Dennis Patel ’19, ’20 learned a lot about business and finance while earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from the Manning School. What’s his biggest takeaway?
“Network as much as you can,” Patel says. “Networking was huge for me from a career development standpoint, building those relationships with classmates.”
As an undergraduate, that meant serving as vice president of the Management Society, joining the Manning Leadership Council and being inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma international business honor society.
As an MBA student, it meant building one-on-one connections with classmates — which led directly to Patel’s co-op position at Lockheed Martin as a global supply chain analyst.
“I got the co-op through a classmate, who gave me a personal recommendation,” Patel says. “That’s what the MBA program is for: building those connections with the professors and classmates.”
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Patel is working for Lockheed Martin remotely while he completes his MBA this fall. He hoped to continue with the aerospace and defense company once the co-op ends in January.
“I didn’t study supply chain as an undergrad, so this was new territory for me. I’ve been able to learn a lot,” says Patel, whose concentration is in finance. “I feel prepared. The skills I learned in school really apply to the workplace.”
A native of Chicago, Patel moved to Marlboro, Mass., before his senior year of high school. He knew he wanted to study business in college, and UMass Lowell’s affordability appealed to him.
“I didn’t want to put a financial burden on my family, so I really wanted to find a school where I could work part-time and help pay for my own education,” says Patel, who worked at Comcast throughout college — first as a sales consultant as an undergrad and then as a vendor management analyst while in graduate school.
“I’m very happy with how things worked out,” says Patel, who was a member of the winning graduate student team in the annual Student Managed Fund challenge. “I’m graduating debt-free and have been able to develop my career. And now, with my master’s degree, I think I’ll be able to take my career to the next level.”