Student Spotlight: Akhan Turmagambetov

Akhan TurmagambetovHailing from Almaty, Kazakhstan, Akhan Turmagambetov is a full-time student of MEM who also holds a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Moscow State Technical University followed by 7 years of experience in Oil & Gas conglomerate Saipem. He is an thrill seeker and an avid traveler and a secret that he has kept from most is that he can read hands and understand human psychology.

We asked Akhan some questions about his experience in MEM and this is what he said:

What made you decide to pursue a MEM degree?

Being a Project Manager, I realized that I had gaps in theoretical knowledge that did not allow me to perform well. Therefore, I started to search for the program, which provided the necessary set of skills in Engineering and Management. MEM degree from a Northwestern University complied with all my requirements.

Your favorite Class/Professor?

Professor Donald McNeeley – Strategic Management. During his class, Professor McNeeley provided us a brief guideline on how to manage your own Company. I was very excited to learn this information since I am planning to start my private company soon.

What is the most surprising aspect of your experience in the program?

The most surprising aspect for me was the structure of the classes. During my undergraduate study in Moscow, all my classes were based on individual assignments and achievements. In the MEM program, teamwork and networking are the essential  since it is crucial for your future career success. In order  to reach decision-making roles in any organization, you have to improve your communication and leadership skills. MEM program provides you with this opportunity.

How does the program experience prepare you to reach your professional and career goals? 

The MEM program is a very flexible and provides a wide selection of courses. Each student can choose classes that resonate with his/her career goals. It is the right place for students who want to strengthen their skills or make a career switch or transition from a core engineering position to a management position.

What do you feel you’re learning from Northwestern’s program that you might not experience else where?

First of all, the Northwestern University has a unique culture where each student is surrounded with ambitious and smart people and treated as a family member. Also, I would like to highlight that the MEM program has highly qualified faculty members and very talented students with working experience in different industries. The faculty members provide all the necessary support to MEM students that allows them to achieve their goals and fulfill their potential.

Once you’ve graduated and are looking back, what do you think will be the most valuable thing you have received or learned from this program?

The networks I’ve built here will be the most valuable thing. MEM program provided me the opportunity to meet people from different industries which has changed my perspective on everything. There are so many events organized by MEM or Northwestern University where you can discover new ideas and expand knowledge. Thanks to them, I understand what I would like to do for my future career.

What advice would you give future/prospective students?

Don’t be shy, ask questions or help. Everyone is ready to help you. Spend your time wisely by visiting as much as possible events.

Is there anything else you think would add?

I would like to thank all my faculty members, especially Steven Tilley for giving me a chance to become a part of NU family.