Eric Grunfeld '22

Analyst, Product Management at Travelers, Product Management & Board Member for Brown Alumni Entrepreneurship Group


Why did you choose this Master's program?
After launching my company PluggdIn, I quickly discovered that entrepreneurial success is predicated on strong leadership, which prompted me to pursue a Master of Science in Technology Leadership at Brown. Of particular interest to me was the program’s Critical Challenge Project, which was a complementary opportunity for me to pursue my entrepreneurial endeavor while having the support of faculty, fellow students, and campus resources which enabled me to facilitate a research collaboration with multiple universities along with 7,000 members of AAA Northeast, a trusted name for more than a century, synonymous with America’s roads and safe travel. My student affiliation with Brown enabled this collaboration.

What made Brown's program different from other programs you considered?
I believe the structure of the MTL program makes it stand out. The program affords you the ability to not only learn academically but also apply your academics to advance in your career path – that’s what differentiates the MTL program. In any typical MBA program, you’re being asked to stop whatever you’re doing for two years to just focus on school. And if that had been the case for me, I likely would not have made the progress I did with my venture. I also like the cohort design because being in an environment surrounded by peers who are coming from different industries and professional backgrounds is a rare opportunity.

What did you enjoy most about your program?
Discovering what I am capable of as a leader was my biggest takeaway from the program. The program pushed me to reflect deeply on my leadership identity, priorities, and philosophy. An example of this took place in Professor Robert Allio’s Effective Leadership course as every week we were challenged to craft our leadership model from a new perspective.

What was your primary academic area of interest?
My primary academic area of interest is centered around technology, entrepreneurship, and commercialization. In particular, studying how emerging science and technologies can create viable, scalable, and impactful new ventures.

What were your postgraduate goals?
To continue to apply innovation to solve social, economic, and environmental problems.

What did you like most about Providence?
When visiting providence, I admire the historical architecture, serene nature, and the many delicious restaurant options to choose from.

What advice would you give to prospective applicants?
I would advise new enrollees to go in with an open mindset, eagerness to learn, and genuine desire to support your classmates as they can be your lifelong network to help you navigate your career. The MTL program fulfills ambitions.