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From CEO to Student: How the Management of Technology Degree Program Helped One Alumnus Jump-Start His Business | Technological Leadership Institute

Posted on
June 7, 2016
Orrin Broberg

Orrin Broberg was not the typical graduate student.

With decades of experience in roles like president, CEO and director of business development, some might wonder what drove him to pursue a master’s degree.

“I began my undergraduate education in engineering, and then transferred to business school. I always regretted dropping out of engineering. Although the business industry is fascinating and rewarding, I always felt I was missing something.”

Broberg says he started out in an MBA program, but when he found the M.S. in Management of Technology (MOT) degree at the Technological Leadership Institute (TLI), he felt it better met the needs of his career in applied technology.

“MBA tends to use non-technical and consumer-based case studies in the curriculum. My career is based on applying technology to solve business problems and help people be more efficient and effective at their jobs. MOT was perfect. I looked at the curriculum and realized it allowed me to pull together my interests and experience, and wrap them in a business context. It made it much more meaningful.”

When Broberg began the 21-month MOT degree program in 2012, he was just taking over as CEO of App Data Room, a platform that allows businesses to build and manage a professional mobile app for sales presentations and client engagement.

App Data Room started inside a marketing agency in St. Paul, Minn., that works with medical device companies to create animations, videos and other media for salespeople to use to educate doctors on the latest medical technology.

“When Apple came out with the iPad, the agency’s clients started having their salespeople use iPads instead of laptops and PowerPoint presentations. They needed a platform to deploy rich media for sales presentations on the iPad, so App Data Room spun out as its own company,” Broberg explains.

Broberg knew App Data Room had to differentiate itself from similar companies, so he decided to create a business plan as part of his Management of Technology capstone project in the spring of 2014.

“There are many mobile apps out there for sales presentations. App Data Room is unique in that we have the ability to integrate our mobile sales enablement platform with customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation systems to provide analytics and metrics to help our clients increase sales, save time and make better strategic decisions.”

In addition to the capstone, Broberg says the guidance from talented faculty members and knowledge he gained through all the MOT courses has proven to be extremely valuable.

“Every engineer should take the MOT Technology Foresight and Forecasting course. You learn how to create a process for looking at all the market forces that influence a business. You can build a model and identify business opportunities. Especially for App Data Room, it helped me see our strategic positioning in mobile sales enablement and marketing automation.”

Since he graduated from TLI in 2014, Broberg and App Data Room have seen great success in helping clients in medical device, manufacturing, biotechnology, health services and distribution industries.

“When marketing and sales work together on our platform, everything stays consistent. We create an easy-to-use customized branding layer that allows for professional, standardized presentations, and sales reps always have the latest materials that they need when they need them.”

Despite his years of previous experience, Broberg says he took away new ideas and valuable insight from his time back in school.

“The MOT program was very energizing. It gave me a fresh perspective and rebooted my career.”

No matter what career stage you may be in, the Technological Leadership Institute M.S. in Management of Technology degree program can help you reach your goals. To learn more about how MOT is tailored to technology professionals, attend an information session.

MBA tends to use non-technical and consumer-based case studies in the curriculum. My career is based on applying technology to solve business problems and help people be more efficient and effective at their jobs. MOT was perfect. I looked at the curriculum and realized it allowed me to pull together my interests and experience, and wrap them in a business context. It made it much more meaningful.

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