M.B.A. Degree Advances Alum's Engineering Career Thursday, July 12, 2012
Meet John T. Gobble, III
Job title: Mechanical Engineer
Employer: Philips Respironics in Plum, Pa.
Hometown and current residence: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Degrees earned: Associate of Science in engineering science, Community College of Allegheny County; Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, University of Pittsburgh; Master of Science in mechanical engineering, University of Pittsburgh and M.B.A. with a concentration in management, Point Park University
Graduation years: 2003, 2006, 2010, and 2011
Hobbies/interests: Science fiction movies/novels, current innovations in technology/science, computers, and cars
As a mechanical engineer, why did you decide to pursue an M.B.A. degree?
I was fortunate to have Dr. Jeffrey Vipperman as a mentor while attending the University of Pittsburgh. Upon graduating with my bachelor's degree, I approached him to get his idea on what he thought was a good educational path for a young engineer who wanted to advance in his career. Dr. Vipperman informed me that he thought that I should pursue a graduate degree in mechanical engineering and an M.B.A. He believed that an M.B.A was essential in advancing in my career and that it would afford me an opportunity to become a manager or start my own business. Since earning my M.B.A., I now understand engineering in a completely different light.
What factors made you choose Point Park University?
Three main factors contributed to my decision to attend Point Park. The first was location. Because I was working full time, I needed to attend a college that was close to both my job and my home. The second factor that influenced my choice was Point Park's reasonable tuition. The low tuition cost enabled me to pay for my own tuition without going into debt.
Lastly, attending Point Park allowed me to better understand my late father, Dr. John Theodore Gobble, Jr. He was the founder of Point Park's criminal justice program. While growing up, I remember his unwavering passion for Point Park's faculty and students. Upon his sudden passing in 2006, I felt like I needed to understand more about him in a professional sense in addition to what I already knew about him as a father. I felt there was no better way to do that than to attend Point Park and get to personally know the students and faculty he cared for so deeply. I now completely understand why he loved the University so much. The professors are down-to-earth and genuinely care about the students. In addition, the University embodies the atmosphere of a small community and embraces and celebrates diversity. I met so many wonderful international students and was able to learn from the different life experiences that each of those individuals had. In addition, I was able to relate those personal experiences to the global environment of business that we live in today.
In what ways has your M.B.A. benefited you in your engineering career?
At Philips Respironics, I work on different engineering research projects in order to improve and develop new technologies that will help patients who suffer from sleep apnea/sleep disorder breathing. My M.B.A classes have helped me understand management decisions that are made in regard to certain projects as well as the roles of marketing and advertising.
What were some of your favorite experiences at Point Park?
Some of my favorite experiences included:
- Dr. Archish Maharaja's lectures on accounting and statistics; (He has a unique way of explaining complex topics so that they are interesting and easy to understand).
- Dr. Mohammed Sidky's videos on the issues affecting the global environment of business and organizational behavior as well as his insightful class discussions;
- Dr. William Breslove's strategy class and his lectures and class discussions on how military strategy relates to business;
- Professor Paige Beal's interactive lectures on advertising and the group projects we completed in class; and
- Dr. Gita Maharaja's lectures and group projects on marketing and economics. She was very effective at explaining complex topics and getting the best out of her students.
What advice do you have for individuals considering an M.B.A. degree?
My advice to students pursuing an M.B.A. or any graduate degree is to embrace the idea that you only get out of it what you put into it. Therefore, work hard. I would also tell students to learn how to be critical thinkers and keep an open mind to the different ideas and perspectives presented in class. Remember, there is something to be learned in every situation and it's your job to figure out what it is and how you can apply it to your life and your career.