Why choose VT-MIT? Q and A with 1st Lt. Joseph Walters
First Lieutenant Joseph Walters, a spring 2019 graduate of the Virginia Tech Master of Information Technology (VT-MIT) program, recently participated in an interview regarding his participation in the aforementioned program. Walters is currently an active duty engineer stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado.
Why did you choose to pursue a degree from VT-MIT?
Growing up in Virginia, it was always a dream of mine to attend Virginia Tech. I choose Virginia Tech because of the engaged faculty, flexible scheduling, and its alumni network.
What skills and knowledge have you gained or polished?
The program enhanced my knowledge of business intelligence, analytics software, risk analysis, and programming languages.
How do you think the degree has served you in your career development?
Through the various course projects, I developed my ability to work in groups with geographically separated members. This has been especially helpful in this new era of teleworking.
The VT-MIT program offers students great flexibility. To what extent has this been important to you in managing your work and life balance?
Having a hectic military schedule, the flexibility of the program was extremely important. Any time I had a scheduling conflict with work, the faculty was more than willing to work with me to find a way forward. This ensured my success both in the VT-MIT program as well as at work.
Do you feel the program is structured for military personnel who are interested in continuing their education?
When I first entered the program, I was an active duty specialist out of Fort Hood, Texas. I believe the program is suitable for both enlisted and officers.
The faculty is very understanding and willing to work with military schedules. The six-week summer courses were very helpful. For example, I had a multiple-week training events in the middle of the semester at various points during my time in the program. The faculty always worked with me to ensure my success, either with extensions or by making assignments available early.
In the event that I had to take a semester off due to training requirements, which happened on three occasions, the academic advisors were very helpful in getting me back on track for graduation when I was able to return to the program.
What are your current work responsibilities?
I am responsible for supervising field-level maintenance support and logistical oversight of seven geographically separate companies and 823 personnel. I help de-conflict competing requirements between a geographically separated parent higher echelon and host installation. I also provide mentorship to six platoon leaders, developing their understanding of military processes and well as logistical critical thinking approaches. I am also responsible for the material readiness condition for over 400 major pieces of engineering and automotive equipment valued over $300 million.