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Sharing personal, professional, and academic lives proves a good formula for recent NCR graduates

Evan and Rebecca Graupmann Evan and Rebecca Graupmann

If ever there was a model of togetherness, it would have to be Evan and Rebecca Graupmann.

The married couple earned bachelor of science degrees in industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh in 2011. They work as consultants at Tysons, Virginia-based LMI (he in health systems; she in transportation and distribution). And last month they received Master of Engineering Administration (MEA) degrees from Virginia Tech College of Engineering in the National Capital Region.

In spite of busy professional lives, the Graupmanns completed the MEA program in two years. They concur that the opportunity Virginia Tech provided for online courses and their advisor’s willingness to help them design an independent study kept them on track for graduation.

The two decided to pursue a master’s degree because they felt it was absolutely necessary for career growth at LMI.

“We chose Virginia Tech because we knew that the university’s engineering programs are so highly rated,” said Evan. “And this particular degree was especially attractive because, while we felt we had a good grasp of the technical skills, we thought we could really benefit from the managerial component to add a set of different skills.”

“The Graupmanns are a wonderful example of the working professional, part-time graduate student who successfully balances a job with distance learning classes and family life,” said advisor Ken Harmon, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering.

“Only Evan and Rebecca can say if it was easier or more difficult to be in the same classes with your spouse,” Harmon said. “But I can say they are a special couple who have earned the respect of faculty and fellow students alike.”

And what about the question posed by Harmon?

“We think it was easier to be in the same classes. We aligned our schedules so that we could carpool to and from work and class,” said Rebecca. “We also benefited from the ability to work together on group projects and study together for the same exams. We have the advantage of already knowing each other's strengths and living in the same place, which enables us to coordinate on group work more effectively,” said Rebecca.

Another benefit: They had the same free time to do other things – together.

Posted June 03, 2016