Growing My Leadership Skills in Purdue's MEM

Author: Taylor Tempel
Event Date: January 24, 2020
Taylor Tempel
I knew that wanted to pursue a master’s degree after undergrad. I originally thought about continuing my education with a MBA degree. However, I also wanted to be able to broaden my knowledge in engineering. It was not until my friend introduced me to Purdue’s Master of Engineering Management Program that I found the degree I was seeking. As a graduate student in Purdue MEM, I have been able to take a wide range of courses from the Krannert School of Management (e.g. Marketing Management, Strategic Management) and the College of Engineering (e.g. Safety Engineering, Applied Ergonomics). However, one of the most important aspects of my learning came in the form of leadership opportunities available to me because I was a Purdue MEM student.

I improved my leadership ability by participating in two programs. First, I was fortunate to be selected to represent Engineering Management on the Graduate Student Advisory Council with the Dean’s Office in the College of Engineering. I interacted with our Associate Dean, contributed ideas for engineering events, and served as a communication liaison between the College and my fellow students. Second, I was offered a position on the MEMPC Case Competition Planning Committee. As a committee member, I regularly attended weekly meetings with the entire group in addition to serving on two sub-committees: Alumni Outreach and Case Design. As a member of the Case Design Sub-Committee, I offered input on the details and rules of the MEMPC’s first ever “Design and Pitch Competition.” Ultimately, our committee successfully hosted the competition at MIT in the Spring of 2019, including teams representing each member institution in the consortium.

When I reflect on these experiences, I realize I had the chance to evolve my leadership skills by interacting and learning from other leaders. Each leader has their own unique way of leading. As a result, I have attempted to incorporate the best aspect of each leader with whom I have collaborated into my own leadership style. I believe I am a better leader today as a result of my opportunities gained through Purdue MEM.