Series

How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t)

June 28th, 2011

How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t): Intro

By Arkan Kayihan | Comments (1)
Wall Street sign in New York City, NY, USA
This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t)

An experience all chemical engineers (ChE) share is the variety of reactions they get at parties: “You’re a chemist? You destroy the environment? You have a life outside of crunching numbers? Or perhaps the reaction is the inevitable eye-glazing and quick transition to the weather. Occasionally, one meets a person who knows a ChE and their reaction is something more along the lines of, “So, you’re a smarty pants.”

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July 5th, 2011

How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t): Finance

By Arkan Kayihan | Comments (0)
Abstract stock exchange newspaper listing
This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t)

Most engineers I knew in my MBA program went into finance. It’s not too surprising: you need to be analytical and highly skilled in Excel. Our academic cousins in Physics were applying differential equations at Long Term Capital Management (the case study for “math gone wrong”) and prior to the housing crisis Wall Street was even hiring engineers without their MBAs (article). But there is a difference between finance for the Street and the finance used to drive operations. We’ll focus on the latter and how it ties into our fundamental building block for ChE: The Material & Energy Balance.

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August 2nd, 2011

How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t): Marketing

By Arkan Kayihan | Comments (0)
A shopper walks along the streets of New York
This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t)

The strategy behind marketing can be tied to the ChE Material & Energy balance: who do I go after, with what, and how, in order to maximize profit.

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August 16th, 2011

How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t): Operations

By Arkan Kayihan | Comments (1)
Whidbey General Hospital departments.
This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t)

ChE training provides the analytical skills that makes ChE’s the ideal “get-it-done” corporate mechanics: Need to solve a ambiguous problem using an analytical framework while staying within resource constraints to maximize NPV? No problem.

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September 6th, 2011

How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t): Professionalism

By Arkan Kayihan | Comments (2)
Confidence
This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t)

Attributes we learn through our training as ChEs are: confidence (being able to think on your feet), professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

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October 4th, 2011

How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t): Human Behavior

By Arkan Kayihan | Comments (1)
Massage therapist working on female patient
This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t)

Given that human behavior can mean the difference between project success and failure, it is important to ask why the study of motivation is not part of our core training. Perhaps it’s in how it’s sold.

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November 15th, 2011

How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t): Sales

By Arkan Kayihan | Comments (0)
Barack Obama in Seattle, WA
This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t)

We are always selling. Vendors sell goods, consultants sell advice, politicians sell themselves, demonstrators who occupy Wall Street sell their cause, entrepreneurs sell new concepts, artists sell designs, and even parents sell their standards. Regardless of the way you describe it, teaching, pitching, proposing, convincing – sales is about getting another person to do something and we all need to know how to do sales well to get things done.

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November 23rd, 2011

How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t): Final Thoughts

By Arkan Kayihan | Comments (0)
School Chairs
This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t)

The ChE discipline would benefit by putting just as much focus on developing the next generation of Jack Welchs as well as Linus Paulings. What is the business case for doing so? This series has shed light on how these other skills directly affect our careers and ability to get work accomplished and even the potential impact on the financial viability of our engineering departments.

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