Maile Guieb has always been a dreamer. Even more, she’s always been a person who works to make those dreams come true.

In 2020, she made the 3000-mile road trip to Texas from her home in Anchorage, Alaska with only her dog. That move during the height of the pandemic led her to her current position at McMillan James Equipment Company (MJEC), as a sales executive. 

“It’s the right kind of work where I get to use my undergrad degree, but I’m also able to be social with my enthusiastic personality,” says Maile.

However, a move to Austin wasn’t the end of Maile’s dreams for her career and personal life, so she chose to pursue Texas A&M’s Master of Engineering Technical Management (METM).

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Master of Engineering Technical Management

Dr. Ben Zoghi, METM’s Founding Director, says, “Our Master of Engineering in Technical Management was created at the request of a team of industry leaders who identified a deficit in engineering leaders in their companies who also had the strategic and tactical skills to fully understand the business environment.”

Maile chose METM because of its strong focus on emotional intelligence in management.

Video courtesy of Texas A&M Master of Engineering Technical Management

“The METM program has been transformative, equipping me with the tools to foster emotional intelligence, effective communication, and empathetic leadership,” Maile says. “This two-year program has provided me with invaluable insights and practical skills that far exceed what I would have learned in over a decade of on-the-job experience.”

Students choose METM over an MBA or MS degree due to its unique nature of combining business leadership topics with a technical and engineering context.

The typical METM student can be described as:

  • An early to mid-career professional.
  • Ambitious and looking to advance into management.
  • Having an undergraduate STEM degree or working in a related field.

For one week each year of their program, METM students travel to Texas A&M University’s campus to participate in Residency Week. During this week, students connect face-to-face with faculty and their fellow classmates, hear from guest speakers, and develop new perspectives on their leadership style. They then return home to finish the rest of their courses online and asynchronously.

The online feature of the METM degree not only allows students to continue working while they pursue their masters, but also encourages the integration of their career by focusing on current industry best practices that students can immediately apply to their jobs.

“The main focus of my class is to get technical leaders to think beyond their next promotion,” says Executive Associate Director of METM Ahmed Mahmoud, a retired CIO at GM and METM’s professor of Organizational Leadership for Senior Technical Leaders. “So the purpose of the class is to prepare students on strategic thinking and what it takes to become a senior executive in the corporate world.”

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Master of Engineering Technical Management

Professor Mahmoud, along with METM’s other top industry faculty, bring real-world knowledge into their classroom. Coming from NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and more, METM faculty are eager to share with students their management expertise from years of working in industry.

“In any organization that has technical individuals, one of the biggest challenges in the industry is that our technologists do not have the training to lead technical teams,” Professor Mahmoud says. “So there’s a need for technical leaders across all industries, no matter if you’re making computer chips or potato chips.”

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M Master of Engineering Technical Management

With METM, students graduate with the knowledge to:

  • Manage a diverse team of technical professionals.
  • Use EQ skills to communicate with customers and colleagues from technical and non-technical backgrounds.
  • Construct and put in place corporate strategic technology plans.
  • Manage resources and assets.
  • Apply leadership skills that create a lasting and effective change in technical organizations.

Technical industries and organizations are hungry for qualified leaders. On one hand, there are leaders who understand the technical aspects of these organizations. On another, there are leaders who understand the people. And then there are leaders who understand both. Those are the ones technical organizations will build their future on. With Texas A&M’s Master of Engineering Technical Management, Maile Guieb and others like her are taking the steps to become the technical leaders of the future.