Mike Rudy, Engineering/MBA dual degree alum at the University of Kentucky's College of Engineering and the Gatton College of Business and Economics, has recently started a new role as a Full Stack Software Engineer at Microsoft.
"In my current role, I develop cloud-based applications for the Security and Compliance team within Microsoft Digital," says Mike. "My goal is to assist our service engineers by building modern applications to make their jobs easier."
Microsoft is one of the largest companies, with 144,000 employees and business in 170 countries around the world. Because there is a shift to a mobile-first, cloud-first society, data security is critical.
"In recent years, Microsoft (among other companies) have experienced large-scale security breaches which poses serious risk to personal data and intellectual property," says Mike. "Our group protects Microsoft's servers and networks to ensure that breaches do not occur, and if they do, they are shielded from gathering valuable data."
While at the University of Kentucky, Mike participated in the competitive Engineering/MBA dual degree program which intersects technology and business, awarding both the Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees consecutively.
Mike says, "I chose to continue my education and earn an MBA because I understood in order to become the best version of myself in the business world, I needed to learn business as a whole -- not just from the view of a terminal."
In recognition of the increasing need for the integration of technology and business skills, the Engineering/MBA dual degree program was established to give students with technical backgrounds in engineering and computer science the leadership, critical thinking, communication, problem solving and team-building skills while increasing their business knowledge.
"Being a great engineer is more than being a great technician," says Mike. "There is a myriad of hopeful candidates with the same skills interviewing for the same jobs, but those that can demonstrate a mature emotional intelligence and strong business savvy can set themselves apart. A comprehensive view of your role is crucial to your success -- and hiring managers can tell when an interviewer only understands one half of the equation."
The Engineering/MBA dual degree program gives qualified UK engineers the opportunity to pursue the One Year MBA after completing their engineering undergraduate degree. This experience includes the Project Connect internship, a robust curriculum, professional development and certifications, and an internal career management team that supports students in their career exploration.
"Understand that your first job may not be your dream job," says Mike. "Whether you choose to be an employee, an entrepreneur, or both, it's likely that you will change badges a few times before retirement. Remember that graduation is just the beginning, and you have many more years of growth ahead. Continue to invest in yourself and you will reap the dividends for decades."