“The students in EMTM are thirsty for knowledge it's more than just a piece of paper to them. I've never been around so many smart people in my life.”
Monica Stoddard, EMTM’08
Associate Creative Director
New York, NY
Monica Stoddard, EMTM’08
EMTM … More Than a Degree
Monica graduated from NYU in 2000 with a degree in information systems and finance. As an undergraduate she decided that she wanted to work for five to ten years before starting a graduate business program. "I always knew I wanted to do something with technology and computers, and I wanted to gain some work experience before getting an advanced degree." After working in web development and project management at Morgan Stanley and IBM, Monica joined Sapient Corporation in 2004.
As a consultant, Monica partners with clients to realize the value of technology in their business. "I work project to project, trying to understand clients' needs and aligning online initiatives with their business goals." Monica, who also teaches technology classes to young girls in New York City, would eventually like to start a nonprofit or help guide a new company in a strategic direction.
Through her work at Sapient, Monica has had a lot of exposure to information technology but she wanted to expand her consulting range by learning more about other industries. "I feel passionate about the ways that business and technology intersect and I felt I had a lot of good professional experience, but I wanted an academic perspective on it." Monica learned about EMTM after researching graduate schools on the Internet and she came to an information session on campus where she learned more about the program's offerings.
"Part of the reason I was interested in the program was that it had a general technology focus that could be more broadly applied. With EMTM I'm learning about pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and other areas." Monica also found that EMTM's weekend format makes it more "personal, focused and rigorous" than a traditional part-time program. "The students in EMTM are thirsty for knowledge it's more than just a piece of paper to them. I've never been around so many smart people in my life."
Monica began the program in 2004 with partial tuition reimbursement from Sapient. "I didn't need to make a big case for sponsorship as the program is definitely relevant to my work at the company."
EMTM's core classes have given Monica a strong foundation for her consulting work. "I'm only with a client a couple of months at a time and every problem is different, so each time I have to start from scratch. EMTM is giving me the toolset to analyze and attack problems through in-class case studies and theories. We learn concepts and apply them to make a recommendation and that's basically what I do in the real world," she says. "I know that by the time I finish the program I'll be an expert on handling a range of client problems." Monica has also found that hearing the perspectives of students working in different industries has been extremely useful as her work brings her in contact with many of these industries.
In Decision Models, Monica learned how to gather and analyze qualitative information skills she believes will empower her to make intelligent decisions in the future. In Organizational Behavior and Design, Monica used a class project to learn more about her own company. "We looked at how organizations are structured, corporate culture, politics and leadership, and at the end of the class I did an audit of Sapient. I'd never thought of my organization from that perspective and I now have a much better understanding of how it runs and how the pieces fit together, which helps me to better navigate situations internally."
Among her favorite class sessions at EMTM are the Emerging Technologies Seminars where she has learned about nanotechnology, polymers and other new technologies. "In one seminar, a venture capitalist explained how his firm picks projects to fund. It's unusual to get that sort of candid, firsthand insight. To me, that's emblematic of the range of opportunities you find at EMTM."