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What People Are Saying About the IBE Honors Program

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"New technologies are changing business dramatically, and many employers have asked me to create a program like this at Lehigh. Already, Lehigh graduates are eagerly sought after by companies. I predict that the graduates of the IBE program will be even hotter prospects on the job market."
Gregory C. Farrington, Former President, Lehigh University


"We fundamentally believe that the IBE program is an exceptional educational experience. A combination of top students with the interdisciplinary education between engineering and business will foster a unique learning opportunity. I applaud the commitment of Lehigh to building this exciting program."
Jeffrey P. Luker, Partner, Andersen Consulting


"Lehigh has taken a big step toward preparing its students for today’s competitive global marketplace. Companies have a real need for professionals who have the kind of highly developed skills in engineering and business that the IBE program provides."
David O. Aker, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources, Unisys Corp


"This is a rigorous honors program suited for the brightest high school graduates from this country and abroad. Students will achieve in four years what most students in other programs might accomplish in five years or more, and they will graduate with a strong mix of business, international and technical skills."
Robert H. Storer, Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Co-Director, IBE Honors Program


"We have searched other institutions and have found only a few programs that resemble IBE. This really isn't surprising, as it is unusual to have a strong business college that is able to partner on its own campus with one of the finest engineering colleges in the nation."
Stephen G. Buell, Professor of Finance and Co-Director, IBE Honors Program


Feedback from IBE Alumni

 

Where are you now and what are you doing?

I’m currently an Engagement Manager at Applied Predictive Technologies near Washington D.C.

  • I work with large client-facing companies to understand the incremental effect of the different actions that they take.
  • For example: if Dunkin’ Donuts raises the price of a cup of coffee – what happens to their sales, their customer count - and then the obvious follow-on of what do we do as a result of that.
  • We do this by using proprietary software that we build and develop in house. I manage various client engagements and coordinate on several projects to build new software features.

How has IBE helped you?

IBE help prepared me well, and I really do think that IBE students are among the most well-prepared for entering the business world. For me, this is due to three factors:

  • Capstone Project and IBE-specific classes build teamwork skills – these are phenomenal in teaching people who to work with teams, build group consensus, and learn the team-based aspects that are minimally relevant in engineering courses, but HUGELY relevant in any work environment. How you handle the IBE capstone project will reflect how you handle your first year of work, and the lessons you learn from it will make you handle that first year in the workplace a lot better.
  • Business classes provide necessary business context – Coming from an engineering mindset, learning how businesses operate gives you the skills needed to have a “commercial orientation” towards your work. By learning how the business world thinks and operates, you can understand how your work drives value to the business, and identify how you can optimize and articulate the value you bring. This may not matter in your first year in a work environment, but quickly becomes important thereafter.
  • Engineering classes teach you to be an “engineer” when solving problems – no matter what engineering you study or what job you take, engineering is really just about synthesizing a complex problem into solvable ones and figuring out how to a) solve the problem, and b) figure out how to make processes better, rather than accepting the status quo.

Why should a student do IBE?

  • For the above noted benefits.
  • In order to interact and work with others who are also both smart and motivated!

Other useful advice?

I’ve probably already written too much, but it’s safe to say I’m not shy to give advice J If I had three things I’d recommend students focus on, it’d be:

  • Make sure that you work hard enough to truly understand the concepts behind what you learn, but don’t over prepare or memorize (use that time to have fun!).
  • Always be responsive and considerate to requests for your time whether it is from a potential employer, professor, fellow student, family, anyone.
  • Spend time focusing on how to communicate ideas colloquially and concisely; be able to explain what you do to a fifth grader.

Where are you now and what are you doing?

  • I am a market strategist in Credit Derivatives and Investment Grade Corporate Bonds at J.P. Morgan. I work in New York City.

How has IBE helped you?

  • The combination of business and engineering makes you valuable because most people either have one or the other, not both. In finance where the general trend is towards more quantitative analysis, being able to do the math and explain it in business terms is something very few people have. The engineering side feels like it has been more beneficial because it teaches you a logical thought process within a mathematical framework which is actually applicable to a wide assortment of situations.

Why should a student do IBE?

  • The combination of business and engineering makes sense in the general perspective. The business side enables you to find a need/inefficiency in the market or in current offerings. It also helps you form the marketing campaign and produce the financial analysis which will ultimately show whether your idea will be profitable. The engineering side teaches you everything you need to know about producing a product from the first prototype to the final product. You literally can start your own business after graduating from IBE. In fact, there was one person on Shark Tank from IBE. He had a great idea, solid business plan, excellent pitch, and ended up having the sharks fighting over him for a share in his business. What further explanation do you need for the excellence of IBE! 
  • (In case you haven't heard of them, the name of the company is Coffee Joulies. I bought them for my dad for Christmas. They really work.)

Other useful advice?

  • Whenever someone gives you their business card, always email them. People give you their card for a reason: because they think you are valuable and want to stay in touch with you. Students rarely follow up when they receive a business card, and they end up limiting their opportunities. There is no downside to sending a five sentence email.

Where are you now and what are you doing?

  • I'm a Product Manager at a tech startup in Silicon Valley called SOASTA.

How has IBE helped you?

  • IBE has helped me accelerate my career immensely in the short 3 years I've been working. I can't speak highly enough of the Integrated Business and Engineering program.
  • As a Product Manager in the tech industry, I am daily using skills I learned in the IBE program. When defining the marketing plan, pricing, or feature priority of my product, I recall the IBE capstone class and the mantras Professor Costa religiously taught us. I started out my freshmen year shaking with nervousness when presenting in front of a 15 person class. By senior year I was confident and cool and my delivery and a year out of college was speaking in front of large audiences, including many executive team members at Lockheed Martin. 
  • The communication and technical skills I gained in 4 years were worth an undergrad degree and MBA all in one. 

Why should a student do IBE?

  • The combined skill set of an engineering and business background, puts students years ahead of other engineers looking for jobs. The IBE program prepares students for the business world by giving them  meaningful projects with entrepreneurs and a safe platform to hone skills others don't have the opportunity to develop until much later in their careers. 

Other useful advice?

  • Don't look at a specific major as a career defining path; think about a major that will open up the most doors for you, in areas that excites you. I can't say I use much of the skills I learned in my mechanical engineering courses but I retained the engineering mindset and use the skills I learned from the IBE program constantly. 

Where are you now and what are you doing?

  • NYC.  I am Co-Founder of Baron Fig.  We make digital and analog notebooks for thinkers.  baronfig.com

How has IBE helped you?

  • IBE provided an excellent background when heading to Wall Street and now co-founder of a startup.  The rigors of engineering along with business principles provides the right blend of skills to excel in the startup world.

Why should a student do IBE?

  • You're interested in more than one narrow subject field.  Perhaps you like engineering, but enjoy the underlying business aspects.  Or enjoy business, but want more training in disciplined thinking.  Regardless of where you head, IBE will provide a solid background.

Other useful advice?

  • Spend your time in university finding things you really enjoy.  Then make sure to take extra projects and focus on those areas

Where are you now and what are you doing? 

  • I currently a business analyst at Merck & Co. working on the vaccines side in data governance. It has been 3 years since graduation and an eventful 3 years at Merck. Currently, I am studying for the GMATs for my MBA and exploring other options of employment (as the promotional ladder has slowed to a crawl). 

How has IBE helped you?

  • IBE has provided great interviewing fodder for all positions that I had interviewed in. Even after 3 years, I still mention IBE as being a great influence on my decisions and direction of my next position, which is most likely in consulting or finance. 

Why should a student do IBE?

  • IBE provides opportunities that the average student at Lehigh does not normally encounter. It is great at opening doors and experiences (not to mention it has a great reputation as one of the best programs at Lehigh). 

Other useful advice?

  • Network early and network hard. The job that comes after graduation will be the accumulation of all your hard work. This is something that I wish that I had done more at Lehigh. I think that it is great to establish an IBE alumni network for this exact reason. Even if you don't have connections with friends or family, I would be go so far as to mass cold email to targeted professionals to obtain that early internship at all costs.