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New Video Highlights Strengths of MPD2 

Discover how alumni benefited from the program's emphasis on design, product management, and business.

Before Elizabeth Jacobsen found Northwestern Engineering's Master of Product Design and Development Management (MPD2) program, she was a packaging engineer working in the food industry. 

But she wanted to be more. 

She turned to MPD2, and today, Jacobsen (MPD2 '20) is the global technical sustainability director for the health and wellness platform at Mars, the confectionary, food, and petcare products company. 

"The teaching of design thinking and the process of being iterative in product development, in addition to the science part and business part was really unique for me," Jacobsen said. "Being able to apply the consumer aspects of MPD2 was really critical in helping me get (a) promotion and helping me be able to come in and speak to senior leaders in a way that I just wasn't as effective at before." 

Her story is one of several transformational alumni stories shared in a new MPD2 program video.  

"The MPD2 program is all about educating students on how to become leaders in the business of product design and development," MPD2 director Jim Wicks said. "The inspiration was (asking) how do you bring really fantastic business education with a design and product development education." 

Amber Hall (MPD2 '20) said what she most appreciated about that combination of business, design, and product development was that she could take lessons learned in the classroom and apply them directly to her job at Kohler, where she is a global product and insights leader for bathing, showering, bath faucets, and finishes. 

"The thing that I found the most incredible about my experience," Hall said, "was I was able to learn something on a Friday or Saturday and then immediately take that learning into work on Monday." 

As an alumni mentor and ambassador, Hall is one example of a graduate who is committed to give back to the program and prepare prospective and current students for life in and out of MPD2.   

Wicks said it's not surprising that so many alumni stay connected to MPD2 and help future students, including turning to them for potential job opportunities. 

"(It) becomes a very close community, and it stays with them," Wicks said. "So when they start to look for jobs or want to hire people, they go to their community first because they want people to have the types of skills they picked up in the MPD2 program themselves." 

Interested in learning more about MPD2? Request your program and application guide today. 

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