From Ecuador to Illinois:
MS Tech Attracts GM Coordinator

Isaac Bonilla.As the coordinator of the Global Manufacturing Systems for GM in Ecuador, Isaac Bonilla was on the cutting edge of technology in the multinational firm. His success at GM - production increased threefold under his supervision - took advantage of his bachelors in mechanical engineering, but Bonilla knew he needed a graduate degree to move into management and move up the corporate ladder.

And he's turned to the MS in Technology Management program for a one-year jumpstart to his management career. An intensive program that makes the link between management and advanced technology, the 12-month MS Tech program attracts students who use, deploy, shape, or create technology.

"I wanted focused graduate study in management," he says. "The MS Tech classes use the challenges found in a dynamic technology-based enterprise as management examples." Bonilla points to fall classes on new product development and managing innovation as well as core courses in accounting and financial management as areas that are important to him for future advancement.

Bonilla says he was interested in Illinois graduate programs because of the reputation of the campus and because Illinois could offer a larger framework of business knowledge than some competitors. While researching graduate programs, Bonilla met Dilip Chhajed, the program director, who suggested that the MS Tech program, with its emphasis on technology, would be a good fit for Bonilla's changing career needs.

Upon completion of his degree in August 2006, Bonilla is confident he'll have the management tools that will give him more flexibility in his career. He'll also have a network of business contacts -- fellow students as well as corporate collaborators -- developed during the program. Students are from all over the world and have an average of 6 years of experience. On a personal level, Bonilla expects to have more confidence in himself as a management professional.

While he can return to General Motors after he receives his graduate degree, Bonilla is keeping his options open. He is confident his degree from the University of Illinois will open many doors in the worlds of business and technology.

"The MS Tech program has a significant competitive advantage. In addition to our regularly scheduled classes, the program offers workshops and seminars and organizes field trips that enhance my managerial background and expand my business contacts. Social events help me to be a better English speaker."

--Melissa Paraf

Return to Graduate Profiles