Shannyn Timrott '18

Director of UX and Design, GetYourGuide


Why did you choose this Master's program?
Brown’s School of Professional Studies has a strong Ivy League reputation for its successful professional programs. The learning structure combination of residential and online learning provides a rigorous curriculum with world-class professors and a high caliber of students. It also provided tech-specific leadership education specific to my professional needs. Its hybrid approach to learning was versatile enough to fit my lifestyle that allowed me to work full time to continue my career and support my family and was most flexible compared to other comparable programs in the country. During my time at Brown SPS, I was able to apply my learning in real time, which resulted in a promotion and new leadership role at a Fortune 500 top 10 company.

What made Brown's program different from other programs you considered?
There were a couple differentiators that stood out. The courses and executive leadership training conducted by world-class faculty helped me with the challenges of leadership, growing creative and technical teams, and building relationships and influence in my organization. The leadership related courses taught by Professor Allio and others, leadership coaching from Professor Rose, and presentation coaching from Barbara Tannebaum are courses that you would not find in any other program or business school in the country. The time, planning and attention felt like the program was tailored for each student in our cohort, including some of the 1:1 coaching. The other differentiator was the cohort of students I was able to learn from. It was amazing to share the experience and build lasting connections and relationships with high caliber students/professionals in various science and tech industries. Lastly, the flexibility and versatility the residential/online components of the program allowed me to continue my career trajectory full time and support my family. I would not have been able to do this with other competitive programs that require you to spend every weekend on campus. 

What did you enjoy most about your program?
I enjoyed the rigor of the program, learning how much further I can academically and professionally push my potential while building relationships with my cohort and meeting with the cohort and faculty during the quarterly residential sessions. I learned a lot about myself and my potential, about how to think much more as a leader in a safe space. Additionally, I was able to share my wealth of knowledge in product design and tech to others in my cohort.

What was your primary academic area of interest?
I was interested in the program for its tech leadership focus. As a design leader who has spanned across multiple industries in tech, I wanted to learn more about how other industries in tech approach business and leadership, domestically and globally so I can apply these learnings in my career as a design leader. I was also interested in learning more about leadership and how I can gain additional knowledge to become a better leader for the team I was leading while in the program and for teams I lead in the future.

What were your postgraduate goals?
My plan was to continue building my career as a UX/Design leader and to get involved in other areas I am interested in such as speaking, mentoring, advising startups and teaching.

What did you like most about Providence?
I appreciate the architecture and history of the city and exploring the Brown University campus. Additionally, during the residential sessions, the smaller size of the city allows you to explore parts of it during times when we were not in session.

What advice would you give to prospective applicants?
Explore and understand what your goals are (both professionally and personally), learn about the various competitive academic programs you’re interested (across the country, especially at Brown SPS) and connect with members of the academic program (admissions, alumni or current students) to understand if the program (the structure and format of how to program is delivered, curriculum, faculty and cohort) is the right fit for you and for achieving your goals.