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Management of Technology Graduate Applied Skills Learned to Development of New Product | Technological Leadership Institute

Posted on
March 16, 2016
Jim Dickerman

Every year, concrete construction professionals from around the globe descend on Las Vegas for the annual World of Concrete trade show.

"It's one of the main channels to showcase new products to the market," says Jim Dickerman. 

This year, Jim Dickerman, M.S. in Management of Technology (MOT) alumnus and Schwing America employee, was one of the tens of thousands in attendance to launch his latest invention, an innovative concrete control mixer, Schwing Control Technology, or SCT. 

"SCT is a system that controls the operating functions of a concrete mixer. The system is CANbus, or Controller Area Network-based electrical technology, that allows for a more efficient integration of the mixer body to the truck chassis,” Dickerman explains. “SCT allows the truck driver to operate the concrete mixer with increased fuel economy, safety, ergonomics and mixer functionality. It includes many more features and benefits in a software-based platform."

Dickerman credits the MOT degree program for the skills he used to develop STC.

“I used processes learned in MOT to help manage the product development from start to finish. Every class I took directly applied to my job and what I do every day, such as technology foresight, product development, business strategy, product strategy, product road-mapping and the discovery phase.”

Dickerman has worked at Schwing America for 13 years, but when he was promoted to his current role of ready mix product manager in 2011, he says he wanted to expand on his leadership skills.

“I needed insight on methodology. I didn’t know the theories behind the business of technology, and I needed MOT to be more successful at my job.”

Since Dickerman graduated from TLI in 2014, he has seen his education pay off in more ways than one.

“My comfort level with my management role greatly improved because of the program. In my job, I go between all areas of the business, and MOT improved my ability to do that. I can talk about accounting, marketing and more. My confidence level increased 100 percent, my presentation skills escalated significantly and my time management skills improved.”

Another one of the most valuable parts of the degree program for Dickerman was when he and his cohort visited South Korea and Taiwan. MOT students have the opportunity to travel to two foreign countries for the International Management of Technology Project (IMTP) to learn in an international business context.

“The whole IMTP experience was phenomenal. We visited 27 organizations, including Microsoft and Intel. I still refer to my notebook from that trip.”

Dickerman says he still stays in contact with his study group, and they meet every few months to bounce new ideas off each other. That group dynamic is what Dickerman says makes the MOT degree program unique.

“Everyone really enjoyed the cohort model, and we were glad to go through the program as a group. At graduation, we walked together, unlike students in some of the other master’s programs. This is a really good program for people who enjoy being part of a team.”

Along with the support from his classmates, Dickerman appreciated the guidance of TLI’s more than 60 faculty and staff members.

“They helped walk us through the program to ensure success. Anything we needed, they got for us. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was a huge time saver.”

Overall, Dickerman believes the knowledge and skills he took away from the Management of Technology degree program were what made the launch of Schwing Control Technology so successful.

“In the MOT degree program, we learned to develop products that shoot to the top, and to aim at being the best. Enrolling was the best decision I’ve made so far in my career.”

Dickerman says they received a positive response to Schwing Control Technology at the World of Concrete trade show, and SCT was nominated for the Most Innovative Product Award.

Dickerman is one of more than 700 graduates of the M.S. in Management of Technology degree program who are using their business and leadership skills to transform the technology industry. Read more about MOT program requirements to find out if you’re a qualified candidate. 

I used processes learned in MOT to help manage the product development from start to finish. Every class I took directly applied to my job and what I do every day, such as technology foresight, product development, business strategy, product strategy, product road-mapping and the discovery phase.

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