Last month, HBS and SEAS announced the launch of a new MS/MBA joint degree. As a prospective student, you might be wondering what the benefit is of pursuing both degrees. The founding professors of the MS/MBA: Engineering Sciences Program sat down to give an interview about their thoughts on the new program. Read on to hear thoughts from Tom Eisenmann and Rob Howe about the benefit of the interdisciplinary offering (and hear the full podcast below!).  

What would you say to an engineering student who's thinking, "I don't need this, I can succeed on my own."?

Tom: “I'd tell an engineer that wants to lead a technology venture, wants to found a startup, that there's a lot to learn about founding that startup. The technology is very, very important, but one of many things that's very important. You've got to learn how to manage teams, you've got to learn about finance, you've got to learn about how to market a product and position a product. You can pick up those things on the job more slowly than you could in graduate school, it's exactly the stuff we teach in an MBA program.”

And how would you convince a business oriented student that this is something that they should consider?

Rob: “One of the things that we're trying to do in this program is provide this dual skillset. So a deep understanding of management and a deep understanding of technology. In the early stages of a startup, it's really important to get both of those right and you trade between them. So the particular feature set of a product depends on both the business model, who's going to buy it, who's going to pay for all those things, as well as the technology, what can you really build, how much will it cost to build it. In many startups, that's divided among different members of the team. We need to provide both of those complimentary skillsets to single individuals, which has only got to help in the coherence and the success going forward using those skillsets.”

Listen to the full interview

Audio File