Samantha Ji is a graduate from McMaster University’s Electrical Engineering & Management Program (’08) and is currently a Senior Business Analyst with Apple in Shanghai City, China.
Why did you choose McMaster Engineering?
SJ: The combined degree from engineering and business not only helps me understand things from a technical view but also to understand [things from] its target market and potential commercial values.
What was your experience like at McMaster Engineering?
SJ: It was probably the toughest 5 years of my life *laughs*. Electrical Engineering surely wasn’t easy. But the professors and my peers made the experience so enjoyable so it was probably the most memorable 5 years of my life, too. I received offers from both University of Toronto and Waterloo University to get my engineering undergrad education, but after the McMaster campus tour, I decided this is where I wanted to spend my next 5 years of undergrad life. It’s a beautiful campus with history, and I really liked the vibes.
How did it prepare you for your future career? What are you doing now?
Looking back, it was definitely [the] right decision to take the combined degree. The engineering part of my degree made me an excellent problem solver, while the management part of it prepared me [n better understanding the business decisions and challenges that I am faced with every day.
Two months ago, I was promoted to manage a team of supply chain business analysts and IT vendors at Apple in Shanghai, China. We help our supply chain business groups to automate their planning and execution activities by designing and building enterprise solutions, either via out of the box market solutions or in-house built applications.
What is it like being a McMaster alumni?
SJ: While not as famous as McGill or University of Toronto, McMaster is actually well known among my friends in Shanghai (both local and ex-pat). I haven’t met any fellow McMaster alumni here in Shanghai yet but friends of mine have acquaintances from McMaster.
What advice would you give to other international students who are considering McMaster Engineering?
SJ: Get out of your books once in a while and go meet different people. Really participate in those group projects to learn both how to work as a team member and also how to drive progress as a leader. While knowledge is the foundation of your future success, it is the ability to build networks that will ultimately get you there.