Whenever Vivian Johnson sees a Lockheed Martin aircraft fly overhead, he feels a strong sense of pride. He plays a role in ensuring the safety of those planes as a senior structural engineer for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.
“When you’re focused on the specific tasks of your job, you don’t always think about the big picture of the multimillion-dollar machines you’re helping to create,” says Johnson, an Evening MBA student at Georgia Tech. “So it feels great to see them flying.”
He says his MBA studies have helped him see beyond the wingspan to better comprehend the challenges faced by his entire corporation – a 30,000-foot view. “My academic experience has been excellent, helping cultivate my managerial and leadership skills,” says Johnson, who will graduate in August.
Even before completing the program, Johnson has benefited professionally from his MBA experience. He was recently promoted to his current position, a role involving greater autonomy and mentorship of younger engineers in Lockheed Martin’s Structural Design and Integrity group. “Simply put, our job is to ensure that aircraft don’t break apart under aerodynamic loads,” Johnson says.
He believes his MBA studies impressed Lockheed leadership during his pursuit of his new position, demonstrating his ambition and work ethic. He was able to draw upon his enhanced communication skills when asked in an interview to explain how he would convey high-tech concepts to a non-technical audience.
“Thanks to the MBA program, I have become better adept at integrating my knowledge and skills with other professionals with vastly different skills and backgrounds,” Johnson says.
A native of St. Catherine, Jamaica, who moved to the United States as a teenager, Johnson earned his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Florida Atlantic University in 2004, followed by a master’s in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech two years later. Taking a Management for Engineers course during his master’s studies motivated him to further his business education.
“As an engineer, I felt that the career insight I could gain by attending Georgia Tech was not readily available in other MBA programs with less emphasis on technology and management,” Johnson says.
He chose the Evening MBA option so that he could continue working while enhancing his professional potential. Georgia Tech’s Evening MBA classes are offered Monday-Thursday evenings and meet once per week. Evening MBA students benefit from the same curriculum as Georgia Tech’s highly ranked full-time program.
“I am very impressed with the quality of Georgia Tech’s faculty,” he adds. “The professors make classes engaging by using real-world examples to frame the academic discussions.”