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Ray Taylor, EMTM’03

Since graduating from University of Rhode Island with a degree in mechanical engineering, Ray has been working in the consumer packaged goods industry — at First Brands, Clorox, Saint-Gobain Containers, and currently at Unilever. It was when he was working in operations engineering and innovation at Clorox that Ray decided to seek additional training. After a decade on the job, he thought that an advanced degree would supplement his technical skills and open new doors. “The program was a very rewarding time in my life, and it helped me win opportunities I might not have had otherwise.” In his current role, Ray works with Unilever brand groups to determine how to bring new and innovative products — specifically personal care liquids — through the supply chain in a cost-effective manner.

Why EMTM?
Ray initially considered an MBA degree. He was interested in getting out of manufacturing because he realized that in all probability a career would necessitate moving every few years and with his young family, he felt he might be able to provide a more stable lifestyle as a consultant. “After moving a few times, my wife and I realized that was not the way we wanted to live our lives.” When he discovered UPenn EMTM, he found that the program would be a better fit for his existing skills, and could potentially serve as a bridge between his existing career and the one he planned to embark on. EMTM drew him in with its diverse student body. “I looked at the student profiles on the website and I liked that there were many different backgrounds represented. It seemed like it would be a great opportunity to learn from my peers.” When he met with a senior vice president, Ray was able to convince management to pay for half of his tuition while he attended the program part time. “Clorox was very generous, as was my supportive wife and family. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”

Career Impact
Ray’s time at EMTM was eye-opening. The classes were a challenge and meeting and working closely with student teammates who were VPs and CIOs was a new experience for someone who “came into class having just washed the grease off his hands — literally I would come in after training a mechanic on how to adjust a case packer. It was a little intimidating at first but I grew in ways I didn’t anticipate. The amount I learned from other students was invaluable.”

Classes like Technology Entrepreneurship and Private Equity and Venture Funding offered skills and strategies that were transferable to manufacturing, including new ways of looking at situations for capital investment and critical concepts like the innovation funnel. In his Operations Management class, the segment of supply chain management with its theory on production planning was helpful to him, “even with 10 years of experience prior to starting the program.”

Ray cites the program’s foundation in softer skills as an equally important factor in his success. “Especially with the proliferation of matrix organizations, your negotiation skills and ability to work with cross-functional teams are constantly being tested on the job. I continue to use the skills acquired in Total Leadership & Negotiations classes, on a daily basis.”

Interestingly, at EMTM, Ray rediscovered his love of manufacturing. “In my Total Leadership class I learned that I did have a set of skills that was suited to that environment, and I decided that rather than switch fields I would take those skills and work at a top-tier company with more innovation opportunities.” Four years later and degree in hand, he took a job at Saint-Gobain Containers as Manager of Engineering, Maintenance & Environmental Compliance. Then, a bit later, he rejoined Unilever — where he had worked earlier in his career — securing a senior engineering project management role. His experience elsewhere, coupled with his EMTM education, not only won him a coveted senior engineering position — it also allowed him to make a well-reasoned case to his supervisor for working from home and traveling during the week when required, thus earning him the stability he and his wife new would help better integrate work and family. “People who knew me before said they saw a difference, a new maturity, an overall level of refinement and professionalism. I often tell people that you go to other schools to get an education, but at a program like EMTM you go to be educated. There’s a big difference, and I was fortunate to be a part of it.”


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Ray Taylor

“People who knew me before said they saw a difference, a new maturity, an overall level of refinement and professionalism. I often tell people that you go to other schools to get an education, but at a program like EMTM you go to be educated. There’s a big difference, and I was fortunate to be a part of it.”

Ray Taylor, EMTM’03
Senior Project Engineer, NA-PC Liquids
Unilever
Trumbull, CT


Student/Alumni Profiles
> Supriyo Ghosh
> Thomas Gieskes
> Lori Hamilton
> George Huhn
> Chris Surdak
> Ray Taylor


EMTM Profiles by Industry:
Different paths lead to EMTM. Students and alumni from diverse industries share why they chose EMTM and its impact on their work and careers.

> Aerospace/Defense/Intelligence
> Biopharm/Health
> Computers/IT/Telecom
> Consulting
> Energy/Environment
> Entrepreneurs
> Financial Services
> Government/Non-Profit
> Manufacturing/Consumer Goods
> Media/Entertainment
> Private Equity/Venture Capital
> Technology Commercialization

>

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