MIT Sloan Executive Education innovation@work Blog

An interview with MIT Sloan Executive Certificate Holder Keith Patch

MIT Sloan Executive Certificate Holder Keith Patch

Executive Certificate holder Keith D. Patch is Principal of a technical and management consultancy that assists clients in early stage R&D, productization, operations, and cost savings. He holds four patents, two published patent applications, and has appeared in over 60 publications. Patch, who earned an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership, recently shared some thoughts about his experiences with MIT Sloan Executive Education programs, and how they have influenced both his professional and personal life.

Why did you choose MIT Sloan Executive Education for your professional education needs?
“I chose MIT Sloan Executive Education because as an alum of MIT (SB Chemical Engineering, SM Chemical Engineering Practice), I wanted to return to the place where world-class faculty would best help me sharpen and refine my professional skills at this stage of my career. I was certain that the challenge of the MIT Sloan classroom experience, coupled with the intellectual insights gained, would lead to personal growth and professional transformation. MIT Sloan Executive Education presents the vanguard of innovation in science, business, and management. Yet, the information learned is immediately transferable and applicable in business. Indeed, my expectations were met and exceeded during each of my classes.”

What was it like coming back to campus as an alumnus?
“As I have lived and worked in the Boston area since graduation, I have taken advantage of my proximity to stop by and talk to professors, attend lectures at the Institute, etc. I expected this continued familiarity with MIT would make for an easy transition to being an executive education student. However, during my very first program, which focused on clean energy and entrepreneurial management, I went through the same 'drinking from a firehose' experience I had when I was a full-time undergraduate and graduate student. In brief, it was a challenge (as MIT always is). But it was a rich and gratifying challenge."

How have you applied what you learned during the courses back at the workplace?
“One specific example I can give is from the Creating High Velocity Organizations program. In class, I learned that in order to move an organization rapidly forward, and to prevent that organization from making (or repeating) mistakes, you must keep proper records of both successful and unsuccessful outcomes, and properly store and disseminate that information. Since that class, I have made a conscious effort to guide my consulting clients in this way, and help them put these processes in place. In return, they have appreciated the improved forward progress that emerges after implementing this approach.”

What are the key benefits you gathered from your executive education experience?
“The key benefit involves the myriad fact-based methods that I learned. Another benefit I experienced is the numerous, high-caliber networking contacts from around the world, with whom I have stayed in touch since the classes. I was impressed that the Clean Energy Ventures class also provided personal exposure to a number of energy startups in the greater Boston area. To this day, I remain in touch with some of the co-founders I met in that class.

In addition to the in-person networking, several classes offered private LinkedIn Groups. These groups have provided members the opportunity to continue communicating and collaborating in the months and years after the classes ended. This easy availability of virtual networking is very important to professionals, and a real added-valued component of the experience.”

What would you like potential participants to know about the MIT Sloan Executive Certificate experience?
“I especially like the way these programs allows participants to focus exactly on learning the specific skills they desire. In my case, rather than being required to take a dedicated set of classes to complete the Management and Leadership track, there was a wide menu of excellent, pertinent classes to choose from in the MIT Sloan program. I would heartily recommend MIT Sloan Executive Education courses to friends, colleagues, and associates. “Practical lessons for immediate, real-world applications” is not just an advertising catch phrase, but an honest summary of the executive education experience.

You can follow Patch’s blog, Fuel Cell Nation, which covers hydrogen, fuel cells, and other energy topics, including this post, which includes his thoughts after completing a program at MIT Sloan.

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