Marcus Randolph

M.Eng. in Engineering
Management, Class of ’21

“The most beneficial part of my experience has been working with my peers and managing my time for high-quality deliverables. It has carried over to my personal and professional life.”

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I was born in a rural suburb in Georgia. We moved to Atlanta, where I received my undergraduate degree in software engineering from Kennesaw State University. I have been married for almost 10 years, and we have a 6-year-old son. Currently, I am a lead engineer for Intel Corporation in California. It has been a journey.

Why did you decide to pursue your M.Eng. in engineering management?

I pursued a degree in engineering management because it suited my career trajectory of becoming a principal engineer and an entrepreneur.

Why did you decide to pursue your degree online?

I have a very demanding career, and I am also a father and husband. I wanted the flexibility to maintain balance in my already busy life.

Why did you choose Vanderbilt University?

Academic prestige and diversity. Vanderbilt is a top-15 university, and that carries much weight in my industry.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your online education experience?

Networking. I am meeting smart students and brilliant professors.

What has been your favorite course so far?

There are a couple of courses that I have liked so far, but my favorite has been Strategic Technology Management. It was the first class that I took at Vanderbilt, and it was a jolt. It set the tone for the rest of my courses because it was very demanding and required a lot of teamwork. Professor Yiorgos was what I expected of a Vanderbilt professor — calm and smart, with extremely high expectations.

With which professor or faculty member have you most enjoyed working?

I have had a lot of great professors, so picking one is very difficult. I will say that my student success adviser has been fantastic to work with during my time at Vanderbilt.

How are you applying what you’ve learned in classes to your current work? How will it move you closer to your long-term career goals?

The classes have provided a wealth of information. However, I will say that the most beneficial part of my experience has been working with my peers and managing my time for high-quality deliverables. It has carried over to my personal and professional life.

It has given me many methods that I can apply to various aspects of my job. Six Sigma, which is a new term to me, has given me a new way to think about delivering quality products to our customers.

Tell us about a project you’ve worked on or research you’ve conducted as part of your course work.

Right now we are taking our capstone class, and we have to come up with a product and research processes that can make it a reality. I have enjoyed researching and working with my mentor to understand how essential processes are when building a product.

What advice would you give to incoming students or those considering this program?

Incoming students should understand that this is Vanderbilt University, which represents academic excellence. So buckle up and enjoy the ride. The master’s in engineering management program is very demanding but also very rewarding.

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