holiday Party at Cypriana’s. Annette, the Christmas Elf, read her holiday poem, (with the assistance of Santa, or Erin, and Joan, a.k.a Rudolph) and everyone celebrated the conclusion of the capstone presentations with wine, beer, MSEM hats, and lots of hummus! Perhaps the star of the show, however, was the White Elephant/Yankee Swap gift exchange. This event was a new tradition to some of the international students who learned the art of “stealing” gifts from those who drew lower numbers. This year, we had Dr. Smedick questioning if he is getting coal in his stocking considering his Yankee Swap fate. He unwrapped a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream (the new Vanilla Cinnamon flavor). The coffee drinker with Irish roots was coveting his prize, when the last swap of the night traded his beloved beverage with a bag of cough drops. Although he was displeased with the exchange, he now knows what he will be bringing to the gift swap next year! Happy holidays MSEM and to all a wonderful break! We will see you in 2019.
Read the full poem crafted by the talented Annette Leps (the Elf) below:
‘Tis two weeks before Christmas and all thru Whitehead
MSEMers are scurrying, no longer in bed.
Netflix’s gone silent and Nintendo stored away,
As our students do that final push to earn a grade of an “A.”
This MSEM cohort’s been gathered, all snug in their room,
Working on projects whose deadlines still loom.
But for today, let’s set our tasks aside and no one be tardy,
As we gather for the MSEM’s annual holiday party!
Oh my…from the kitchen there comes such a clatter,
As servers arise with tasty foods on platters.
The loud, but festive clammer puts at peril,
Our ability to hear Spotify’ streaming holiday carols.
It’s Cypriana fare for this festive crew,
With appetizers and entrees on the menu.
As for drinks: wine and beer for sure,
In bringing this group together, free food is a lure.
You wouldn’t expect in this crowd a bearded dude dressed in black,
Carrying a gift-laden velvet lined sack,
Sporting his Crocs, Santa’s resting his feet,
After a day-long Harley Davidson meet.
No more “now Dasher, now Prancer, and Vixen,
On Comet! On Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen!”
The usual hoofed team to fly through the air,
Has been replaced by a team of competent new pairs.
“Pairs” but for Rudolph, his red nose missing in flight,
He needs a Da Vinci surgery to spruce up his headlight.
With UA’s MapMyFitness tracking this team’s pre-holiday tour,
These 4-legged creatures are thrilled to see their “steps” soar.
These new guys are on duty until the A-team’s all rested,
But this group of reindeer is finding its stamina tested.
What to prescribe when the team starts to slow,
The promise of a cannabis-infused Coors puts them back on the go.
Oh not to worry Santa’s team’s bright and strong,
And each of his reindeer will do him no wrong,
“Now Albert, now Jigar, now Luisa and Mowei,
Do your job well and you’ll be rewarded with hay.”
“On Ore! On Joan! On Ebony and Omar,
Show those at Hopkins how to best commute from afar.
Watch out for air traffic travelling back home for your rest.
We know that you’ll manage-you guys are the best.”
With Santa and team heading home to their lair,
They leave lots of presents for us all to share.
Time is a wasting, pick a Yankee Swap number for fun,
You’ll soon know if you’ve got the lucky #1.
Santa’s work here is done, to his team he know whistles,
And away they all fly like the down of a thistle,
But hear him exclaim as he drives out of sight,
‘Happy holidays to all and to all a FUN night!’
Letters of Recommendation
By Lindsey on November 16, 2018
The Thanksgiving holiday is approaching, which means so are graduate school application deadlines. The whole process of applying to graduate school can be overwhelming. Typically, the requirements are specific, unique to each institution, and demand an abundance of information: from transcripts and test scores, to personal statements and resumes. One of the requirements that graduate schools demand are recommendation letters: a crucial component to any application.
Why are letters of recommendation so important?
Universities require letters of recommendation (typically two or three) for admission because they are more revealing to graduate admissions committees. These letters speak to who the applicant is as a human being, and are less reliant on numbers (GPA) and percentages (test scores).
Who should write my letters of recommendation?
The voice of a faculty member who knows you well is the most compelling. You are applying to graduate school to be a student, so a college professor who can speak to your academic skills is highly valuable in an application. Since we require three letters for MSEM, we prefer that only one, if any, be written by a supervisor from a working capacity, as they are less familiar with your scholarly endeavors. Avoid choosing a recommender who may write a generic letter, or use a pre-formatted template. Instead, ask someone who can emphasize your authentic self and speak to your capabilities. Who you chose to write a letter of recommendation for you should be strategic and intentional.
What about length?
Typically, there is no specific word limit or page length, but most letters are equivalent to one page and formatted on university letterhead. More important than length, however, is that the message being conveyed.
As for content?
The letters should be genuine and demonstrative of your growth. They should highlight your strengths and skillset and indicate how you have contributed to a project, class, or a learning environment. The letters should not be mundane, but expressive. The most important quality is that they are anecdotal and should incorporate interactions, stories, and results.
CLE student team to compete in NATO Innovation Hub Pitch Competition
By Emily on November 12, 2018
On November 12, a team of Center for Leadership Education students will compete for $15,000 project funding in the 2018 NATO Countering Unmanned Systems Innovation Challenge in Berlin, Germany. The team’s project, a counter drone security solution for large, public events, was born out of Professor Lawrence Aronhime and co-instructor Anton Dahbura’s two-semester course sequence Innovation and Entrepreneurship I&II.
Guest speakers from the DC Air National Guard visited the class during its first semester to explain the gap that exists between detection and neutralization of terrorist drones in public spaces. Adam Peters, a PhD student in Material Science and Engineering, said his team then set out to devise a solution that bridges the gap. Now in their second semester, Peters and his team members—Divisha Rajput and Shreya Madabhushi, Master of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM) students, and Austin Granmoe, a senior majoring in physics—are constructing a prototype of their concept.
The team developed their concept, a classification algorithm that gauges the appropriate response to a threat based on detection data, after conducting research and consulting with experts from the FAA, FBI, and Booz Allen Hamilton. Peters hopes the team’s solution will create “an automated approach that can pick the best takedown method, and do it through a system in order to mitigate the risk quickly.” They submitted a proposal to the NATO competition in mid-October and were floored when their team was selected as one of ten finalists.
The outcome, Peters said, was a learning experience on par with the solution the team eventually crafted: “[Professor Aronhime] helps engineering students bridge the gap between highly scientific, abstract concepts and practical application. We learned that there is always a solution if you look in the right places. Initially we focused on capture devices, but we learned that it’s important to choose the right problem to solve by figuring out your primary audience and understanding the value you’re trying to bring to them.”
Peters insisted that the team, the only American group in the finals, has modest hopes for the competition itself. “We are outclassed,” he said. “We are in competition with very prestigious companies, but we hope to give a strong presentation. There isn’t another team that is bridging the gap between detection and mitigation.”
NATO Innovation Hub will air a livestream of the competition on their Facebook page.
CLE Mixer & Informal Information Session
By Emily on November 7, 2018
On Tuesday, November 6, the Center for Leadership Education hosted a mixer and informal information session in Levering Hall. Hopkins students from a variety of programs networked with CLE students to learn more about the variety of programming the Center offers, including its four minors in business and communications, the annual JHU Business Plan Competition, the Master of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM), and its various experiential programs. Student representatives from Nest Strategies and TCO Labs were also on hand to answer questions about student-run, business-minded organizations. Likewise, several winners from the previous year’s Business Plan Competition attended to provide insights and discuss strategies for the 2019 competition, which while be held on April 26, 2019.
CLE Faculty were also in attendance to offer guidance and field questions, including Pam Sheff, director of the CLE and MSEM; Trevor Mackesey, coordinator of the Business Plan Competition; Bill Smedick, director of Leadership Programs; Leslie Kendrick, director of Internships; and Julie Reiser, director of the Marketing & Communications Minor and Professional Communication Program.
This event was special, according to Sr. Academic Program Coordinator Lindsey Conklin, because students in the midst of CLE coursework could provide insights faculty and staff would be unable to. “It’s difficult for me to tell my advisees exactly what a particular course might be like, but current CLE students can offer the perspective other students are really looking for.” Over hors d’oeuvres, students dished about the outcomes of particular courses, advice on applying to the MSEM program, and participation in student organizations, all with an eye toward the future.
The CLE hopes to make events like these a fixture, learning as it goes how to reach students from across the university who might be unaware of events like the JHU Business Plan Competition or programs like the Center’s minors and MSEM. Interested students should keep an eye out for future CLE mixers and information sessions.
Insights from our Current Cohort
By Jenna on October 31, 2018
To give our applicants a better sense of why Johns Hopkins MSEM program stands apart, we interviewed members of our current cohort from around the globe. The quotations that follow represent the sentiments of our diverse MSEM community.
Why were you interested in MSEM programs? Why did you apply to MSEM over a traditional 5th-year Master’s program in your technical field?
“During my senior year, I worked intensively with P&G on a quality measuring device. Although I was able to tackle technical difficulties, I was not very fond of immersing myself with solely technical aspects of the job. Yet, I understand that technology is indispensable. After reading the description and syllabus of MSEM, I found it met my needs, and decided to apply to MSEM over pursuing a PhD in electrical engineering. Thus, instead of being fully knowledgeable in my technical field, I decided to understand the fundamentals and try to become the coordinator of the experts.”
-Hyuan Chen, Beijing, China
“I was interested in MSEM programs over a 5th-year Master’s program because I knew that to achieve my professional goals I would need to further develop my communication skills, entrepreneurial thinking, business acumen and technical capabilities. A solely technical Master’s would not have provided me sufficient exposure to cross-domain skills and competencies. Similarly, an MBA would not allow for me to build upon the technical skills that I have spent significant time investing and developing. Thus, MSEM programs were a natural fit to accommodate my professional goals. As the world continues to become more complex, having a more sophisticated perspective developed through mixed coursework, diverse student interactions, and international engagement provides a competitive edge in the workforce.”
-David Hidinger, Dallas, Texas USA
“After finishing my 4-year technical course in civil engineering, I discovered my passion for sustainability. In order to pursue that, I decided to go for a Master’s in Building Physics. However, after the degree and 2-years of industry experience – I realized a gap in the Indian building industry that I could fill with an entrepreneurial venture. An MSEM from JHU seemed to be the perfect platform to learn about innovation, entrepreneurship and management from a technical perspective.”
-Milind Joshi, Indore, India
“A MSEM program offers something unique: it allows engineers to develop skills in business, entrepreneurship and technology management. It focuses on strengthening and boosting leadership. For me, an engineer must be able to solve problems, and that does not only consist on the technical challenges themselves, but also on knowing how to plan and execute ideas, manage people, set up a budget, and communicate and market the products effectively, amongst many more things. Those qualities are very hard to learn and develop, and that is what a MSEM program strives to achieve. It would be quite similar to an MBA, but with the difference (a great one, in my opinion) that it’s specifically designed for engineers and takes advantage of the technical background of its students.”
-Josep Puig Ruiz, Barcelona, Spain
“Getting a Bachelor’s degree in an engineering field is a huge accomplishment, but I felt I was lacking something after my time as an undergraduate. I wanted to expand my skill set and, consequently, my pool of job opportunities. Then I heard about MSEM. It was exactly what I needed to bridge the gap between my technical coursework and my desired career in industry. Getting to work with a diverse group of peers and esteemed faculty made the decision a no-brainer, and it has already changed my life for the better.”
-Erin Todaro, Buffalo, New York USA
“As an engineer with business experience I want to prepare myself to be a positive disrupter in the management consulting industry. In an age of intense global competitive pressure, more companies are striving to maintain an edge over rivals by continuous innovation and effective management of their technology base. Therefore, technical depth and managerial breadth will together enable me to be successful in this environment. I have relevant work experience that has allowed me to integrate many disciplines such as Engineering, Finance, Business Strategy and Technology and today, with MSEM program I intend to reap this more holistic vision of business.”
-Vishesh Shah, Vadodara, India
What about Johns Hopkins University MSEM program, in particular, attracted you here?
“Something that enticed me to apply to the MSEM program at the Whiting School of Engineering was supportive groups like the office of Women and Gender Resources at Hopkins. Their goal is based on advancing professional opportunities and cultivating a supportive community for women. Understanding my culture, my roots, but not just about being a Latina but more so treasuring it, being proud of it, knowing its value and using that pride to empower Hispanic women through my engineering career was a key part of getting my masters.
-Luisa Blessing, Caracas, Venezuela
“I found the possibility to continue the pursuit of my previous technical expertise the most attractive in this program, as a manager shall not be successful until he/she understands the fundamentals of the products.”
-Hyuan Chen, Beijing, China
“Because I was an undergraduate student here, it seemed that it would be a smooth transition into graduate school at the same institution. Overall, I applied to the program because I didn’t feel that I had developed enough “soft skills” and I knew there would be so much potential for growth in this program. Hopkins is an incredible institution and I knew it was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss.”
– Joan Golding, El Paso, Texas USA
“The program’s small size attracted me because it made me feel like I would be part of a community and not just a number. The curriculum and how it incorporated real world experience bolstered my interest because I believed it would develop my skills and give me new experiences. Lastly, the immersion program attracted me to JHU’s MSEM because during my undergraduate years study abroad experiences weren’t available to my major, making abroad experiences absent from my resume.”
-Ebony Nelson, Powell, Ohio USA
- The dual concentration structure, which allows its students to keep immersing in a technical field whilst discovering and learning about technology management
- The international environment, with students from all around the world, which creates a unique cultural experience
- The courses it offers, such as Professional Presentations or Strategies for Innovation & Growth, which grants the students a new point of view and skills highly demanded in the current market
- The Intersession experience, where students travel to another country and work closely with real clients on real problems” -Joesp Puig Ruiz, Barcelona, Spain
“The MSEM program at JHU is set apart by its flexibility, case study method, seminars and workshops series, internship requirement, enviable job placement statistics, strong industry collaboration through an Industrial Advisory Board, and comprehensive Student Services with MSEM-specific resources. I want to prepare myself as a leader in the management consulting industry and for that, I was sure that I will greatly benefit from the Operations Research concentration that the MSEM program offers as it exploits the intellectual ties between finance, operations research and engineering through the application of in-depth quantitative techniques with practical, hands-on problem-solving. Hence, I see myself graduating from JHU and joining leading companies in the intersection of finance, technology and business strategy.”
-Vishesh Shah, Vadodara, India
MSEM Hospital Project Presentations
By Lindsey on October 26, 2018
The Master of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM) first year students, presented their Hospital presentations yesterday to a panel of hosts, students, and faculty. The Hospital Project is a collaboration between the Whiting School of Engineering and the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, where collectively, the MSEM students assisted, observed, and learned from clinicians to define problems, and then create translatable solutions. There were eight teams of four students, and each group was given approximately nine weeks to analyze priority patient safety issues. The engineering mindset allowed students find a problem to solve, and then dissect its anatomy. Some of these problems included: Improving Medical Device Training, Preventing Injuries, Improving Patient Wait Times, and Improving Blood Lab Pick-up and Drop-off, to name a few.
The teams had approximately 15 minutes to present their issues, and recommendations with time reserved for Q&A. Their PowerPoint presentations were elegant, each slide consisted of statistics, numbers, and images, none were deluged by chunks of text, but instead the students meticulously used symbols to convey solutions, and visual representations of the data they presented, which seamlessly transitioned from slide to slide. Additionally, the presentations were thorough, from cost considerations to potential risk factors. It was evident that the students gained real experiences by spending time in the hospitals, talking to nurses, making observations, gathering data, utilizing research, as well as conversations with their clinicians, who acted as mentors, to create these solutions.
MSEM Students go Apple Picking
By Jenna on October 22, 2018
MSEM students enjoy a brisk day of apple picking (and pumpkin picking) and fall activities at Weber’s Peachberry Farm in Glen Arm, Maryland. American students share their fall traditions with their international classmates from China, Spain, India, and Turkey.
Firsthand Account: How to Tackle the Johns
Hopkins MSEM Admissions Process
By Jenna on September 27, 2018
The Fall Equinox is officially upon us, and to graduating seniors and young professionals that means one thing: graduate admissions deadlines are swiftly approaching. Consider this post your official handbook on how to tackle the Johns Hopkins MSEM admissions process from someone who’s gone through it firsthand.
How Do I Apply?
This is a seemingly simple question, but let’s be clear: applying to graduate school can be anything but straightforward. Here at Hopkins, we try to make everything as clear for you as possible; we’ll leave the tough part for when you get here.
Step 1: Take the GRE.
All students—with the exception of JHU undergraduates—are required to submit GRE scores to be considered for admission. While applicants are considered on a case-to-case basis, we generally seek applicants with a Quantitative score of 150 or higher and an Analytical Writing score of at least 3.0. GRE test scores need to be valid within the last five years.
Tips from a Former Applicant: It’s often the case for us STEM and engineering students that our Quantitative scores are very impressive, and our Analytical Writing scores are not. My advice? Don’t stress about it. You’re applying to MSEM to improve your leadership skills, like writing and oral presentations, so it’s understandable that these areas might need work. In your application, focus on your existing strengths and also discuss what you hope to get out of the program.
Step 2: Take the TOEFL
If you are coming from a University abroad at which English is not the primary spoken language or language of instruction, you will be required to take TOEFL to demonstrate English competency.
Once admitted, our English as a Second Language students have numerous resources available to improve their oral and written English skills. We encourage our students to visit the ESL center, where they can schedule free one-on-one sessions with a tutor.
Step 3: Compile your letters of recommendation
These should be from anyone who has gotten to know you in a professional setting. If you’re a few years out of your undergrad, think: supervisors and senior colleagues. If you’ve just graduated from college, talk to professors who are familiar with your work ethic and can speak to it positively.
Tips from a Former Applicant: Try to give your recommendation writers at least 2 months in advance to write your letter. Recommendations can sometimes take a backseat when things get busy. So, it’s best to give your colleagues ample time. A polite reminder of the upcoming deadline is always welcome, too.
Step 4: Obtain your official undergraduate transcripts
These can be obtained from the registrar’s office at your undergraduate institution. They must be official. Additionally, we prefer e-transcripts, which can be sent directly to our Graduate Admissions Office from the registrar at your school.
Tips from a Former Applicant: If your GPA isn’t as high as you’d like it to be, put your full effort into making up the difference in your GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose. At Hopkins, we work to take on a holistic view of each applicant—every piece of your application is carefully reviewed so we can get a clear picture of how you’d fit in the MSEM program.
Step 5: Sharpen up your Resume
Consider your resume like a headshot; it’s the way you present yourself to the professional world and offers a brief glimpse into what you’re capable of. As such, it needs to be refined. Focus on quantifying the results you’ve achieved, rather than just listing experiences. Work for 1 page of succinct material.
Tips from a Former Applicant: Have a few friends proofread your resume before you submit your application. Sometimes, when you’ve been working on a document for too long it’s hard to pick up on your mistakes.
Step 6: Write your Statement of Purpose
By the time you’ve completed Steps 1-5, you should have a good idea about why the MSEM program at Johns Hopkins is a good choice for you. In this essay, make sure to discuss your anticipated technical concentration as well as why management is a career focus for you..
Tips from a Former Applicant: While it’s tempting to write one essay for all of your MSEM applications, admissions committees will notice if your essay sounds generic. For the Johns Hopkins MSEM statement of purpose, you need to make sure to touch on three major points: first, why you are applying to the MSEM program; second, how it would prepare you for your future goals; and third, why the Johns Hopkins MSEM program in particular is appealing to you.
Step 7: Submission
You can submit your application electronically through the Johns Hopkins University website. Simply select “Apply” on the top right corner of the JHU MSEM page; then select Graduate Admission (full-time), then full-time degree seeking; finally, you will be prompted to select the Engineering Management, M.S. as your degree.
You can upload all your application materials on our online portal. Your recommendation writers can upload their materials there as well, which ensures their letters remain confidential.
If you are unable to upload your materials online, you can mail them to the following address:
Johns Hopkins University
Full-time Studies in Arts, Sciences and Engineering
Graduate Affairs and Admissions Office
W601 Wyman Park Building
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
What’s the Timeline for the Application and Admissions Process?
It’s easy to lose track of time when applying for graduate school. From my experience, it’s best to compile all of your upcoming deadlines on a spreadsheet or calendar to make sure nothing gets lost in the chaos.
The application deadline for Johns Hopkins MSEM is January 15, 2019. All applications received after this deadline will be considered based on available spaces in our incoming cohort.
Tips from a Former Applicant: Plan to take your GRE in November or December of 2018. This will ensure that you can retake the exam if your scores need improvement in time for the application deadline.
Upon review of your application, you may be offered an interview. Unless you are local or a JHU undergraduate, all interviews will be conducted over Zoom. Interviews will be conducted by our Admissions Committee in January, February and March 2019.
Admissions decisions will be released on a rolling basis until April 15, 2019. You will be alerted at this time if you have been awarded a Departmental Fellowship.
We ask that you submit your enrollment decision by April 15, 2019. You are required to submit a $500 one-time matriculation fee, which will be included in your tuition bill.
Making your Decision
Fast forward seven months from now: after months of hard work put into your application, you’ve finally been accepted into Johns Hopkins MSEM program. Now how do you make your final enrollment decision? We recommend the following:
Schedule a Visit to Campus:
If it’s a possibility for you, schedule a visit to Baltimore. Take a tour of our beautiful University, meet your future professors, and have a latte at our local favorite coffee shop, Carma’s. An on-campus visit is a sure-fire way to determine if Johns Hopkins might be a good fit for you.
Reach out to a Current Student:
If you’re too far to stop by, your best bet on learning more about the program is talking to current students or alumni. Our students understand the importance of a strong alumni network and are always willing to give time to a prospective student. If you are interested in being connected to a current student, our staff is happy to help.
More information on the admission requirements of the JHU MSEM program can be found here.
How to Win in Business: Lessons from the MEMPC PriSim War Games Competition
By Kendal Enz on April 17, 2018
Building a business is hard. Making that business thrive is even harder. Students in the Master of Science in Engineering Management Program at Hopkins faced these challenges earlier this year as competitors in the 6th Annual MEMPC PriSim Business War Games.
During this five-week, online competition, which is managed by Northwestern University, teams from top engineering schools such as Cornell, Dartmouth and Hopkins participated in a business simulation where they functioned as the management team for an auto manufacturing company.
Participant Christos Panagiotou, who worked on a team with fellow MSEM students Barghav Hariharan Subramony, Shreyendra Garg and Revant Verma, said they were tasked with making weekly business decisions on manufacturing, marketing, distribution, development, and investment decisions on R&D and capacity.
“Competition was steep and some teams made bold decisions which ended up in their favor,” Panagiotou said.
Teams had to build a car model from the ground up, as well as choose the best strategy to bring it to market. The MSEM student team decided to target its marketing strategy toward the high-volume family consumer segment, and slowly transition to the more niche single and high-income consumer segments to increase profit margins. They placed fourth out of seven teams, and learned a lot in the process.
“What we learned from this experience is that consistency in strategy is key,” Panagiotou said. “Additionally, the ability to pivot is equally important. [The] best strategy is one that is uniform but at the same time flexible enough to account for market volatility.”
Panagiotou said the PriSim Business War Games Competition was a positive experience, and that he would recommend it to future MSEM students.
“Familiarity with the software and with simulation practices is important, and we could leverage our experiences from this year to help MSEM teams win future business simulations,” he said.
The Competition is part of an initiative of the Master of Engineering Management Programs Consortium to raise awareness for the Master of Engineering Management degree; expand its value-added opportunities; forge business partnerships with employers, potential job candidates, students and faculty; and facilitate alumni networking.
More information on PriSim Business War Games can be found here.
You’ve been Accepted into the MSEM Program! Now What?
In this post, we explore common questions from newly accepted students
By Kendal Enz on February 27, 2018
Great news: You’ve been accepted into the Master of Science in Engineering Management Program at Johns Hopkins University! It’s time to celebrate! Once you’ve accepted the offer to matriculate, you may have questions about what to do next. Luckily, we at the MSEM Program are here to help! Below, you’ll find common questions we receive from newly accepted students, along with detailed answers.
Financial Aid/ Assistantships
Will I receive financial aid?
There are a number of fellowship and scholarship opportunities for full-time graduate students within the Whiting School of Engineering. A list of opportunities can be found in the following places:
In addition, US students are eligible to apply for Federal Student Aid.
Do you provide assistantships?
Yes. The MSEM Program hires a number of students to work as teaching assistants each semester. These positions generally do not pay enough to support students full-time, but are a good source of extra spending money. Students typically do not work as teaching assistants until their second semester of study.
Will I receive health insurance?
Yes. Hopkins requires all full-time students to maintain health insurance coverage. International students are required to enroll in the University’s health insurance plan. United States citizens who do not show proof of comparable health insurance are automatically enrolled in the University’s health insurance plan.
Is there on-campus housing for MSEM students?
No. Hopkins does not have on-campus housing for graduate students. However, the Off-Campus Housing office can assist with finding housing near the Homewood Campus, as well as roommates.
How long is the Program?
Students are encouraged to commit to at least three semesters in the MSEM Program to take full advantage of all that Hopkins has to offer.
Can I arrive at Hopkins after the MSEM Program orientation?
No. Students are required to participate in orientation. During orientation, students are split into groups and begin working on the Hospital Ethnography Project. Failure to arrive on time may jeopardize acceptance into the Program.
Can I change my concentration?
Students may apply to change their concentrations. New concentration applications must be approved by the concentration’s sponsoring department. Students in the MSEM Program must have the educational background necessary to do well in the concentration.
Applying to change a concentration does not affect prior acceptance into a concentration, nor does it jeopardize acceptance into the MSEM Program.
May I take classes outside of my concentration?
Yes. Students may take courses offered by any of the University’s departments, but in order for them to count toward the MSEM degree, they must be approved by the student’s concentration advisor. Courses taken for personal enrichment will still be listed on the student’s transcript.
For a complete list of tasks to complete for all graduate students admitted into the Whiting School of Engineering, see the New Graduate Student Checklist.
Have questions that weren’t answered here? Please contact MSEM Program Manager Angela Ruddle: email@example.com.
A World Class Education
With the launch of a new online program, MSEM students can begin their degree from across the globe
By Kendal Enz on January 30, 2018
It’s no secret that Johns Hopkins University is one of the top universities in the world and has one of the top engineering schools in the U.S., which is why students travel from across the globe to receive an education here.
According to the Times Education World University Rankings, 20 percent of Hopkins’ 21,000 students are international, hailing from 120 different countries.
The Master of Science in Engineering Management Program at Hopkins is no less diverse. Our current students originate from countries such as India, Cyprus, Nigeria, China and the U.S., and we’re taking steps to make our program even more accessible to future international students.
In the fall of 2018, the MSEM and Engineering for Professionals Programs will jointly launch Home2Homewood, allowing MSEM students to complete a portion of their coursework online, from the comfort of their home anywhere in the U.S. or around the world.
Starting in 2018, students who have elected a concentration in Communications Science or Smart Product and Device Design will have the opportunity to take up to four online courses at home before joining their MSEM cohort in the fall of 2019 to complete two full-time semesters on the Hopkins’ Homewood Campus in Baltimore. The admissions process and requirements for Home2Homewood are identical to those for all other MSEM students. For international students, the two in-residence semesters will meet the necessary requirement to apply for Optional Practical Training.
Pamela Sheff, director of the MSEM Program, said Home2Homewood “benefits students by allowing them to save on living expenses for the time that they are studying at home, and it allows them to keep working, should they choose.”
In addition, depending on the number of online courses students complete, Home2Homewood will lighten students’ workloads once they are on campus, allowing them to spend more time taking advantage of all that Hopkins offers.
A Home2Homewood website listing acceptable online technical and management courses from the EP Program will launch this spring.
In addition to the online courses, MSEM students can also register for a mentored internship in the location of their choice. While not required, students are strongly encouraged to participate in the internship course, as it encourages them to reflect on their work experience in real-time, and assists them in building valuable professional connections.
A number of MSEM students have completed internships overseas. This past summer, Ping Gu and Yu Guo both had internships located near their hometowns in China. Gu worked as a consulting intern for the Deloitte branch in the Guangdong Province and Guo worked as an engineering intern for Supercooler Technologies. This coming summer, Xiaotong Wang, from Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang, China, will work as an intern at the Bejing office of Bain & Company.
Many of our international students also search for jobs near their hometowns post-graduation, and a local internship is a great way for them to build the professional connections necessary for job placement.
MSEM student Jingtong Zhang recently accepted a position at PricewaterhouseCoopers in her native city of Beijing. She will be employed as an associate in the company’s X-Venturer Innovative Leadership Programme.
“The Hopkins/ MSEM name definitely helped me get the job,” she said.
Zhang said most of the top universities in China don’t offer engineering management programs, which is one of the reasons why she chose to attend graduate school overseas.
“Hopkins is a very renowned school and the MSEM Program is great,” she said. “I love the opportunities to work in the healthcare industry that Hopkins can provide.”
The professional connections international students make while in the MSEM Program can also help them jumpstart a career in the U.S.
Laksh Agarwal, from Hyderabad, Telangana, India, recently accepted a position with Human BioSciences in Gaithersburg, MD as a business development executive.
He said the networking he experienced while in the MSEM Program helped him land the job.
“Professor Sheff and Professor Aronhime helped me get in touch with a person who was affiliated with the company,” he said.
In addition, Agarwal added that once he received the offer from Human BioSciences, MSEM faculty members Pamela Sheff and William Smedick assisted him in negotiating a better deal.
Agarwal believes the MSEM Program helped prepare him for a career in a number of ways. As part of the MSEM Immersion Program in Israel, Agarwal said he gained real-world experience as a business development consultant for a startup.
“Apart from that,” he said, “the classes I took under MSEM helped me develop my soft skills and overall employability.”
Recent MSEM graduate Gitika Vijh, from Karnal, Haryana, India, said the MSEM coursework prepared her to do well in interviews, helping her score a position as a cloud support associate with Amazon in Dallas.
“I think coursework like Professional Presentations and Managing People definitely helped me in understanding the mindset of the hiring managers and in answering their questions with confidence,” she said.
Vijh believes the MSEM Program trains students to succeed in the real-world through its focus on building soft skills.
“After graduating from MSEM, I feel a lot more confident in talking to people, making presentations and understanding the needs of the person in front of me,” she said.
Vijh added that the one-on-one attention she received while at Hopkins was unparalleled.
“I haven’t seen any faculty of other schools or departments put in as much effort as the faculty of MSEM does to help the students succeed,” she said.
Questions about the Home2Homewood Program? Please email MSEM Program Manager Angela Ruddle: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Key to Success: Friendship
How the close ties among our students help them succeed in their academic and professional lives
By Kendal Enz on December 12, 2017
The MSEM Program at Hopkins doesn’t just provide its students with a top-notch education, it also provides them with the strong support network they need to excel in their academic and professional lives. The small, cohort-centered environment of our program allows our students to bond and form lasting friendships. Many of these friendships are born in the MSEM Lounge, a twenty-four-hour study space for our students.
The lounge, centrally located among the faculty and staff offices, features desktop computers, whiteboards, a projector, moveable tables conducive to teamwork, couches and kitchen appliances.
“The lounge feels like an integral part of building a sense of community within the program, and I am grateful that we have it,” Baltimore native Conor Reynolds said.
Nagashree Shettigar, from Udupi, Kaenataka, India, said she spends most of her time in the lounge, including Saturdays.
“I prefer studying at the lounge, compared to my house, as it’s so bright, comfortable, with whiteboards,” she said. “And, moreover, I can spend time with my classmates.”
When he’s not in class, Valentine Ezenwa, from Lagos, Nigeria, also spends the majority of his time in the lounge, as he enjoys the camaraderie.
“We work on similar assignments, sometimes in groups, and can bounce ideas off each other. We give each other moral support. We take breaks from work and just hang out,” he said.
The lounge isn’t just a place for our students to study, it is also a place for them to take a break from their work and relax.
“If I am tired I can just lie down and no one is going to say anything. In the library, it would be just awkward to sleep,” Gitika Vijh, from Karnal, Haryana, India, said. “Even the labs in Malone [Hall], there’s just chairs and tables so you cannot really get comfortable or take a break if you desperately need one. There are no restrictions like that in the lounge.”
Xiaotong Wang, from Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang, China, said the lounge is a good space for students to speak casually and freely, play games, and build friendships.
The lounge also provides students who don’t have class together with the opportunity to interact, Qinxin Sun, from Suzhou, China, said.
“We can communicate with each other, we can understand each other, we can schedule dinner together,” she said.
In addition, Reynolds said the lounge allows him and his cohort to engage with second-year MSEM students and teaching assistants, which is helpful when they need assistance with their assignments or are seeking advice.
Spending significant amounts of time with their cohort also improves our students’ academic and professional skills.
“It has helped me to become a team player, especially since I spend so much time with my classmates. We’ve built friendships over that time and we try to push each other to succeed,” Ezenwa said.
Ifeoluwa Oresanwo, from Lagos, Nigeria, said interacting with her cohort on a daily basis has allowed her to think more broadly and consider different viewpoints.
Vijh agreed with this sentiment.
“It is refreshing to get to know other people’s perspectives and expand your knowledge,” she said. “I was surrounded by very smart people and they have helped me become a better version of myself.”
For many of our students, the lounge is more than just a communal workspace, it’s their second home.
Vijh said that she and her classmates grew so used to hanging out in the lounge that even after a night out they would end up in lounge at two or three in the morning.
“It is a carefree environment and you can sit, talk or play for as long as you want in the night,” she said.
She added that she and her classmates would often work on assignments until five or six in the morning.
“Hanging out in the same place for so long, you are bound to talk to each other,” she said. “There would be sensitive topics coming up, you would come to know more about them, their family, their background. It naturally drew us closer to each other.”
These bonds formed among our students are vital to easing the stress of our vigorous program.
“There are high expectations and your peers are the only ones with whom you can really relate or talk to since they are in the same situation,” Vijh said. “It is even more important for international students since they are away from their home and they need emotional support to cope with everything.”
The support that our students receive from their fellow classmates doesn’t end upon graduation, but continues into life after the program.
“I do believe that the bonds formed here are bonds for life,” Shettigar said.
“I am sure that when I need someone to talk to even after graduation, or if my peers are in cities where I will be working, they would be there to support me and help me out,” she said.
For more information about the MSEM Program at Hopkins, please email MSEM Program Manager Angela Ruddle: email@example.com.
Just the Facts: Hopkins MSEM Program Frequently Asked Questions
By Kendal Enz on November 20, 2017
We at the Hopkins MSEM Program know applying to graduate school can seem like an overwhelming process, but we’re here to help! We believe the more information you have, the more likely you are to enroll in the engineering management program that is right for you. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions from our potential applicants.
About the Application Process
Is there a minimum GRE score?
We don’t have a minimum GRE score requirement. Accepted students typically have Verbal and Quantitative scores of 150 or higher, and Analytical scores of 3.0 or higher. GRE scores are valid for five years and you may take the test as many times as allowed by the ETS. We will use the highest score submitted when considering your application for admission.
How much emphasis is put on GRE scores?
We value the GRE as a way of determining student aptitude and performance, but we don’t have a minimum GRE score requirement. Your GRE scores are considered along with your undergraduate grades, Statement of Purpose, letters of recommendation and interviews.
How long should my Statement of Purpose be?
Your Statement of Purpose should be approximately 500 words. If you can describe why you’re a good fit for our program in fewer than 500 words, there is no need to expand your Statement of Purpose to meet the word count.
What should I include in my Statement of Purpose?
Your Statement of Purpose should focus on your qualifications to undertake a master’s program in engineering management, as well as how our program will assist you in your professional aspirations. You should also discuss which technical or management concentration you are interested in pursuing and why. We are looking for authentic, thoughtful and personal answers. Our program is rigorous and cohort-centered, and we want to ensure that students will contribute to and benefit from what we offer. We want students who will engage with faculty and classmates. This is not a program for passive learners.
How many applications do you typically receive each year?
We receive several hundred applications each year, and select the candidates who are academically qualified and whom we believe will best fit with and contribute to our cohort-centered program.
What is your acceptance rate?
We accept approximately 37 percent of applicants.
About the MSEM Program
How many students are in the program?
There are twenty-eight students in our current cohort. During fall semesters, we have anywhere from ten to twenty students from the previous cohort who are finishing coursework and applying to jobs. Our management curriculum is highly project-based, and we value working closely with our students. This is why we do not intend for any cohort to be larger than fifty students.
How large are the class sizes?
Class sizes currently range from about ten to thirty students.
How is the program split between the technical and managerial aspects of engineering management?
Students are required to take five technical courses and the equivalent of five management courses to complete our program. In their first semester, students enroll in the following courses:
EN.662.611 Strategies: Accounting and Finance
EN.662.620 Professional Presentations
EN.663.692 Strategies for Innovation and Growth
Most students couple this with one technical course.
In their second semester, students have more time to take additional technical courses. While our program can be completed in one year, we strongly encourage students to commit fifteen to eighteen months to their studies so they may complete an internship and take advantage of all that Hopkins has to offer, as well as approach their job search with the intensity it deserves.
We are constantly revising our program to meet student needs. Three years ago, we added a mentored internship program, and beginning in the spring of 2018, we’re offering an interdisciplinary, team-based entrepreneurship and innovation course on the Hacking for Defense model used at Stanford University.
In addition, students who either want or need to be off-campus after their initial year are able to complete their coursework online through our Engineering for Professionals Program. With the approval of their advisor, our students can currently count two courses taken through EP toward their MSEM degree.
What careers does this program prepare me for?
Our program prepares its students to lead in technical and non-technical organizations. Graduates have entered into fields including project management, research and development, logistics, supply chain, financial technology, finance, venture capital, private equity, consulting, new business development, technical policy and biotechnology.
Many of our students are entrepreneurially focused, and are interested in launching a company or joining a startup. Students often begin our program believing they want to enter into one field, but broaden their thinking once they are exposed to the wide range of potential careers available to them as MSEM graduates.
Where do your alumni work?
Our students have received job offers from top companies such as 3M, Accenture, AECOM, Amazon, Amgen Biotech Experience, AOL, Bank of America, Bloomberg, Booz Allen Hamilton, Capitol One, CitiBank, Deloitte, Environex, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, InnoSpring, J.P. Morgan, MAXIMUS, McKinsey, Ready Robotic, Siemens and T. Rowe Price. Some of our students have also gone on to earn Phd’s and JD’s.
Still have questions? Please email MSEM Program Manager Angela Ruddle: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Cut Above the Rest: Three Defining Characteristics of the Hopkins MSEM Program
By Kendal Enz on October 25, 2017
How do you choose the right engineering management program when there are so many to choose from? Find what sets it apart! The Master of Engineering Management Program at Johns Hopkins University distinguishes itself from other programs with its cohort-centered environment, real-world opportunities and professional development courses and coaching.
For many students, the small, cohort-centered environment plays a significant role in their decision to matriculate in the MSEM Program. This fall, the cohort is composed of twenty-eight students from across the globe.
Laksh Agarwal, of Hyderabad, Telangana, India, said the small size of our program was the biggest draw for him.
“For me, a master’s abroad didn’t mean just education—I wanted an experience and I wanted to make relationships that last. Other schools with bigger classes have no bonds. People finish their degrees without knowing who they worked and studied with,” he said.
Divisha Rajput, from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, said the cohort-centered program simulates a real work environment.
“It makes us realize how we need to function in a team and what all is required to form an efficient team,” she said. “This will help us in tackling the same situations in our professional life when we will be required to form a team and work in groups to achieve well defined targets.”
In addition, the intimacy of the MSEM Program provides a support network for its students.
“Being an international student is not easy for everyone, as each person comes from a different background and has grown up in a different atmosphere. Cohort culture promotes healthy socialization, and thus eases the stress of entering a new country,” Agarwal said.
The small size of the MSEM Program also allows its students to receive one-on-one attention from the faculty.
What particularly struck Agarwal about the MSEM faculty was how much they care about each student.
“A fifteen-minute conversation with any of the faculty members is extremely valuable because they have so much to offer,” he said.
The MSEM Program offers a number of opportunities for its students to gain hands-on experience in the professional world.
The Immersion Program, in which all MSEM students participate, consists of a three-week consulting project during Intersession of the students’ first year. Previous Immersion Projects have been held in Baltimore, Honduras, Israel, Panama and Portugal.
Agarwal said the Immersion Project was a particularly appealing part of the MSEM Program.
“The projects are unique and not a lot of people would have such exposure,” he said.
For his Immersion Project, Agarwal traveled to Israel and participated in the 3-Day Startup competition at The Technion, and also worked as a consultant for a startup catering to IoT solutions for water leak detection.
“I learned a lot about startups and pre-funding preparation. Met brilliant students and mentors. During the consulting project, I understood what it’s like to work as a consultant with no set boundaries and working with whatever you have,” he said.
Aakash Rawat, from Almora, Uttarakhand, India, also participated in the Israel Immersion Project.
“Working from early in the morning to late in the night, it was the best educational experience I have ever had,” he said of the 3-Day Startup competition.
Rawat also said consulting for the startup provided him with the opportunity to conduct extensive market research, build professional relationships and understand how to meet consumer needs while maintaining client restraints.
“The immersion project was a trailer to the real-world career that we will have in the future, and it has given us a pivotal experience in preparing ourselves for job roles we take up,” he said.
Ping Gu, from Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, participated in the Portugal Immersion Project, and worked on global market research and a potential business strategy for an advanced algal toxin detection technology company. He said one of the main things he learned from the experience was how to deal with conflict in a professional setting.
“The ability to resolve conflict is crucial,” he said.
Students who participated in the Baltimore Immersion Project last year worked with the Johns Hopkins Patient Safety Committee to lower patient infection rates during operation procedures.
Lecturer Bob Graham, who assisted students with the Baltimore Immersion Project, said the number one thing that students learn from the Immersion Program is that their knowledge is valued in the professional community.
“Organizations are hungry for new ideas and new ways to look at problems and our students can offer solutions to these challenging situations,” he said.
Graham added that the Immersion Program allows students to apply the skills they learn in the classroom to the real-world.
“Taking on a problem facing a real client forces them to put all of the skills they have developed to work in new ways,” he said. “Classroom learning is important, but applying it to real situations is where you really accelerate learning.”
All MSEM students also have the opportunity to work with Johns Hopkins Hospital, one of the world’s top medical centers. The Engineering Collaborative for Patient Safety was created by the Whiting School of Engineering and The Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research to enable MSEM students to work with clinicians on analyzing and solving patient safety issues.
Agarwal said working with the hospital helped him gain a true understanding of what consulting entails.
“Working with a brand name hospital also helped me establish credibility. I enjoyed working on the project and learning new things by observation,” he said.
Rajput said the hospital project has taught her the power of observation as well.
“It has made me realize that sometimes we keep on looking for the tough solutions and get stuck, while the easiest solution just lies there and we fail to notice that because of lack of keen observation,” she said.
The MSEM Program doesn’t just teach its students how to excel in the field of engineering management, it also provides its students with the professional skills they need to excel in a business environment and the contacts they need to begin a career.
All MSEM students are required to take Professional Presentations, a course designed to help scientists and engineers improve their oral presentation skills in a practice-intensive environment. Students learn how to hone a message, craft presentations that address technical and non-technical audiences, and create clear, compelling PowerPoint presentations.
“The presentations class taught us how to express our ideas better and with more conviction,” Rawat said. “It helped us gain confidence in public speaking and interviews, and also inspired us to simplify complex problems for the crowd’s easy understanding.”
He said that every class, whether it’s strategy, marketing or management focused, is invaluable.
“Every course we have taken has implanted in us a skill that is necessary to strive at any job,” he said.
Rajput said the guest speakers in the course Strategies for Innovation and Growth, taught by MSEM Program Director Pam Sheff, has been particularly helpful.
“Various talks in the Innovation and Growth Course has given us an opportunity to interact with successful executives and entrepreneurs and learn from them,” she said.
Students also have the opportunity to participate in a mentored internship program the summer after their first year in the program. Senior Lecturer Bill Smedick assists students with finding internships, and meets with them regularly over the course of their internships. Past students have interned at Bahari Group, McKinsey, Siemens, Transamerica and Under Armour.
“Employers find that their new professionals often have difficulty applying what they learn in the classroom to their professional roles when the graduate,” Smedick said. “Internships provide the opportunity to apply classroom learning, develop new skills and enhance others in ways to help students succeed in the workplace.”
The MSEM Program prides itself on its practitioner faculty, and because all its faculty also have or have had careers outside academia, they are able to provide their students with invaluable professional contacts.
“I would say that all of our faculty have been assisting us and guiding us in finding the right position according to our interests,” Rajput said.
“The faculty has helped me by connecting me to the right people,” he said. “They have coached and advised me and assisted me with possible career options.”
Some of the people the faculty connect MSEM students with are alumni.
“I spoke to a few MSEM people before joining and still am in touch with a few of them. I’d say they helped me with picking classes and projects,” Agarwal said. “Additionally, they shared their work experience and offered to refer me in their respective companies.”
Rajput said interacting with MSEM alumni was one of the main reasons she chose the MSEM Program.
“I have met some of the alumnus and they all have been really friendly and helpful and are giving good advice,” she said.
Want to learn more about the MSEM Program? Email MSEM Program Manager Angela Ruddle today: email@example.com.
In Their Own Words: Students Discuss What Drew Them to Our Program
By Kendal Enz on October 5, 2017
What better way to learn teamwork, leadership and communication skills than to immerse yourself in a consulting project that will have a profound impact on communities? As part of its curriculum, the MSEM Program at Hopkins requires its students to participate in an Immersion Project, with the option to go abroad. Past students have completed three-week consulting projects in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Honduras, Israel, Panama and Portugal.
“What drew me to MSEM, first off, was a chance to finally go abroad,” Sebastian Yllanes of Miami, Florida said.
As an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering student at Hopkins, Yllanes’ heavy course load prevented him from being able to study abroad, so the opportunity to work in another country as a graduate student was particularly appealing to him.
“The chance to go to Portugal, Honduras or Israel even, is really cool. It provides an opportunity to learn a global culture outside of Baltimore while providing some hands-on consulting experience. That really drew me,” he said.
Gitika Vijh, from Karnal, Haryana, India, agreed.
“The immersion project is very unique to Hopkins and it did attract me to JHU,” she said.
It’s all about who you know. Our faculty’s real-world work experience translates into a wealth of professional connections for our students.
Oludunsin Samuel-Ojo (Ojo), from Sierra Vista, Arizona, said faculty are eager to assist students with launching their careers by coaching them through the interview process and connecting them to alumni and professional organizations.
“[The faculty] have experience in the field and they’re very helpful, and so I would say the faculty does more outside the classroom than inside,” Ojo said.
Yllanes said Senior Lecturer William Smedick has been particularly helpful.
“He brings a lot to the table in terms of careers, resume workshops and interviews, which is something really crucial to do in the beginning of the year,” he said.
Preparing for the job application process early in the semester is especially helpful to the large majority of MSEM students who plan to enter the consulting field, as consulting firms recruit heavily on campus in the fall.
“That’s definitely helped a ton with my applications so far,” Yllanes said.
With the assistance of our faculty, students have received job offers from top companies such as 3M, Amazon, Amgen, Bank of America, Booz Allen Hamilton, CitiBank, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and McKinsey.
Vijh added that our lecturers are very approachable and amenable to working with students one-on-one.
“None of the master’s students in other universities have provided me with the feedback that they get the same level of attention from their faculty as much as we do,” she said.
Location, Location, Location
Baltimore isn’t just home to one of the world’s top universities, it’s also home to one of the world’s top medical centers, Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Engineering Collaborative for Patient Safety was created by the Whiting School of Engineering and The Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research to enable our students to work closely with clinicians on analyzing and solving patient safety issues.
Yllanes said working with the top hospital in the world provides incredible advantages to students, especially those interested in medical devices.
“I worked with a nurse for three hours today. She was telling me about her experience and I learned so much from someone with that much experience under their belt,” he said.
Valentine Ezenwa, from Lagos, Nigera, said working with the hospital was also a wonderful bonding experience for the MSEM cohort.
“Getting to know each other as work colleagues, that was really the first big test for us…When you actually have to sit down and work on something that actually matters, you learn a lot about the people you’re working with,” he said.
In addition to housing one of the top hospitals, Baltimore is a hub for entrepreneurs and innovators.
Ojo said that the social issues present in Baltimore, such as the living conditions in the poorer parts of the city, provide students with real-world problems to solve from a technological point-of-view.
“Baltimore is kind of a city that needs people like us to make it the greatest city in America. I would say it’s a good city if you want to be around a lot of innovation,” he said.
Small, International Cohort
Unlike many other Masters of Engineering Management programs, the MSEM Program at Hopkins is composed of a small, intimate cohort. This fall, 28 students enrolled in our program.
“This [program] stood out because, firstly, it’s a small program. I got into USC, and USC is a huge class,” Ezenwa said.
Vijh said she was also attracted to our program because of the cohort size.
“Other MSEM programs like the one in Duke have 150 candidates. The lowest is probably in Dartmouth with 50 candidates. Hopkins MSEM program was the only one where I knew that I would get the attention that I need from the professors,” she said.
This intimate cohort size allows our students to form close, lasting relationships.
“I have new brothers and sisters from different parts of the world…There’s a sense of community and we do a lot of stuff together,” Ojo said.
Our students this fall hail from all parts of the globe, including China, Cyprus, India and Nigeria.
Ojo said he goes to many multicultural events, such as an Indian dancing festival, because of his friendship with his multicultural classmates.
“You get the opportunity to do those types of things and everyone generally wants to be your friend,” he said.
The MSEM Program at Hopkins is the perfect program for preparing students to become entrepreneurs, consultants and engineers.
Ezenwa said he was drawn to our program because it allows him to master both his engineering and business skills.
“I wanted something that would help me build my ability to interact with people in a business setting, basically work on projects that take me outside of the classroom and put me face-to-face with clients and problems I want to solve,” he said.
Vijh said that other Masters of Engineering Management programs require students to take specific technical courses, whether or not they are relevant to the students’ career plans.
“I knew for a fact that all my [Hopkins] management courses would be beneficial overall. The skill sets that I wanted to gain were all covered as part of my management electives,” she said.
In addition to having a flexible course schedule, our program offers all its students formal Bloomberg Professional Services training on the five Hopkins Bloomberg Terminals. Students also have the opportunity to complete the Bloomberg Market Concepts Certification free of charge.
Vijh said the most valuable part of our program is the mindset students develop through their management coursework.
“You are encouraged to think out of the box and say your opinion out loud,” she said.
Want to learn more about the MSEM Program at Hopkins? Contact MSEM Program Manager Angela Ruddle today: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the first in a series of posts that spotlight MSEM alumni.
Today’s post features 2015 graduate Melanie Shimano.
The Future of Food: MSEM Alumna Pilots Food Computer Course in Baltimore Charter School
By Kendal Enz on September 21, 2017
As the world population continues to grow and climate conditions continue change, a question arises: how do we create innovative, healthy and ecologically sustainable food systems? It’s a question MSEM graduate and entrepreneur Melanie Shimano is tackling head on.
Shimano, 26, inspired by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab Open Agriculture Initiative, piloted a course this past spring at Green Street Academy in Baltimore in which students learned to grow produce using Personal Food Computers. These tabletop greenhouses—constructed from insulation foam, duct tape and grow lights—monitor climate, energy and plant growth using computers small enough to fit in your hand. Shimano taught a five-week version of the course over the summer through YouthWorks, and is offering it at Green Street Academy again this fall.
She learned about the Personal Food Computer project through a TED Talk given by the Director of OpenAg, Caleb Harper.
“I thought that this technology would be the perfect tool to help engage younger audiences with STEM fields and potential careers,” Shimano said.
While all the courses she took as a student in the MSEM program prepared her for her work with Personal Food Computers, the knowledge she gained in Professional Presentations with Senior Lecturer Julie Reiser was particularly useful. In this course, Shimano had to give an iteration of a highly technical presentation to a sixth-grade audience.
“Thinking back to the Professional Presentations class really helped me translate the agriculture science and engineering concepts to language and stories for a younger audience,” she said.
As part of the course, Shimano instructs students on the basics of computer programming using Python, which allows them to control climate variables such as light, air temperature and humidity within their Personal Food Computers. These carefully controlled environments enable students to grow food using up to 90 percent less water than in traditional agricultural environments, which is no small feat in a world where water scarcity is becoming a serious issue.
“Very few schools in Baltimore City offer any type of computer programming classes, so it’s a really unique opportunity for them to gain coding experience and apply that knowledge to real-world challenges, such as Baltimore Food Deserts,” Shimano said.
Through her Food Computer course, Shimano hopes to teach students how to effectively use technology in designing solutions to challenges in their communities.
“Since we relate learned technical skills in engineering, computer science, design and agriculture science to seemingly non-technical topics (food), I hope that they gain a better understanding of what newer technologies can do and how using technology can help with different academic, professional and personal pursuits,” she said.
OpenAg’s vision of digital farming doesn’t stop at the personal level—it spans to the industrial level with warehouse-sized Food Data Centers that would allow farmers to grow crops using less land and water, as well as to grow crops in places they would not normally be able to grow, such as cities like Baltimore.
In addition to fulfilling her Baltimore Corps Fellowship at the Baltimore City Department of General Services as a Data Automation and Technology Analyst, Shimano is finalizing plans to expand the Food Computer Program to three other local schools over the next year.
The course she taught this past summer was recently featured in The Baltimore Sun. Read the article here.
Interested in building your own Personal Food Computer? Find out how here.
The MSEM program aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to become entrepreneurial leaders like Shimano. Where will your MSEM degree take you?
“I would recommend the MSEM program to anyone who wants to expand their engineering-related business knowledge, who is interested in entrepreneurship, who is interested in product development or who is interested in project management,” Shimano said.
Discover our program here.