#ABetterU: Drexel University Online Graduate Steven Mann Becomes A Dragon, Again
For Steven Mann, who graduated this spring with an MS in Information Systems, the second time around proved to be the charm.
“During my undergrad, I did OK,” said Mann, who also received his BS in Information Systems from Drexel in 1993, “But I knew I could have done better.”
After his turn as an undergraduate, Mann immersed himself in a successful career. He spent several years working as principal architect and project manager at RDA Corporation, providing high-level technical support for business clients. He later joined global law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP, where he currently serves as an enterprise application engineer.
Throughout his career, Mann worked heavily with Microsoft technologies, becoming a certified expert able to create innovative technical solutions for businesses using the software. An aficionado of Microsoft SharePoint, a popular web application platform that helps companies share and organize data and documents, Mann started to disperse his knowledge via blogging and even authored two books on the subject in 2011.
Despite the success, time—as it often does—brought along an itch for even more. Mann started considering the possibility of returning to school for a master’s degree.
The catalyst to this desire was twofold: First, Mann wanted to teach and although he possessed the technical know-how and experience, he knew he needed an advanced degree; second, Mann’s daughter enrolled in Drexel, renewing a spark of affection for his alma mater.
With a full-time job and a jam-packed calendar, he knew he needed an online program to allow for flexibility.
“It had to be Drexel,” he said.
This time around, he could approach his education with some experience under his belt, and an appreciation for higher learning.
“Now that I’m older, this is a personal goal. This time around, I decided to shoot for the A plus-plus, so even if I fell short, I would still get the A.”
Mann took advantage of his classes to expand his expertise even further.
“My Human-Computer Interaction class really opened my eyes towards how people use things and what makes a better user design. I was able to take those concepts and apply it to many of my other courses and my work,” he said.
Mann also threw himself into life as a Drexel student and alumni 2.0, attending basketball games, participating in networking events and getting involved with the alumni association.
“This time around, I really felt like a part of the Drexel community. I got a sense that alumni play a major part in helping the University,” he said.
As Mann celebrated his graduation at Commencement this spring, he reflected on one of his favorite moments of triumph.
“I was so stressed out about my artificial Intelligence midterm. Once you start, you only have seven hours to complete it,” he said. “I clicked the button, and then I was even more scared because it seemed too easy.”
The end result? “Bang! 21 out of 21.”