“Working full time and going to school full time — as insane as it sounds, traveling across country — allowed me to almost instantaneously apply the learning which translated into direct dollar generation and cost savings for my company.”


Sam Kim, MBA, EMTM’05

Senior Director, Enterprise IT
Harrah's Entertainment
Las Vegas, NV

Sam Kim, MBA, EMTM’05

Cross-Country Commute … Bottom Line Results

Gun-Sam Kim describes Penn's EMTM program as "a totally transformative experience" that changed his outlook on his job, career aspirations and work-family balance.  Soon after he began EMTM in the fall of '03, Sam became a champion of "bullet-proofing" Hewlett-Packard's Deskjet printers to simplify customers' experience when they connect a new printer. The goal: to reduce the setup time required, so customers can print their first document with no problems and minimal effort. "The EMTM program provided me with the courage and savvy to stand up in front of senior executives to say we needed to do this," says Sam. The bottom line result: a projected savings of millions of dollars in customer support calls.

Coursework in innovation helped crystallize Sam's focus on speed to market and the need for continuous product development. Sam found the variety of technology electives also enabled him to start thinking of the "new technology applications within markets we were already serving" based on advances in the underlying technologies. "I started seeing business opportunities to leverage what we already had."

"The course on Marketing Models gave me a blend of marketing frameworks and assessment techniques that helped me save money for HP," he says. "Before, we were paying consultants who had these tools to come in and be tutored by us on our businesses. They were costing us a small fortune. I was able to combine my knowledge from EMTM with my knowledge of the industry to generate successful new approaches to improve our product development processes."

With an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and an MBA in information systems, Sam originally chose the EMTM program to accelerate his career progression, but says, "That's less important now. I care more about being listened to and progressively having a bigger and bigger impact." He preferred EMTM to other top programs with one-year residency requirements. "Working full time and going to school full time — as insane as it sounds, traveling across country — allowed me to almost instantaneously apply the learning which translated into direct dollar generation and cost savings for my company."

"What makes EMTM's environment so incredible is this constant energy of new ideas, and new creative ways of doing things," Sam says. "The richness of the experience comes from the quality of the students and professors. Almost every class was an awe-inspiring event."

"And when your mind opens up, it doesn't just open up in one aspect of your life," Sam says, adding that he has worked to adhere to the lesson of an EMTM leadership class: "In order to be more effective and efficient in work, you have to get your life in order in all of your other life domains — the community, the family and yourself. They're all equally important; and a gain in one shouldn't mean a loss in the other. It should mean a gain in everything."

With so many successful projects and initiatives under his belt, Sam has been promoted multiple times at HP. Yet he found his greatest challenge when the general manager left his division, and he was asked to fill in for the interim. “It was an unexpected position but EMTM absolutely prepared me for it. I was amazed at how much I went back to my notes from R&D Management, Entrepreneurship and Finance classes.”

Sam currently serves as HP’s worldwide director of product generation. “In the end, anybody can look at a balance sheet or get the right marketing programs in place; but what becomes a differentiator for me is that I can put it all together in a systemic way and motivate people and get them rolling in the right direction with excitement and energy. Since EMTM I find that I’m setting my sights higher and higher.”

March 2008