EMTM InSITE
Alumni Around the World

Alumni Around the World

EMTM prepares its graduates for careers in business and technology with skills that are applicable around the world. From expatriates who have returned to their native countries to entrepreneurs seeking out opportunities in foreign lands, EMTM alumni are proving that their education translates across the global marketplace.


New Frontiers and Familiar Places: Marco Stella, EMTM’00

Marco Stella, who was born and raised in Italy, has come full circle with an EMTM degree in hand. As an expatriate in the 1990s, he was working as a business manager for the Ausimont Group’s North American division when he came across an advertisement for the UPenn EMTM program on an in-flight magazine. “I’d always wanted to go back to school and this program seemed like the perfect continuation of my previous experience and education,” he says. “I knew it would also be a prestigious credential for me going forward.”

I would someday like to be managing director of a firm, and the program has given me a realistic foundation for this goal.


Marco Stella, EMTM’00
Manager of Strategic Planning
Carraro S.p.A.
Italy


Stella had found that, in general, North American universities offered a stronger education in emerging technologies than he could get in his home country. “In the program I was very attracted to classes in microelectronics and biotechnology. I enjoyed them so much I could have continued taking these classes indefinitely. I was also very touched by the fact that professors were available to us at all times—that was something that was very foreign to me from my previous education.” For Stella, EMTM was also an important opportunity to network with other students from the U.S. and abroad—relationships he values to this day.

Stella says that he especially enjoyed living in Philadelphia and has fond memories of the city. During his time there, he met an Italian woman who would eventually become his wife, and together they decided to move back to their native country.

“While the program did not influence my decision to return to Italy—I always knew I would return—it did boost my self-confidence, so when I came back I had a terrific resume, this experience abroad and a degree that would give me the edge over other candidates,” he says.

Since his wife found employment in Padua, Stella decided to leave his Milan-based company and found a job as manager of strategic planning at Carraro S.p.A., a multinational leader in the production of power transmission systems. He has since been promoted to director of sales and business development, and he finds that the degree has been extremely useful, both in terms of direct skills like leadership, product development and finance, and for creating a familiar context for clients from the United States.

“I would someday like to be managing director of a firm, and the program has given me a realistic foundation for this goal,” Stella says.

An active member of the Wharton Club of Milan, Stella says he will encourage his children to study in the United States so they can have a similar experience. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it will prepare you for anything.”


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My EMTM experience made me feel more prepared to identify business challenges, engage relevant experts regardless of geography, and lead these teams to realize business results.


Rob Dapaah, EMTM’98
DAP Ventures
Sweden


Building a Global Business: Rob Dapaah, EMTM’98

When Rob Dapaah married a Swedish woman, he decided to move abroad and leave everything he knew behind. Fortunately, he had Penn’s EMTM education to support his career transformation.

Dapaah was overseeing data operations for Quest Informatics, a unit within Quest Diagnostics, when he started EMTM, a transformative experience. “The EMTM program presented us with challenges which were sometimes out of our core areas of expertise—and, more important, our comfort zone. We were required to create solutions with teams we recently met and manage obstacles such as timelines, scheduling and geography, knowledge and expertise, all on top of our day jobs.”  

After the program Dapaah found a new position at IBM, where he worked as a strategic resource within software sales for nine years. It was during this time that he met his future wife.

In 2008, six months after getting married, he changed jobs again, moving to Accenture’s Swedish offices as manager of global technology consulting. While the task of moving and working abroad was a significant one, Dapaah knew he could handle it. “My EMTM experience made me feel more prepared to identify business challenges, engage relevant experts regardless of geography, and lead these teams to realize business results. When I was working in New York, I had the good fortune to work in a worldwide capacity, traveling to the U.K. and Brazil. Moving to Sweden to work and live seemed like a natural next step in developing my global experience.”  

While at Accenture, he built his own consulting business, DAP Ventures, on the side, and he is now transitioning to running the business full time. “I provide strategic business advisory for senior executives at a number of organizations, leveraging my core skills—business development, consultative sales, strategic alliances, and relationship management—to facilitate meetings among different companies that realize business value.”

Though DAP Ventures is a global company, much of Dapaah’s work in growing his business has been establishing himself as an expatriate in Sweden, drawing on the Wharton and Penn networks where necessary. He recently helped facilitate a meeting between a Wharton alumnus from a Swiss Cleantech investment fund and a Swedish fuel cell company, for instance.

Dappah has found that the EMTM degree has given him a great advantage in his career, both in terms of the skills and wisdom he acquired and the power of the credential. “The EMTM degree translates the same globally,” Dapaah says.  “There continues to be a demand for leaders capable of driving results by bridging the gap between business and technology. EMTM prepares individuals to successfully lead in such environments.”


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When you overlay EMTM’s blend of technical and business courses with the diverse mix of students from all kinds of industries, at all levels of their organizations, it gives you a level of maturity, and the ability to function in any sort of innovation environment, no matter where you are based.


Thomas Mebrahtu, EMTM’03
Air Products and Chemicals
China


Leveraging EMTM for an International Impact:
Thomas Mebrahtu, EMTM’03

Thomas Mebrahtu grew up in Eritrea and lived in West Africa and Dubai before attending high school in India and college in the United States, so moving abroad in and of itself wasn’t necessarily a stretch for him. And while leading a regional division of an international company presents its own set of challenges, he feels ready to embrace them with a UPenn EMTM degree in hand.

Mebrahtu was working in Mobil’s research and development division when he learned about the program through an outreach visit by associate director Dr. Joel Adler. AT EMTM, Mebrahtu immersed himself in new technologies, but also classes in leadership, marketing, accounting and finance.

Midway through the program, Mebrahtu was hired by Air Products and Chemicals. Inspired by his studies, he used the new opportunity to nudge his career into a different direction. “I had been a corporate researcher all along but decided I wanted to get into a corporate technology role within a business, preferably global,” he says.

At Air Products, he transitioned into a role leading the development of new technologies for industrial gas customers, interfacing with colleagues in Europe and Asia to understand market trends. Within three years, he was offered an opportunity to head up the Asian R&D department, based in Shanghai, China. In his current role as Asia technology director, he is charged with hiring people for the company’s labs, leading the company’s product development efforts in-region while integrating its research and development staff with the company’s global innovation network.

Mebrahtu remains extremely active in the Penn alumni network and has participated in Wharton’s Global Business Forum in Asia. He feels that UPenn EMTM has given him all the tools he needs to succeed in his expanded role.

“By design, EMTM is a fairly international program because its participants come from all over the world and we are constantly looking at case studies of global and multinational companies,” he says. “When you overlay EMTM’s blend of technical and business courses with the diverse mix of students from all kinds of industries, at all levels of their organizations, it gives you a level of maturity, and the ability to function in any sort of innovation environment, no matter where you are based.”


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When you overlay EMTM’s blend of technical and business courses with the diverse mix of students from all kinds of industries, at all levels of their organizations, it gives you a level of maturity, and the ability to function in any sort of innovation environment, no matter where you are based.


Making a Life-Changing Transition: Liat Sverdlov, EMTM’07
Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs
France


Making a Life-Changing Transition: Liat Sverdlov, EMTM’07

Liat Sverdlov was working as a consultant at McKinsey’s Business Technology practice in New York City when she got pregnant. “This was a life-changing moment. I realized that it was too difficult and intensive to be a mother and work consulting firm hours. My husband and I are both from Israel and had been in the United States longer than we expected, so we decided this might be the time to look for other jobs abroad,” she says.

At first, Sverdlov and her husband planned to move to Israel to be closer to their families, but her husband’s employer offered him a post in Paris, France. They moved there last fall.

Sverdlov knew she wanted to build on her EMTM education and her experience at McKinsey, advising financial services, pharmaceutical, high tech and IT companies on corporate transformation, growth strategy and other areas. After taking a few months off for maternity leave she was ready to rejoin the work force, but she found that not speaking French was a greater barrier to employment than she was expecting it to be.

Last spring, Sverdlov was pondering her options when she was offered a role as M&A advisory director at Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs. “The job offer came more quickly than I expected and it turned out to be a very good one—it matched what I was looking for in terms of blending technology and business. I think EMTM helped me get the job because it helped position my skills in both domains.”

In her current, just-acquired role, Sverdlov is charged with finding opportunities for investments, partnerships and acquisitions in Israel and Europe, and working with venture capitalists, startups and investment bankers to create growth opportunities for the company and stay on top of where the market is going. She’s pleased that her work will now take her to her native country and allow her to promote the activities of Israeli companies.

Working in a foreign country for Sverdlov is not necessarily a new frontier, but working in the telecommunications industry is. Fortunately, EMTM and her subsequent consulting work have given her the tools to adapt quickly. ”In the program we dive into technical subjects without having any prior knowledge—I took a class on photonics, for instance. That quick immersion has helped me feel more comfortable working in this industry. I can talk to a CEO of a tech firm with both a deep enough understanding of the technology and the ability to make good business decisions. It’s a challenge, but having had the experience at EMTM, in which we closely studied the business impact of technologies, I know I’m ready for it.”


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