Brooklyn, NY
Job Title: 
Head of Business Alliances
Aetna, Inc.
What are you doing today?: 

Today, I am in a totally different field, the insurance industry. While not technical from a pure engineering standpoint, it is numbers driven and is a very complex environment to compete in. I also use a lot of problem solving and project management skills in running four separate business units for Aetna.

What personal advice would you give to high-school students considering a career in engineering?: 

Pick the field that you like the most and go with it. Any engineering degree should give you a strong foundation and the ability to go into other areas in the future. Your degree should be a springboard, not a cage. It should launch you in a certain direction, but allow you to alter the course throughout your career.

What was your first job after graduation, and how did it impact your career?: 

My first job was for Rockwell International as Manufacturing Engineer working on the space shuttle. I actually had the opportunity to contribute in the building of the 3 main engines on the very first shuttle aircraft. Working on such a challenging and important project was great for my professional growth. It also provided me with great visibility and other opportunities within the company.

What was your greatest experience while attending the College of Engineering here at MSU?: 

My Value Engineering class. It made you think about how to make things better without making them overcomplicated. I also had a great professor in John Polomsky. He stressed creating value, being practical and using common sense, which is always useful.

How does your profession impact people's lives?: 

Being in the healthcare field is very critical to dealing with todays societal issues. I get to be involved with decisions on how to make more choices for the consumer, as well as trying to improve the affordability of insurance for all.

How were you inspired to become an engineer?: 

I always had an inquisitive mind, so I wanted to understand how things worked. I knew that an engineering background would always be in demand in the job market. It would also serve me well in various capacities, especially involving problem solving.

Mechanical Engineering
Degree Information: 
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University, 1979 M.S. Business Administration (MBA), Pepperdine University, 1983