Why is EMSTL Better Than an MBA for Science and Technology Leadership?

The Brown University Executive Master in Science and Technology Leadership (EMSTL), a 16-month master’s degree designed to transform engineering, science, and technology professionals into leaders prepared to drive innovation in today’s complex, global markets, is more than your typical masters. Sandra Smith, Program Director, interviewed  Stephen Ziegelmayer, a member of the inaugural EMSTL Class of 2018 and Senior Director and Product Owner at Travelers Insurance, to discuss why.  During the course of the interview, they touch upon what makes the program unique for professionals in technology sectors committed to significantly advancing their leadership skills and impacting their careers and industry.

To listen to this webinar in its entirety, go here.

Ziegelmayer offered an interesting perspective on the value of the program as a successful senior professional who already holds and MBA.  When asked why he joined the program,  Ziegelmayer shared—

“The curriculum spoke to me about the knowledge and competency that I needed to be a leader… As you look at the program, you can see it brings together a diverse group of experts from across Brown, which I thought was interesting… I knew that becoming part of the Brown community meant connecting and learning from some exceptional individuals.”

On the value of the interdisciplinary and humanities-infused curriculum, Ziegelmayer commented—

“The core MBA curriculum is important, but it becomes even more powerful when you add the science and technology focus. You get to explore strategic issues such as leading innovation, leadership within technology firms, and technology’s impact on mergers and acquisitions.

When you look at science and technology through the lens of humanities some unique things happen. It adds a special richness to the material, and it allows you, personally, to have some unique discoveries.

Our leadership classes focused on both contemporary and historic models of leadership. And you don’t just explore how current firms respond to changes in technology and science, but also how historically firms have responded to changes in science and technology. Collectively that experience adds value to your leadership development.”

During Q&A, an audience member asked, “If I already have an MBA why should I consider this program?” Ziegelmayer answered—

“Even if you have an MBA, you personally – as a leader – change and grow over time. Your challenges become new and different.  You also need to think strategically about the challenges related to science and technology. What is digital? What is the internet of things going to mean?

This curriculum allows you to explore a diverse set of issues related to science and technology, and that specific focus helps you dial in as a leader in this space. So I found value in having both an MBA, and then continuing this learning process.”

In his parting words of advice to prospective students, Ziegelmayer addressed concerns about fulfilling EMSTL’s rigorous requirements, especially the residency session, Ziegelmayer said—

“All the things you normally worry about – the technology, the food, the breaks, where to go – is taken care of. All you had to do was 100% focused on learning which was a really great experience. So I certainly encourage you, even though it seems overwhelming.”

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