The BS/MBA Joint Degree Program is available for UTEP engineering students in the following majors: Computer Science, Industrial, Manufacturing, Systems, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Leadership, and Materials and Metallurgical Engineering.
This joint degree program allows engineering students to build their management skills and enhance their marketability by earning their Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees concurrently. BS/MBA students benefit from a program that allows them to earn both degrees with a reduction of 18 credits across both degree programs.
BS/MBA Program Admission Requirements
- At least 90 credit hours accumulated toward their degree
- A cumulative GPA of at least 3.30
- Admission to the full-time MBA program. Click here for MBA admission requirements.
Profile in Success: Sean Alvarado, BS-EE ‘10, MBA ‘12
Systems Marketing Engineer, Texas Instruments Inc.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your professional work experience before joining the program.
I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. After graduating from Burges High School in 2006, I enrolled in the Electrical Engineering (EE) program at UTEP—which was an incredible experience. I graduated with my BSEE in May 2010 and immediately enrolled in the MBA program, ultimately graduating with a concentration in Finance in December 2012.
Prior to enrollment in UTEP's MBA program, I had limited professional work experience. While in the program, I was very fortunate to work in the College of Business Administration’s Academic Advising Center as a Graduate Assistant. This very dynamic job opportunity allowed me to interact with Professors, Administrators, the Students of CoBA, and work on a various projects which helped to reinforce the concepts I was learning in the classroom such as budgeting and basic accounting. The skills I learned on the job combined with my academic endeavors helped prepare me for my career because many of the best practices I learned at UTEP I still use to this day.
In my free time, I focus on practicing my drums, bass, iPad synthesizers, and collaborating with other musicians. It’s great to have a hobby, particularly one that keeps you constantly learning and allows you to express your creative side.
What drove you to seek out a Master’s in Business Administration?
Before graduating with my BSEE, I knew that I wanted to pursue a Master’s degree. However, I wasn’t certain which path that I wanted to follow in terms of a deeper technical understanding of EE concepts or new challenges in a different field of study. I knew I wanted a Master’s that complimented my Electrical Engineering degree while giving me the broadest options when it came to starting my career. While discussing this with a family friend, who was also an electrical engineer, they suggested I look into an MBA saying “You’ll want to have it in any industry you fall into.” Following his suggestion, I began researching the UTEP MBA program and I felt that it was the best course for me.
Where do you work? How has the program helped you in your current position?
I work for Texas Instruments Inc. as a Systems Marketing Engineer (SME). An SME is responsible for understanding key end equipment that TI’s semiconductors can be sold into and providing system level expertise to our Sales teams who have customers designing these end equipments while also working internally to help influence new semiconductor product roadmaps. On the team, my end equipment focus is on Servers and Storage Systems for Enterprise and Hyperscale Datacenters.
The MBA program from UTEP has helped me tremendously, particularly in analyzing the industry in which the end equipments I focus on are found. I am tuned into the current status of the server industry and look ahead to identify trends and market disruptions in order to help TI be competitive in this space. The role demands a technical understanding of the systems but, also be able to identify potential business opportunities through analyzing a customer’s financial performance and estimate potential for growth.
Did having an MBA factor into your job prospects?
Yes. As graduation approached, I started looking for job opportunities that would allow me to leverage both of my degrees. Turns out the technical and business skills I acquired while at UTEP, were a perfect fit for the requirements needed for my role at TI.
What would you tell people considering the joint BS in Engineering - MBA program?
With an MBA degree, your BS in engineering degree will become very valuable. In order to maximize the MBA program, I would advise that a student work in a field related to their Bachelor’s degree while in the program. The work experience will help you tremendously make the connections between what you learn in the classroom and what you experience in your job allowing you contribute more in the class discussions. For me, the class discussions with my peers were amazing and invaluable part of the program because you get to hear different points of view and the “tribal knowledge” shared during the discussions are what I remember most.
I would also recommend that new students, particularly those coming from an Engineering background, join a CoBA Student Organization. While in the program, I was a member of the MBA Association and Regional Economic Development Association. Student Organizations are a great way to expand your network and help contribute to the University and your community (also a great place to find a tutor for your accounting classes).