Jennifer Evemeyer

A Krannert MBA helped biomedical engineer Jennifer Evemeyer secure both an internship and a full-time job offer from Roche Diagnostics. (Photo by Charles Jischke)

The Business of STEM

Analytical, technical synergies expand students’ career prospects

As the economy recovers and recreates jobs in a rapidly changing world, the need for a workforce with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills becomes increasingly urgent –– as does the need for managers with the analytical insight and global understanding to lead the transformation.

As an integral part of a leading research university and land-grant institution, Purdue’s Krannert School has been teaching management to STEM professionals for more than half a century. And today, both its alumni and its students continue to combine disciplines successfully.

A career with heart: Jennifer Evemeyer

A serious medical issue with a parent would frighten most young girls. For Jennifer Evemeyer, who will receive her MBA from the Krannert School in May, it proved to be a career-molding moment.

“My mom had heart problems from the time I was little, and when I was 12, she had to have open-heart surgery to replace one of her valves,” she says. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘Someone who will never meet my mom invented this thing that saved her life.’ I thought if I could do that someday, it would make me very happy.”

After high school, Evemeyer, a San Francisco native, traveled down the coast to the University of California, San Diego, where she majored in biomedical engineering. While she had always considered getting an MBA at some point, the decision became clear during an internship with a biomedical device company her senior year.

"I was leading a project team and encountered challenges I couldn't fully meet without a formal business training,” she says. “I needed to understand how all the manufacturing components were related to the financials of the product, and that's where I needed improvement, so I decided to get my MBA sooner rather than later.”

Like a good engineer, Evemeyer approached her business school selection process analytically, compiling a list of medical device companies where she would want to work. Then, she found which schools’ students were recruited to work at those companies. At that point her choices had narrowed to include the universities of Notre Dame, Virginia, Chicago and Illinois, but Purdue’s Krannert School came out on top.

Purdue’s strong tradition in STEM disciplines appealed to the engineer in Evemeyer. "A lot of MBA programs are filled with students who also studied business as undergrads, and I didn't want to spend two years trying to learn finance with people who had already worked in finance and knew it like the back of their hand,” she says.

“I wanted to be on a playing field with people from a greater mix of backgrounds who saw things differently. And I knew I wanted to focus on operations and finance, which made Purdue one of my first choices.”

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