Blending Numbers and Big-picture Thinking
Trevor Giroux is drawn to the excitement of the unknown, with a thirst for adventure that has shaped his educational and career paths. As an undergraduate student, he pursued industrial and manufacturing engineering, seeking to discover and build the products of the future. After graduating, he took on a role with Precision Castparts Corp., a company that produces parts for the aerospace industry and helps keep nearly every aircraft in the sky aloft. Trevor’s background gave him a unique foundation when he was ready for his next adventure — higher education — ultimately leading him to The Portland MBA.
Upon entering the workforce after finishing from his undergraduate program, Trevor quickly found a passion for operations management. To reach his goal of moving into more globally-focused roles, he focused on the skill sets he wanted to fine-tune and develop. The Portland MBA’s curriculum offered everything he was looking for.
“I would still be working in daily operations — rather than in my expanded, strategic role now — without The Portland MBA,” Trevor says.
Balancing the Quantitative with the Qualitative
The world of engineering is a complex and exciting one, where quantitative and qualitative insights are used to solve problems. Trevor was drawn to The Portland MBA’s hands-on nature and the coursework’s focus on critical thinking. He has learned to find the story the numbers tell. Trevor has found that blending data with bigger-picture strategy considerations helps him make real-world business decisions.
Under the instruction of business faculty members, whose teaching styles go well beyond basic textbook interpretations of a subject, Trevor developed a more collaborative mindset. This has led him to more strategic roles at Precision Castparts Corp., including his current role as director of expansion projects.
His graduate cohort challenged him to listen and learn from how others approached problems. Strategic thinking requires the ability to view a scenario from multiple angles, and Trevor honed the hard and soft skills needed to do this at PSU.
“Ultimately, I learned to challenge what I was certain I knew as ‘the answer’ and seek out the input of others in different disciplines,” he says. “I learned to be more facilitating of conversation instead of just waiting for my turn to talk, and I gained valuable insight about alternative solutions and methods I hadn’t previously considered.”
From Student to Instructor
Since earning his MBA from PSU, Trevor has jumped into yet another new journey – as an instructor in the program. He counsels his students to make an investment in the networking opportunities offered by the program and to build relationships with their graduate cohort, as this offers learning opportunities beyond the classroom. Facing the unknown and solving problems is easier with a group of diverse thinkers.
“The Portland MBA continues to offer educational opportunities for me,” he says. “Leading a class of dynamic, motivated people creates amazing discussions that you rarely get to immerse yourself in outside the academic setting.”