BLOG POST FROM MEng ’13 Grace Wang
I’m an alumna from the Class of 2013, currently working at Accenture as a Management Consultant in San Francisco. Before coming to Berkeley, I earned my bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in Electrical Engineering, and then I came to Cal to study Industrial Engineering and Operations Research.
One of my favorite parts of the program was the friendships I developed. My cohort had about 80 students, and we all became very close. We had classes together, worked on projects with one another, and actually collaborated in the same space—we have a location in Downtown Berkeley where we can study and meet with our capstone project teams. So I think one of the most rewarding things I gained was the friendships I made, and we still keep in touch.
In addition to the friendships, I learned a lot from the engineering leadership courses. The MEng program is set up specifically for engineering students interested in management and leadership. The leadership course equipped us business skills we need to be successful in industry. We learned about finance, marketing, negotiations, as well as business presentation skills. We presented on our capstone projects each month, so that it was easy to see the progress we made throughout the year. As a result, I feel comfortable communicating my ideas and thoughts in my current position.
Here’s my suggestion: take advantage of the leadership courses, especially the case-study lectures. You’ll learn a lot of different business models, processes and challenges that CEO and start-ups face. This kind of exposure and experience is not something you can get at most engineering schools. The leadership course gives you different perspectives: it’s not only about the product; it’s also about the business model and the ecosystem.