Graduate Spotlight: Michael Guffanti

Kettering University Online Graduate Michael Guffanti
Kettering University Online Graduate Michael Guffanti
Kettering University Online Graduate Michael Guffanti

Graduate Spotlight: Michael Guffanti

As Kettering University Online’s (KUO) Program Development Manager and Senior Instructional Designer, I have the pleasure of meeting our graduating students. In this new blog series, we highlight a few of our graduates who come from a wide range of educational, career, and geographical backgrounds.

This time, we are happy to spend some time shining the Graduate Spotlight on Michael Guffanti. Michael recently graduated from Kettering University Online’s MBA program. Michael is part of an elite but growing number of students getting their second degree from KUO. His first degree is in MS Lean Manufacturing. Here are some excerpts from our conversation.

JL: Hi Michael! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. Congratulations on your recent graduation! Let’s start by having you share a bit about your background and professional experience prior to pursuing the MBA and MS Lean Manufacturing degrees at Kettering University Online.
MG: Sure! Thank you for inviting me! I was born and raised in Argentina, where I earned my BS in Electrical Engineering. When I moved to the States, I earned my MS in Computer Science, a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. I’ve worked in the Aerospace Industry for over 20 years, and most of my career was in Continuous Improvement and Lean Manufacturing.

JL: That is so impressive! I’m curious: how did you find out about, and why did you choose, Kettering University Online?
MG: At the time I was looking online for a program, I had a coworker who received his Master’s degree at Kettering University Online, and he mentioned the school to me, so I checked it out and then applied.

JL: Was there a moment during either of your programs that stood out as being particularly insightful or exciting?
MG: I was always excited to do my MS in Lean Manufacturing, and when I finished the MS, I decided to do my MBA.

JL: How about a moment that was particularly challenging? How did you overcome that challenge?
MG: I would say that during the challenging times, I sought support from my excellent teachers and classmates. My teachers were always there for me. I was also fortunate to have good coworkers who also took the time to go over primary financial material with me when I struggled.

JL: It sounds like the program offered valuable opportunities for skill development. In terms of the curriculum, which courses or subjects had the most impact on your learning and career growth?
MG: Most of the MBA classes are very helpful for my career. The finance classes were essential for me to learn about the basics of business.

JL: What other skills do you think the KUO programs have helped you to enhance?
MG: The courses in the MBA program helped me to understand, with more depth, the structure and mechanics of any company’s finances.

JL: Now that you’ve completed the programs, how would you describe your overall experience, and what were some of your key takeaways?
MG: The overall experience of both programs was excellent. I was fortunate to work with great teachers and classmates. I also found the courses to be exceptionally well organized. I would say some additional takeaways are that the school really cares about you and your success. Teachers care that you learned the material and where and when you can use it.

JL: I am so glad to hear that you had a wonderful experience! Yes, that speaks to our Learn Today-Use Tomorrow approach! I’m curious: as a recent graduate, what advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing an Online MBA and/or MS Lean Manufacturing degree, particularly at Kettering University?
MG: I would tell that person to give them a shot because it is a great school. You can meet many people from different backgrounds, and you will most likely get to work with GM employees who are great classmates. And also, you can learn so much from their personal and professional experiences.

JL: How has earning an Online MBA from Kettering University impacted your professional opportunities? Have you noticed any significant changes?
MG: The degree helped me professionally in a number of ways. There was an increase in my earnings, but most importantly, I now feel more confident when I talk about business because now I more easily understand what my colleagues are trying to communicate.

JL: Looking back at your time as an Online MBA student, were there any standout resources, such as online tools, support services, or faculty, you found particularly helpful?
MG: Most of the learning resources and material were provided by the school, which was enough, but I also researched different websites, and I found very good articles and online books that also helped clarify and highlight what I was learning.

JL: How do you think an Online MBA program, such as the one at Kettering University, compares to traditional, on-campus MBA programs? Are there any notable advantages or disadvantages?
MG: I am a learner by watching. I learn faster when someone shows me something, or I just watch. I needed the class environment to learn, but the online classes were excellent. I had a lot of meetings with my teachers so I wouldn’t miss the part of the classes, which are typically face-to-face.

JL: What are your plans or aspirations for the future? How do you envision leveraging your Online MBA degree from Kettering University in your career?
MG: I was planning to do my Ph.D., but there are a few factors, such as financial balance, time, and researching where the best school might be so I can do my Ph.D. in manufacturing.

JL: Michael, thank you again for taking the time to share your experience with us! MG: My pleasure!

KUO, once again, congratulates Michael Guffanti on receiving his MS Lean Manufacturing and MBA degree, and we wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors!

If you are interested in becoming a student, visit Kettering University Online for information about our graduate degree programs.