“The Management of Technology class was fantastic because it taught me to think about the technology diffusion curve, and helped me to understand that we could compete, not just by moving up the curve, but sometimes by moving down the curve and targeting markets with simpler needs. It’s not always about what’s faster, better and more.”
Michael Miktus, EMTM’07
Manager of Strategic Product Development
Dow Jones, Inc.
Michael Miktus, EMTM’07
With an undergraduate business degree, Michael began a commercial banking career with NatWest Bank, holding positions in the financial groups of that company and later transferring those skills to Dow Jones, working in a strategic planning group. At that time the marketing department offered him a job as a product manager. “It was a more significant role that allowed me to stretch myself and work closely with the customer side.” Michael was eager to take on these new challenges, but he felt he needed a stronger technology background in order to work with the company’s increasingly tech-oriented products. “I knew that having that knowledge would help me better manage the products. It would teach me to think and organize my ideas differently.”
Michael came across EMTM when he was researching Wharton’s graduate programs. “My reaction was immediate: How can I get into this program and how fast? I felt like this program was designed for me.” He especially liked EMTM’s flexibility in program hours, curricular options, and the ability to choose teams for class projects, which differentiated it from every other program he looked at. “It just seemed closer to the way things are done in the real world.” Michael enrolled on a part-time basis, which best fit his schedule.
Career and Life Impact
“EMTM delivered a full package of instruction, projects, and rich experiences, and gave me access to professors who, in their respective fields, are among the world’s foremost experts.” Michael came away from EMTM with all of the insight he was looking for and then some. “The Management of Technology class was fantastic because it taught me to think about the technology diffusion curve, and helped me to understand that we could compete, not just by moving up the curve, but sometimes by moving down the curve and targeting markets with simpler needs. It’s not always about what’s faster, better and more.” Michael applied this concept by asking for customers’ feedback in building a mobile product. What he came up with was simpler, easier to use and less burdened by features that customers didn’t want or need. “At the time, the program’s slogan was ‘It’s about asking the right questions’ and for me this was very true.”
In Marketing, he came away with a deeper understanding of market segmentation, pricing and bundling products, and customer needs. One work project that he brought to class resulted in a partnership with another company to create a software solution that helped users customize Dow Jones’ products. That, in turn, gave Dow Jones a competitive advantage.
The leadership program gave Michael tools for defining his goals and enriching both his professional and personal life through social networking. “One of the things they teach you is how to lead from both above and below, and how to recognize the whole person in the workplace. This was very useful to me; it made me a better leader and it made my work life more satisfying.” Michael stays involved as an alumni coach in the leadership program. “That lets me help others while refining my own leadership skills.” The network among fellow students in the program was another unexpected benefit: Michael made lifelong friends at EMTM whom he continues to see on a regular basis.
Michael managed a single North American product when he started the program, and has since become responsible for managing multiple global products. “I feel I have a better understanding of how our products fit into the competitive landscape and a better sense of how I can contribute to the company. The program has not only helped me to make my company stronger it’s given me the confidence to reach higher.”