Rowland School of Business

M.B.A. Degree Enhances Engineering Career of Alumnus at Westinghouse

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pictured is M.B.A. alumnus Chris Chavez, senior field service engineer for Westinghouse. | Photo by Jim Judkis

Meet Chris Chavez

Job title: Senior Field Service Engineer   
Employer: Westinghouse Electric Company
Degrees earned: M.B.A. with a concentration in management, 2013, Point Park University; B.S. in mechanical engineering, 2012, Robert Morris University
Hometown and current residence: Penn Hills section of Pittsburgh     
High school: Penn Hills High School
Hobbies/interests: Hockey, boxing, working out, cars and hanging with friends
LinkedIn: Chris Chavez

"Chris has the right combination of attitude, work experience and schooling that fits perfectly with the type of project management Westinghouse performs at nuclear power plants. Point Park's M.B.A. nicely compliments Chris' engineering degree as both are needed to project manage complex equipment maintenance scopes as well as all financial aspects of the job."

-- Joseph A. DiVella, Westinghouse Reactor Coolant Pump and Fuel Services Operations Manager 


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"Having an M.B.A. showed Westinghouse I had a good grasp on business as an engineer and that I was a great candidate for the job."

-- Chris Chavez


As an engineering professional, why did you decide to pursue an M.B.A.?

I pursued an M.B.A. because I felt it would help me with learning the business aspect of engineering. My engineering degree taught me a lot about problem solving and other aspects of engineering, but it only gave me a glimpse of the business end surrounding the field.

Point Park's M.B.A. program allowed me to understand how business works through the different course topics. Each course allowed me to view my company and others through a different light.

What factors made you choose Point Park for graduate school?

While I was employed at United States Steel Corporation, it was brought to my attention that Point Park would be offering its on-site M.B.A. program at the corporation’s training facility. I felt that Point Park was a very good school with a quality reputation and I liked that they offered flexible class hours for adults with busy schedules. These factors made my decision to enroll in Point Park’s M.B.A. program very easy.

What role did your M.B.A. degree play in helping you land your position with Westinghouse in 2015?

As a project manager with Westinghouse, it is important to understand how your project affects other aspects of business. My M.B.A. classes helped me understand how those other aspects of the business function and what it takes for employees in other departments to complete their jobs. This allowed me to perform my job better because I better understood how my job fits with the rest of the business.

Also, having an M.B.A. degree showed Westinghouse that I had a good grasp on business as an engineer and that I was a great candidate for the job.

What benefits does earning an M.B.A. provide to engineering professionals?

It gives us an advantage with understanding the bigger picture in business. As an engineer, it’s important to be good at your job functions and your “piece of the pie,” but it can also benefit greatly to understand how your job functions affect the bigger picture. Having this knowledge helps the business as a whole run smoother and makes you a more valuable asset to the company.

What are your career goals?

My career goal is to stay with Westinghouse and continue to develop in-depth knowledge about our product lines. Eventually, I would like to move up through the ranks at Westinghouse and become a director. 

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