Management Engineering has set me up for the working environment very well. Through the program, I learned all the right knowledge to be a Consultant in any industry. However, it was not just the theoretical knowledge that bought me here today; it was the people and management skills that were the icing on top.
UWIISE is excited to share the second edition of our Winter Spotlight Series. This time, we had the pleasure of interviewing alumni, Aby Mahmoud from the Management Engineering class of 2015. Aby joins us as a manager at Deloitte. With this edition, we hope to showcase how MGTE alumni have succeeded professionally and how their academic and co-op experience have led to their success.
Current position and company: Manager, Deloitte
What does your day to day look like?
Every day is different, but it’s usually one of two ‘types’ – client meetings or office work.
- Client meetings days would include some travel to the client site and interviewing different individuals in the organization to understand their processes and procedures.
- Office work days would involve coming to the office and either:
- Writing reports about the client’s processes and procedures and providing some recommendations (aligned with leading practices) to improve such processes, or
- Conducting data analytics, using Excel and Tableau, on client’s data to identify trends, patterns, and anomalies.
What tools/skills are essential to succeed in your current role?
- People skills.
- Management skills.
- Organizational and time management skills.
- Oral and written skills to conduct meetings and write reports.
- Data analytics skills (Excel, Tableau, PowerBI, etc.).
What pieces of advice would you provide for undergrads who are looking to pursue a position similar to yours?
What this university and this program taught me best is endurance. How to first receive an assignment, freak out for a split second, struggle to do it, figure it out, then put everything you got into it and be very proud of yourself for delivering a good deliverable. Over time, you start getting better at it, and before you know it, you are better at your full-time job than everyone else you work with. If you do well here, you will graduate having all the tools you need to be successful – you will obviously have the knowledge, but you will also have the work ethic, the motivation, the personality, and most importantly, the confidence in yourself to succeed and be the best that you can be.
What advantages has studying Management Engineering provided you with?
Management Engineering has set me up for the working environment very well. Through the program, I learned all the right knowledge to be a Consultant in any industry. However, it was not just the theoretical knowledge that bought me here today; it was the people and management skills that were acquired through program events, group projects, and IISE competitions that were the icing on top.
My graduating class was a relatively small one so we all knew each other by name. This may be something small, but it was our biggest asset – coming to class was an enjoyable activity! Our professors were our friends, not our enemies. They were our strongest resource, helping us succeed in every way, from helping with assignments and exams to connecting us to the right people when needed. Our graduating project finally tied it all together. Everything we learned in four years, plus so much more, was put to the test. This project taught us how to work together and take an idea from inception to completion – that’s what we do in the real world every day.
What were your most valuable takeaways from co-op? How did you leverage skills developed through co-op to secure a full-time position?
Co-op exposed me to the real world early. I do not think there was any particular skill that I acquired through co-op that helped me secure a full-time position, but the entire experience definitely helped. You learn to step away from learning out of a book or in a classroom and get exposed to the business world. You learn what skills are really important and what skills you can let go of a little.
Do you believe there is more value in testing out a broad range of positions/industries as a co-op student or specializing in a specific area?
Test a broad range of positions. This is your chance to find out what you like and what you do not like. You will be forced to specialize later in your career.
Reflecting on your time as an undergrad at UW, what is something you wish you had known as a student? (professionally, academically or personally)
School is easy! Working a full-time job is no stroll in the park. When you are in school, any bad grade or bad decision only affects you. Whereas at work, a bad decision affects 10 other people and that’s a huge load to carry on your shoulder.
Enjoy school, learn as much as you can, and network with everyone and anyone. The people you know now are the people that will help you succeed in the future.