Matt Fracchia

Matt Fracchia, MM '16

Understanding New Perspectives

Looking ahead at his future career path, Matt Fracchia, a mechanical engineering graduate from Villanova University, uncovered a huge opportunity.

“I talked to a lot of engineers in the field with 10-20 years of experience. I kept hearing that they have engineers they want to promote, but they don’t have the business experience to actually run the team and run the organization,” he says.

With that skills gap in mind, Matt knew U-M’s dual degree MM/MSE program would be a real asset in landing a job and advancing his career. “I knew I wanted to do my master’s of mechanical engineering at U-M, but I found out about this unique opportunity to also get a business degree and couldn’t turn it down.”

One of the biggest benefits was learning to communicate with a diverse group of peers. Matt explains, “Many engineers lack the ability to communicate. The most valuable thing, and something I didn’t really expect to get from the MM program, was learning how to express my technical side while considering how other people think. I worked with people from a slew of undergraduate majors like English, theatre, the sciences, economics, math, and Arabic, and learning how to gather ideas and express my opinions in different ways was really important.”

“We had the opportunity to work with people from India, China, Brazil, and Venezuela with all different cultures and backgrounds. Seeing others approach problems uncovers different ideas I hadn’t considered before, and now I’m more open to new approaches. My brain still probably works in a similar (technical) way, but now I at least understand different ways to look at a problem.”

Matt landed his top job choice, working with Boeing as a structural analysis engineer in Long Beach, Calif. “Ross Career Services was tremendous. They went over our resumes with a fine-toothed comb and perfected how we sold the program, and I worked with the College of Engineering to connect with Boeing. I wouldn’t have gotten this job without the MM/MSE program.”

An intense dual-degree master’s program isn’t for everyone — it’s a lot of work — but somehow Matt squeezed in time for other activities as well. Despite a demanding schedule, he managed to fit in intramural softball, dodgeball, broomball, and two different flag football teams. He also worked with the Michigan Aeronautical Science Association (MASA) at U-M. “Basically we build a hybrid rocket from scratch every year. Doing two master’s kind of limits what you can and can’t do, but I did as much work with them as I could,” Matt says. “Looking back, I couldn’t have made a better decision to come here and do this dual degree. I would recommend the MM/MSE program to anyone.”