News

13 Questions with Sandra Villavicencio, ’16 MEM grad

EPD: What have you learned from the program that you have been able to directly apply in the workplace?

SV: If I have to pick the one that stood out the most to me I would say dealing with different people. In management, it is important to be able to communicate with different people, people come from different cultures and generations. Also, people have different personalities, so it is imperative to be able to establish good communication with workers to ask them for work. In my opinion, if this skill is not properly utilized, it would be very hard to be in a management position with employees who share the vision and want to be part of a team.

Sandra Villavicencio

EPD: What was your favorite thing about the program?

SV: My favorite thing about the program was meeting the cohort and the staff. There was an immediate click and this made the two years of the program very enjoyable.

 

EPD: What was your least favorite thing about the program?

SV: It’s really hard to think of one!  I would say that at the beginning, I didn’t like how I had to manage my time, but I know now that it was part of gaining this skill for my career and I am very happy of what I have accomplished.

 

EPD: What attracted you to UW-Madison’s program?

SV: The good rankings and the summer residency.

 

EPD: How did you find out about it?

SV: Online

 

EPD: How were you able to balance the demands of a full-time job and going to school?

SV: Time management was critical–understanding that procrastination was not acceptable helped me very much.

 

EPD: What was a typical “day in the life?”

SV: I worked from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., worked out from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and did schoolwork from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. during the weekdays. During the weekend, I did a lot more schoolwork and household chores.

 

EPD: How supportive were your boss or coworkers of your decision to pursue the degree?

SV: Very supportive. My boss paid for my master’s degree and my coworkers see the potential that my career has in the company.

 

EPD: What advice might you give to someone considering the program?

SV: Go for it! Every hour invested in this program is worth it. The cohort is great for sharing experiences and the professors are great guides for the different scenarios that come up at work.

 

EPD: Were you interested in pursuing an MBA at some point?

SV: I was, however, I am very glad I was able to find this program before I made my final decision.

 

EPD: If so, what made you choose MEM over business school?

SV: The MEM program is more directed toward engineering. For students who want to move to a management position in engineering firms–this program is excellent. It gives you the tools to become a manager while keeping the engineering skills you’ve already gained in check.

 

EPD: If there was one thing you could have done differently, what would it be?

SV: I planned my wedding during the last semester of school! This definitely took a toll on me. I was very tired from multi-tasking all of my activities. If I could do something differently I would concentrate on work and school for two years and move the rest of the activities for after graduation.

 

EPD: Can you sum up your experience completing a master’s from UW in one word?

SV: Vision.

 

Villavicencio isn’t the only grad who juggled the demands of a full-time job and personal commitments. Find out how Ron and Tanya Higgins, also graduates of UW-Madison’s online master’s degree programs, raised a family while working and going to school. Click here to find out more.

 

To learn more about Engineering Management, or to learn about the latest updates, complete the form below.

  • *Denotes Required Fields

Related Degrees

Engineering Management





Meet the Class of 2017!

Thirty-six students graduated from UW-Madison's online engineering graduate programs.

Meet them now!

Getting a Master’s Degree With a Growing Family: How Did Stephanie Do It?

Only two weeks into the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s engine systems master’s degree program, Stephanie Severance found out she was expecting a little boy.

See how Stephanie juggled two pregnancies and her degree.

From Fighter Jets to Management: Meet Tony Milczarek

Tony Milczarek grew up loving fighter jets. His passion led him to a career in aerospace engineering--and leadership. As Milczarek’s career progresses, he looks for ways to add new leadership skills to his toolbox. In 2010, he graduated from UW-Madison with a Master’s in Engineering Management and is working toward the Technical Leadership Certificate.

Read Tony's story here.

13 Questions with Mitriya Puguh

Find out what four skills Mitriya Puguh, a 2016 graduate of "the Engineer's MBA" program (otherwise known as Engineering Management), has been able to apply directly to her job!

Read Mitriya's answers here.

How to Rock the Graduate Admissions Essay

Does the idea of writing a graduate admissions essay freak you out? Don't worry! Here's how to make a compelling case for your admission.

Click here for some tips.

Paying For School Might Be Easier Than You Think

A graduate degree might make perfect sense, but how do you pay for it?

Here's how.

5 Tips to Make Your Master's App a Snap

Juggling full-time work and the prospect of an advanced degree program can be overwhelming. Here's how you can make the process smooth.

Click here to see our tips.