The Value of Expertise in EMDC

Daniel Maguire, former president, CEO, and vice chairman of Executive Construction, reflects on 25 years of teaching in Northwestern Engineering's MPM program and why he is a strong advocate for the school's EMDC program.

When Daniel Maguire acquired Executive Construction Inc. (ECI) in 1994, it was an $8 million business. As president, CEO, and later vice chairman, he helped the company grow to be worth $150 million by the time he retired in 2008. ECI is now a $300 million business. 

Maguire spent more than three decades developing successful construction organizations, and for 25 years he shared industry knowledge, training, and guidance to students in Northwestern Engineering's Master of Project Management (MPM) and Master of Science in Executive Management for Design and Construction (EMDC) programs. 

Maguire no longer teaches in either program, but he remains a strong advocate for both and particularly EDMC, an online program geared for aspiring executives with at least eight-to-10 years of progressive work experience. From his perspective, it's the people involved with EMDC that make it such an impactful program.

"The value first comes from experienced executives who, as adjunct instructors, share their stories and experiences, both good and bad," Maguire said. "It is also valuable because of the learning opportunities that are presented by fellow students who are up and coming stars." 

Maguire taught construction management in MPM from 1994-2019, and in EMDC from the program's inception in 2012 through 2019. The experiences were memorable in both, but he said the opportunity to have students from countries around the world connect online in EMDC was — and continues to be — an added asset for the program. EMDC students are able to get a peek at strategies, templates, and systems from different regions and directly learn how the lessons they learn in class are being applied in different ways on a global scale. 

When Maguire shared his own experiences with students, he often talked about how he and his partners built an organization at ECI.  

"We set the standards for what we wanted to be and how we would reach our objectives," he said. "We created jobs for over 150 people. Our reputation brought us hard-earned profits, security, and opportunity." 

Maguire routinely incorporated examples from his work into the lessons he taught, a common practice most EMDC faculty continue to apply. Whether it was project management services the business used or templates from project systems, Maguire wanted to make the student experience be as close as possible to a real-world experience.  

"Dan Maguire is a great example of how our adjunct faculty take details from their day-to-day jobs leading highly-regarded construction and architecture companies and bring them into the classroom for our EMDC students to learn from," EMDC director and professor Raymond Krizek said. "It's one thing to read from a textbook about how to lead and make complex decisions. It's another thing altogether to be given the details of a situation happening in real time and be asked what to do. That's what Dan did, and that's what EMDC continues to do."

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