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Meet the People of TI:GER: Iris Medina-Elston, Evening MBA ’25, Agile Coach, and Entrepreneur

To celebrate the 2024 TI:GER program graduates, we interviewed a few students to learn what attracted them to the program and what they learned.
Iris Medina-Elston

Iris Medina-Elston, Evening MBA ’25 and TI:GER alumnus

The TI:GER Program (Technology Innovation: Generating Economic Results) at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business merges classroom instruction, technology innovation projects, and practical, real-world experiences. It brings together MBA and Ph.D. students who collaborate in teams to develop their entrepreneurial ideas into impactful technology innovation projects.

Meet Iris Medina-Elston, an Evening MBA student, agile coach, and founder of Carter Wade, Inc.

What is your concentration? 

Strategy and Innovation and TI:GER.

How did you find out about the TI:GER program? 

I found out about the program from an email I received one day. It caught my attention because it highlighted the program's focus on technology innovation and entrepreneurship, which aligns perfectly with my interests and career goals.

What made you decide to enroll in the program?

I enrolled in the TI:GER program because of its unique approach to integrating classroom instruction with real-world technology innovation projects. The opportunity to work on interdisciplinary teams and transform entrepreneurial ideas into tangible projects was particularly appealing. Additionally, the program's emphasis on systematic innovation and the potential to build a robust professional network were key factors in my decision.

What were your major responsibilities when working on a TI:GER project? 

My responsibilities varied and were often split among team members to leverage our diverse skills and expertise. My roles included leading brainstorming sessions to develop innovative solutions, managing project timelines, and ensuring effective communication within the team. Over two semesters, we worked on a significant project involving extensive market research, including applying concepts we learned in the classes.

In our final semester, we were assigned to a real venture where we effectively "interned" and contributed to their strategic planning and operational needs. This involved conducting additional research, assisting with strategy development, and supporting various operational tasks as required by the venture.

In addition to team projects, I worked independently on my venture, Carter Wade, a sustainable handbag startup, applying the lessons and insights I gained from the program to launch my business. This dual experience of working on both team projects and my own venture provided a comprehensive understanding of applying innovative strategies in different contexts.

What do you consider to be your major takeaways from being in the program? 

The program taught me to navigate complex projects, manage conflicting priorities, and leverage diverse perspectives to achieve successful outcomes.

Additionally, mentorship, ongoing entrepreneurial advice, and support from Professor Jonathan Giuliano have been invaluable. His guidance significantly shaped my strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities. The insights from guest speakers over the three semesters further enriched my understanding and provided diverse perspectives on various industries and innovative practices.

The networking opportunities, the access to brilliant minds, and the practical knowledge and experience I gained have been the most significant takeaways. The support from the TI:GER community and the application of lessons to both team projects and my own venture have profoundly impacted my professional growth and entrepreneurial journey.

Can you describe how your experience might enhance your career after graduating? 

The experience I gained from TI:GER and graduating with an MBA next spring will enhance my career prospects in multiple ways. First, it has given me the skills and confidence to continue growing my venture. The program's emphasis on innovation and technology commercialization has been instrumental in shaping the direction of my business.

Additionally, the knowledge and experience I gained through the program will allow me to grow within my field of project management. I am considering transitioning into a different role that leverages my enhanced strategic thinking and innovation skills while continuing to grow Carter Wade.

While balancing both endeavors will undoubtedly be busy, I am passionate about what I do and excited about the future of Carter Wade. The ability to apply lessons from the program to both my entrepreneurial venture and my career in project management has opened new opportunities and pathways for professional growth and success.

Would you recommend the program to others? If so, why? 

I would highly recommend TI:GER to others, especially those with entrepreneurial aspirations or an interest in technology innovation. The program offers a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and practical application, providing students with the tools and experiences needed to succeed in their careers. The collaborative environment, access to a vast network of professionals, and the opportunity to work on real-world projects make it an invaluable experience for anyone looking to make a significant impact in their field.

Learn More: TI:GER Program

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