“I have seen MBA programs that offer some technology courses, but what I liked about UPenn EMTM was that the program was designed in a more unified fashion.”
Lori Hamilton, EMTM’02
Director, Commercial Technology, Corning Display Technologies
Lori Hamilton, EMTM’02
With joint undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering and Japanese studies, Lori embarked on a (so far) lifelong career at Corning. As supervisor of a small group of engineers working on glass substrates for display applications in the company’s Shizuoka facility, Lori was given an assignment in the U.S. She viewed this as a good time to go back to school for some additional training. Lori never questioned whether she wanted to leave the “tech track,” but she wanted to work toward furthering her role in technology product development and she believed MBA-level understanding of fundamentals like accounting, finance and marketing would augment her efforts.
Once stateside, Lori visited Penn’s campus and sat in on classes in both the executive MBA and EMTM programs. Though she enjoyed both, the decision was a relatively easy one. “Since I didn’t imagine a career for myself in finance or marketing, I came to see that EMTM was more suited for me in terms of how I wanted to apply the learning.” Lori secured an agreement for sponsorship from her company leadership, who recognized the value of the program for a high-achieving employee.
Right away, EMTM’s curriculum structure, its core courses and its electives exceeded Lori’s expectations. “I definitely got all of the foundational understanding I hoped to get particularly in subject areas like strategy, finance, economics and marketing.”
Though Lori continues to work in the same division of Corning as when she first applied to the program, she has seen her career accelerate with an EMTM degree in hand. Immediately after graduating she moved into exactly the sort of commercial position she’d had her eye on, in product line management. In her new role she found that EMTM had armed her with an array of tactics and strategies. “The program truly prepared me for work that I would otherwise not have been qualified for.”
Decision Models gave her powerful tools for forecasting products and Management of Technology provided models for mapping the diffusion of new technologies. “When I look at our portfolio of projects I can now easily judge their effectiveness and robustness.”
Lori enjoyed the EMTM weekend experience and found the quality of fellow students and professors outstanding. “When I look back on the camaraderie of our class the memories are truly heart-warming. I learned as much from fellow students as I did from the readings as we went through cases studies and teamwork, sharing our experiences from different companies and industries.” Having developed a number of meaningful relationships, she stays in touch with her EMTM colleagues today. The leadership program, meanwhile, helped Lori identify her strengths and develop new management techniques in a safe environment. “It helped me understand myself better and forge my own style, which I use on the job to this day.”
In the intervening years, Lori has increased her responsibilities at Corning dramatically, with three additional promotions. She now serves at the director level, managing 40 people who are part of a business unit with revenues of close to $3 billion. “EMTM gave me the fundamentals around business administration and the confidence to know how to apply them.”