Master's degree a perfect fit

Feb 13, 2004

Pamela Mader, plant manager at General Motors Morraine Assembly Plant in Ohio, is a classic example of a Kettering/GM-TEP master's degree candidate. In addition to her demanding career she has five-year-old twins (a boy and a girl) at home, who "help her study" by going to bed on time.

Pamela Mader, plant manager at General Motors Morraine Assembly Plant in Ohio, is a classic example of a Kettering/GM-TEP master's degree candidate. In addition to her demanding career she has five-year-old twins (a boy and a girl) at home, who "help her study" by going to bed on time.

Mader chose the GM-TEP Master of Science in Manufacturing Operations degree program through Kettering because "compared to other executive MBA programs, TEP offers tremendous flexibility around scheduling the workload of courses with other requirements of career and family," she said.

Not only has the program flexed around her schedule, it's also relevant to her professionally. "I have found the professors to be knowledgeable and cover cutting edge topics. The courses have been enlightening, and personally, since I am a plant manager and mother of 5-year-old twins, I've found this approach works very well," said Mader. "This program allows me to multi-task and complete the work, for the most part, as much as practicable on my timetable." She expects to complete her degree in 2006.

The most surprising element of the TEP program, for Mader, was how relevant the topics covered in class are. She has been able to apply the principles she learns and incorporate them into improvement realized on the job. "Since GM is a company that embraces life-long learning, this program has really helped me stay abreast of other successful companies' business models and practices," Mader said.

About her role as a woman plant manager in a predominantly male profession Mader said she just focuses on doing the job and developing and supporting her employees. " I know, at times, however, having a female perspective on the business helps to link my actions with the desires of our female customers," she said.

Mader received her bachelor's degree from Purdue University School of Technology. She grew up on a farm in Craigville, Ind., approximately 25 miles south of Fort Wayne. She currently lives in Centerville, Ohio with her family.