Meet Christian Polyak


“When I joined the U.S. Coast Guard, if someone had told me I’d be stationed in land-locked Colorado, I wouldn’t have believed them. I’m extremely fortunate to have the military sponsor my attendance at Mines while earning a master’s in Engineering and Technology Management. 

After 12 years as a search and rescue helicopter pilot, the Coast Guard is soon looking for me to assume increased responsibilities managing aspects of our aviation maintenance and logistics systems. The ETM program is preparing me to excel in my future assignment through it’s challenging, multi-disciplinary curriculum. Courses in supply chain management, business analytics, accounting, and project management will ensure that I have the skills necessary to support our fleet of 200+ aircraft throughout their life-cycles. 

I appreciate that Mines, and in particular the ETM program, is comprised of a small and cohesive group of motivated people with diverse backgrounds. In this way, the ETM program is very similar to the Coast Guard and allowed me to feel instantly comfortable in my new surroundings. An emphasis on teamwork, problem solving, and personal integrity further links the ETM program with qualities that I value as a military officer.”

Christian Polyak
MS Engineering and Technology Management
Class of 2017


“I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 2017 and will finish the Engineering and Technology Management program in 2018. I decided to stay for an extra year because of the people. I have made really neat friends and have met some really awesome people here. I enjoy the culture that we have. It’s a really difficult school but people put their heads down, work hard and have a good time doing it. We have a very supportive and collaborative community. And it’s Colorado, so it’s a great place to be!

This year is about developing my network and myself as a person. I think this year I can grow as a person and become a more well-rounded engineer and human being. I’ve met some new people in the ETM program and they are coming from all different backgrounds, whether they have just graduated or have worked for years. Being able to talk with these people really helps me develop as a person.”

Eric Hale
MS Engineering and Technology Management
Class of 2018


“I’m from Golden, but I got my undergrad degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. When I graduated, I wanted to get an MBA to add business and management skills to my technical degree. I found Mines’ Engineering and Technology Management program and decided it was a better fit as far as my interests and where I see myself in my career. While Georgia Tech is certainly an engineering powerhouse, coming to Mines was nice because there’s a great sense of community and you get more attention from your professors.

The diversity in coursework has been really nice. ETM touches on a lot of different areas within business and engineering - it’s really comprehensive, which is nice. A really specific degree can be limiting in many ways. This program was best for me because of the variety.

This summer, I’m going back to South Carolina to do my third co-op rotation with BMW Manufacturing. I've done rotations in supply chain management, facilities planning, and now assembly process optimization. After signing up for ETM, so many doors opened. I’ve always wanted to work for BMW and this is a really competitive program to get into. Once I started this masters program, I got a call and an interview right away.”

Josh Mangone
Engineering and Technology Management MS
Class of December 2017


“The cardboard boat race was always a project I wanted to do as an undergrad, but never had the opportunity. When I decided to come back to Mines for grad school, I knew I had to make it happen.

My inspiration came from the book, Canoecraft. Also, Nick Offerman from the TV show Parks and Recreation produced a series of canoe building videos on YouTube. After seeing his process, it seems daunting at first, but once you get started and put the pieces together, it’s like a Corvette appears in front of your eyes and it’s quite amazing.

I had a positive experience at Mines as an undergrad, to the point where I decided to come back for grad school. One thing we didn’t have when I was an undergraduate is maker spaces. I’m really encouraged and excited that Mines is making the commitment to foster these creative ventures. The number of tools and workspaces we have is really impressive.”

Bill Bixby
Division of Economics and Business
Engineering and Technology Management MS
Class of 2017


“It’s been one heck of a ride. I’ve gotten to know so many people by being involved in numerous organizations. I’ve seen how even the smallest groups can have a large impact on campus. Serving as a student trustee on the Board of Trustees during my junior year and seeing how that side works was an incredible experience.

You learn so much technical information here, but what Mines students genuinely get when they graduate is a work ethic that’s not seen in many other schools, and that’s why Mines grads are highly sought after by employers.

After six years at Mines, I’m ready to move on to that next step. I’m excited to put the knowledge I’ve gained to use in the real world and make an impact in our community.”

Sydney Rogers
Division of Economics and Business
Engineering and Technology Management MS
Class of 2017


“I came to Mines primarily for the technical skills because I thought I would continue to work in oil and gas, but it’s the business classes that expanded my thoughts as far as different programs and companies.

I was just offered a job at Lockheed Martin in Orlando, FL. It’s a three-year Operations Leadership Development Program. My first rotation will be in manufacturing, then one year in quality, followed by one year in supply chain. When I graduate from the program, I can go on to work as a part of Lockheed if I want to continue.

I like the small feel at Mines. You have all the benefits of a big school: great research programs, professors, reputation, but at the same time, you have that small feel, where you know everyone in your classes. The professors in my program are really engaging, too.

The future is changing rapidly and we need to position ourselves strategically to be ready for that future. Instead of lagging behind and hoping to catch up or hoping to get a job, we can develop our skills to prepare ourselves for future jobs.

I ended up getting a job that I’m really proud of and it’s something I never expected coming into Mines, but the ETM program really opened my eyes to the possibilities that are out there.”

Robert Killion
Division of Economics and Business
Engineering and Technology Management MS
Class of 2017


“Even though I’m graduating in December, I don’t have my mind set on just one job title, and that’s good. There are so many things I can do, and that’s a testament to the effectiveness of the ETM [Engineering and Technology Management] program. I can see myself as a project/program manager, or in a business/financial analyst role. Most importantly, I want to be in a position where I can influence people and solve problems.

I currently work at the Career Center, so I get the opportunity to talk with employers and it’s amazing to hear what they have to say. Employers who have hired graduates from the ETM program are always raving about these employees, and what the program did in terms of value for their company. It’s a real tribute to the effectiveness and excellence that this program imparts on its students.”

Oluwaseun Oyatogun
Division of Economics and Business
Engineering and Technology Management MS
Class of 2016

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Last Updated: 09/14/2017 13:13:04