Preparing for Launch

Julieth Moreno talks about what she learned during her time as a MEM student and how she is leveraging her new knowledge at GE Aerospace.

Julieth Moreno (MEM ‘22) spends much of her time helping stamp out waste and drive efficiency for a world leader in airplane engine manufacturing.  

Moreno graduated from Northwestern's Master of Engineering Management (MEM) program in September 2022, earning her degree while maintaining her full-time role as a senior specialist in operational excellence with Thermo Fisher Scientific. Seven months later, she began a new job as a senior manufacturing improvement manager for GE Aerospace.  

Julieth MorenoThe MEM lesson that has helped her most since making the job change centers on leadership. It’s a lesson she is now applying daily.  

“We’re not always going to have all the facts to make a decision,” she said. “As leaders, we have to be agile to make sound decisions with as little or as much information presented to us.”  

Moreno is making exactly those types of decisions in her new role, based in Jacksonville, Florida. The job centers on eliminating waste to drive greater profitability throughout the site for the company that is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, along with integrated systems for commercial, military, business, and general aviation aircraft.  

Her average day sees her training and coaching everyone from company leaders and supervisors to factory floor workers, teaching them how to incorporate Lean strategies, which hold that anything the customer is not willing to pay for doesn’t add value and should be considered waste.  

Moreno enjoys that her new job gives her visibility to such a huge swath of the GE Aerospace business.  

“I love the interaction that this role has with all levels and areas of the organization,” she said. “I love to see the development of projects from idea to implementation. Not all roles get to see all the steps in the process.”  

Moreno came to the MEM program with more than a half-decade of professional experience after earning her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering logistics and supply chain management. She said the MEM program stood out in her search for a master’s program because of its approach to turning professionals into more effective leaders.  

“I called it the best of both worlds,” she said. “It not only develops the technical skills but also the creative and soft skills.”  

She credits a variety of classes with helping prepare her to move up in the working world, most notably the program's leadership and strategic management courses. 

The program as a whole helped ground her with the skills — technical and mental — needed to advance professionally.   

“MEM helped me with maturity and to be able to put my feet on the ground and identify what I was capable of,” she said. “It gave me excellent tools that I didn’t know existed.”  

That doesn’t mean it was easy. Completing the MEM program while maintaining her career led to long days and nights that strengthened her time management skills. She said it led to some stressful days but also a sense of accomplishment now that she has completed the program.  

Because of her own experience, Moreno strongly supports the MEM program for those looking to follow a similar path.  

“Have no doubt that the MEM program will give you the tools to be successful in your career development,” she said. “It is important to know that your dedication and willingness to learn are key for your success, not only in school but also in the workplace and life.” 

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