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George Huhn, EMTM’98

After receiving a BS in Chemistry from Drexel University, George spent a decade at DuPont Pharmaceuticals as a research scientist. He then decided to strike out on his own and use his experience to provide management consulting services, helping pharmaceutical companies lower their costs and increase the speed of their drug development processes. But in order to help his clients in these areas he needed a better grasp on the business decisions his clients were making as well as a better grasp of the new technologies they could be leveraging. “When every business is using the same technology in the same ways, nobody has a competitive advantage. I joined the program because I wanted to learn how companies could use technology to gain a competitive edge. I wanted to look outside of my own technical discipline and industry. And I also love learning for its own sake.”

Why EMTM?
When he looked into traditional MBA programs, George felt they weren’t quite what he was looking for. A scientist at heart, he wanted a broader and more diversified program with a strong emphasis on technology. “The Penn EMTM program offered that. Plus, their recruitment program was really good — it provided a comprehensive and informative overview of the program that made the decision to apply easy for me.” Once he enrolled and started the program, George found that it was everything he’d expected. “Donna Samuels and her team in the EMTM office really help to make the campus experience everything that the recruiters promise — and they promise a lot! Week after week, the work that they do helps to keep the students and the professors focused on the getting the most from the program.”

Career Impact
At EMTM, George immediately found inspiration and enlightening new ideas in classroom discussions with his peers from banking, technology companies and the defense industry. “One of the great things about the Penn EMTM program is the cross-pollination of different industries that happens in the classroom. I quickly found that I could take ideas from modern software development practices and apply them in new ways to pharmaceutical product development and vice versa.” Recognizing the interconnections between customers, business and technology, George was able to strategically expand and improve on these links to create best practices and offer better value to his clients and their customers.

After completing the program, George realized that the skills and strategies he learned at EMTM were a strong foundation for starting his own technology company. Shortly thereafter, he founded Data Machines, a firm that creates software products for project portfolio management. “The software and services that we offer germinated from a combination of my own experiences in industry and ideas that I learned in the program.” Today, he integrates decision modeling and management science into software for quantitative business analysis and optimization, and the principles of the Management of Technology class remain influential in his thinking. “EMTM was critical. What made EMTM so unique and valuable was that it not only taught me how to run a business but it also gave me fertile ground for cultivating new ideas in technology.”

George continues to take advantage of EMTM’s offerings today and he has regularly taken classes in subjects like IT Strategy, IT Security and Privacy, and Human Computer Interface Design. “I just took a great Data Mining course with a professor who was doing a sabbatical at Google — you really can’t get more cutting-edge than that. I love it when I can talk to a client or customer about something new they can do in their business and they say ‘Wow, we can do that?’ That’s the kind of information you learn at EMTM.”

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George Huhn

"What made EMTM so unique and valuable was that it not only taught me how to run a business but it also gave me fertile ground for cultivating new ideas in technology.”

George Huhn, EMTM’98
Founder and President
Data Machines, Inc.
Wilmington, DE


Student/Alumni Profiles
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