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Danny Tandra, director of technology and product development for Clyde Bergemann.

Executive MBA Profile: Danny Tandra Gaining More Strategic Perspective

For Danny Tandra, Georgia Tech's Executive MBA in Management of Technology (EMBA-MOT) was all part of the plan. He knew he needed this business education to prepare him for greater levels of responsibility in his career.

"I want to see how valuable I can become," says Tandra, director of technology and product development for Clyde Bergemann

After weighing his work/life balance as parent of two young children and twins on the way, Tandra determined he could manage his studies, given the supportive environment of the College's Huang Executive Education Center. He started the 17-month EMBA-MOT program in fall 2011 in order to graduate in December 2012.

"As I sharpen my skills, my awareness of the opportunities to advance my company's position in the marketplace intensifies," he says. "I'm intrigued by strategy in capturing a better market share."

His employer, Clyde Bergemann, has been supportive of his studies, so that he can grow as a leader. The company is the largest supplier of boiler-cleaning and ash-handling technologies in the world, primarily serving the pulp/paper and power generation industries.

Tandra says his EMBA-MOT experience has widened his perspective on the marketplace and helped him better understand what customers really need. "If you don't know the market, you can over-engineer or under-engineer your products. You might put in features that people don't need or don't want to pay," he explains.

As of June 2012, Tandra is helping graduate students in mechanical engineering at the University of Toronto understand how to better align their research and technologies with industry needs. Holder of a PhD in chemical engineering from that university, he is serving as an adjunct professor (based remotely in Atlanta) in mainly an advisory role.

Tandra earned his bachelor's in chemical engineering from the University of Surabaya in East Java, Indonesia, before relocating to Toronto in 1998 for his master's and doctoral studies.

At Georgia Tech, he'd s found a wide variety of coursework helpful and immediately applicable to his workplace. "The courses in finance, marketing and organizational behavior have been especially helpful," he says. "I've influenced the culture of my company by organizing my team so that front-line members have more opportunity to give feedback to upper management. It's important to learn how to listen to other people."

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