Employee Spotlight: Robert Bugielski Earns MBA Degree

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March 5, 2018

Elite congratulates Robert Bugielski on completing his advanced studies and earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Keller Graduate School of Management (DeVry University).

Robert Bugielski has been a member of Elite’s technical staff for over 12 years. Having graduated from DeVry University with an electronics engineering degree in 2006, he connected with Elite to begin his career as an EMC engineer. His test experience focused on automotive EMC projects with some work in military testing. In 2013, Robert became an iNARTE Certified EMC engineer. 

Robert has since transitioned to the sales team where he now helps Elite clients navigate the full range of testing and compliance work performed at Elite. This includes all EMC services as well as environmental stress testing, and photometric.

We asked Robert to share a few comments about his MBA experience:  

What fueled your interest in pursuing an MBA degree?

After obtaining experience in testing and sales at Elite, starting my MBA program felt like the next step in my career development. An everlasting impression that Mr. Klouda, the founder of Elite, left on me when he hired me, was when he told me that it was ok to make mistakes as long as I learned something new every day. 

What was the most challenging part of achieving your degree?

I wouldn’t say there is one aspect that stands out more, but a few parts that were equally difficult. The first was adapting to education again. You don’t realize how primed you were after high school to attend college, until taking 12 years off and having to write research papers or take exams. Another challenge was commitment. I decided to take two graduate classes per session instead of one so I could finish in 1.5 years. It takes a lot of motivation to work full time and complete the required coursework week in and week out. The other challenging part was the self-reflection required during the coursework. One of the key parts of my studies as you have to learn how to analyze and improve your own deficiencies before critiquing others through management.  

How do an engineering degree and advanced business degree help you?

I believe they help me see the bigger picture when it comes to the operations of a company. I can relate to the importance of procedures, policy, education, and problem-solving in engineering. Then I am able to tie that in with key business factors such as cost, profits, brand, and culture.  

What advice can you offer to others having an interest in graduate-level education?

Prepare yourself for the commitment and recognize that sacrifices will have to be made. Then when you start, make sure you put forth the required effort. Don’t just go through the motions or fake it until you make it. 

How did your family support you through the process?

My amazing wife Lacy was very supportive and helpful through the whole process. There were many weekends I spent in front of my laptop screen. Quite a few weekdays working at Elite during the day and eating dinner with the laptop at night. She was always reassuring when I felt guilty for the lack of involvement in social life during my studies. She too has a Master’s in education and understands the work that goes into graduate studies. Instead of extravagant weekend getaways, she was helping me proofread 15-page research papers. For that, I’ll always be indebted to her.

Which course or materials made a lasting connection with you?

The two main management classes I learned a great deal in. They were “Leadership and Behavior Organization” and “Leadership in the 21st century.” The classes were great for applying Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to today’s workforce. I’ll never forget the lessons about building high-performing teams, the importance of business culture, and how the business landscape is changing from hierarchy models to collaboration.