EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
BECOMING A SYSTEMS ENGINEERING MANAGER
Are your students interested in information technology, but also want to develop their people skills? Are they flexible and thrive in changing environments? Do they like to be in charge during group work in class? Are they good negotiators with promising analytical skills? If they also like to explore solutions to real-life problems, they might want to pursue a career as Systems Engineering Managers. People with this job title usually are the link between a technology company’s development and sales teams. They often think about long-term strategies for product development, based on customer input. Curious to hear from someone in the field? Meet Britta Weiss, a Systems Engineering Manager at Texas Instruments.
Find out about the key skills to become a Systems Engineering Manager in a technology company.
This skill helps you make the best possible decision on how to solve customer problems with the products your company can offer. People in this job quite often need to make decisions based on limited data. This skill helps them make predictions about future trends.
It is important to understand market trends because this job requires guiding the development team toward the next generation of marketable products. This also requires a solid understanding of the technology your company and its competitors offer.
In this job, it is essential not to cling to ideas or projects that are not delivering good results. The technology sector goes through frequent changes and people in this job must be able to adjust their strategies as new data becomes available.
This means not getting distracted, listening to understand the information given, and giving feedback on what you are hearing. “Active listening plays a big role in gathering information.” This applies to interactions with both customers and team members.
You need to know how to prioritize your tasks according to the strategy the team had agreed on. This often also includes delegating tasks, another important, related skill. You also need to surround yourself with team members who know how to manage their time.
This doesn’t just mean telling people what to do. It also means motivating team members and helping them grow professionally. Related to active listening, this means understanding what drives your team members.
Meet Britta Weiss, a Systems Engineering Manager at Texas Instruments
Britta Weiss is a Systems Engineering Manager at Texas Instruments (TI), a global company that produces semiconductors for industrial, automotive, personal electronics, communications equipment and enterprise systems. She has a B.Sc. in biomedical engineering and an M.Sc. in Information Technology. For her M.Sc., she studied at the University of Applied Sciences Mannheim (Germany) and the Universidade Tecnológica Federal in Paraná (Brazil). She says her time studying outside of her home country really helped her develop a stronger personality. She applied for a position at TI as a Systems Engineer because she wanted to combine her technical and personal skills. She now leads a team of System Engineers at the company’s facility in Freising, Germany.
In this 23rd episode of our STE(A)M IT CAREERS PODCAST, Rocío Benito from EUN spoke with Britta Weiss, a Systems Engineering Manager!
Britta Weiss explains what the main tasks of a Systems Engineering Manager are, and talks about her career, during which she has built up a lot of expertise in the semiconductor industry, which means she could now also work in any sector that uses semiconductors. Furthermore, she has developed very strong soft skills, such as communication and decision-making skills, which she could apply in many different industries if she were motivated to switch sectors. But she seems to be very happy with the job she has: “Every day can open a door to knowledge I didn’t have before, which is one of the things I find most thrilling about my job,” Weiss said. Listen to the whole podcast to find out more!
CC BY 4.0: all the materials and content presented on this STEM Job profile have been provided by STE(A)M IT, a project funded by the European Union’s ERASMUS+ programme project STE(A)M IT (Grant agreement 612845-EPP-1-2019-1- BE-EPPKA3-PI-FORWARD), coordinated by European Schoolnet (EUN).