Goldring Alumni Spotlight

This month’s Alumni Spotlight is on Alicia Mata. A 2020 Master of Management graduate from our joint degree partnership with Universidad Francisco Marroquin. Alicia, a native Panamanian, holds her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida. Throughout her career, she has gained professional experience in the US and Internationally. Alicia currently works at Hazen and Sawyer as Local Projects Coordinator, where she provides engineering solutions throughout the water cycle for cities and governments with the final goal of improving water and sanitation services. She also volunteers with Global Shapers Panama City, an initiative of the World Economic Forum focused on promoting youth actions to tackle global challenges. Please read her interview about her experience at Tulane.

What motivated you to pursue your Master in Management degree?

My search for a Master’s program was quite extensive and involved programs in Latin America, the United States, and Europe. The criteria in my evaluation included cost, reputation of the program, scholarship opportunities, duration, and ability to combine it with my job as an engineer. I decided to pursue the Master of Management program, as it fitted my criteria perfectly. Given that I was able to combine the program with my job, Hazen and Sawyer, the company I work for, awarded me with a partial scholarship and flexibility on the days that were necessary to attend classes. On the other hand, it was a concise program and it gave me access to an American degree without the costs of a face-to-face program in the United States.

How did the Master in Management help your professional career?

I consider that I learned to speak and understand a new language. Before the Master of Management program, I did not have a solid knowledge in finance, strategy, markets, etc. Therefore, today I feel that I am an engineer with the ability to have an informed opinion on technical and administrative topics. On the other hand, the MMG has helped me to diversify my future professional career by allowing me to have skills that apply to more economic sectors.

What is your favorite Tulane experience?

The Negotiations class was my favorite experience. I took the course during our academic visit to New Orleans and shared the experience with professionals that were doing the same Master’s program in Guatemala. Considering that negotiating is something that takes me out of my comfort zone, having a professor with so much experience, in a class in the United States and with new classmates was a new and challenging experience.

Favorite class or professor?

Supply Chain was my favorite class. I learned about a topic that was very new for me, while I also used equation solving skills that I acquire during my education as an Engineer. It was quite interesting to learn about logistics and optimization using tools that I have used for water networks. In addition, the class was very interactive and professor Ekundayo Shittu kept us engaged.

What advise would you give someone who is considering enrolling in the program?

I think it is very important to get the most out of the content of the classes and the professors since they are people with an incredible career and with extensive knowledge in each of their areas of specialty. If you have questions related to a future project or something related to your job, this is the best time to bring them to the table. It will enrich the discussion, give context to your learning process and help you identify the specific concepts or skills that you need to reinforce as you advance in the program.