Marius Malkevicius, Joint MBA/MPCS Class of 2020: “I think the joint degree really developed my ability to communicate across the aisle.”

The University of Chicago Masters Program in Computer Science students push boundaries and innovate across many facets of industry. Whether it’s developing seamless UX interfaces, engineering software at Fortune 500 companies, working in big data or keeping networks secure, our students use their applied-skills education from the MPCS to problem-solve, create, and elevate the computer science field. Learn from their stories and discover how a CS background can prepare you for cutting-edge internships.

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Marius Malkevicius graduated from the Joint MBA/MPCS Program in 2020. He looks back on his time in the Joint Program, how it has helped him in his role at Tesla, and advice to prospective students.

What motivated you to apply and enroll in the Joint MBA/MPCS Program?

I always enjoyed closely working with very technical people and at the time was working for a software company doing consulting and product management. While the MBA program was excellent in providing general business skills, I felt the MPCS would be an excellent complement to that skillset and help me with where I wanted my career to go. 

What have been your favorite MPCS courses? Most influential instructors?

The two classes that I feel like really changed how I do my work would be Product Management and Introduction to Software Engineering. Tesla takes a software/tech approach to problems throughout the organization. Knowing how to build MVP products, target key user audiences, scale and iterate has been critical. I would be remiss not to mention Gerry Brady’s influence. The timelessness of crunching all those difficult problems with chalk at Ryerson reminds that any problem is solvable if you commit to finding a solution.

It looks like you completed your Joint Program as a Part-Time Student. How was balancing work and your coursework? 

It was definitely challenging. I think squeezing in some moments of relaxation, such as divvying home along the lakefront during warmer weather, was key to managing stress. I also knew there would be times where I could focus as much on academics as I would have as a full time student due to work or personal obligations. As a very competitive person, I had to accept that achieving balance was a success in its own right. Having a patient, supportive, and forgiving partner was also very beneficial.

You now work at Tesla as a Staff Analyst in Finance Analytics. Can you tell us a bit about what you do in your work, and how your Joint Degree has helped you in your career?

Finance Analytics has grown rapidly since I joined. Members of our team work on some of the most challenging strategic problems Tesla faces. We use data science and data analytics skill sets to help answer questions from various business areas such as insurance, service, sales, investor relations and captive financing. In my role, I often work as the liaison between junior members of the team and business leaders, trying to shape our often complex analysis into simple and actionable recommendations. I think the joint degree really developed my ability to communicate across the “aisle” between these two groups. 

What is a piece of advice you’d give someone considering applying or enrolling in the Joint MBA/MPCS Program?

Think about why you are applying and what you hope to get out of the program. The program is not easy, so make sure you’re applying for the right reasons. If you think the courses are interesting and you are willing to make the commitment, then you should definitely apply!