Ory Huval was stuck.
He’d leveraged his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology into a project coordinator position with a global oilfield services company, but he wasn’t making the vertical moves he needed for personal and professional growth.
That changed when he enrolled in the online M.S. in Systems Technology program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
“I wanted to move up and I just didn't see a clear path,” he says. “Probably one year after I was in the graduate degree program, I was able to get a new position within the company.”
Growth on Your Terms
Huval’s daytime hours were booked between his full-time job and family, which continued to grow while he pursued his degree.
Although he had never taken online courses before enrolling the systems technology program, he says the format was ideal for his lifestyle.
“It was actually probably better for me because I had family and work,” he says. “It was really good for me to set aside time and just do it on my own pace."
Huval says the graduate-level coursework was manageable — even with a newborn — because he maintained a consistent schedule.
“I basically carved out time after work, typically at night, it was like an hour, two hours set aside just for schoolwork,” he says. “It was constant, every day, setting aside say 7-8 p.m. just trying to do schoolwork. Typically, weekends were kind of my break unless I really needed to get something done.”
Because he was already working in the field, Huval says he was able to apply what he learned in his experience to his coursework and concepts from his courses to his work.
“It was very practical, and you can apply it as you're learning it. It's real world scenarios, which you kind of go through with your technical jobs,” he says. “The path I took in my professional work life was really developed during that program, learning Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, project management.”
Huval says he earned additional certifications within the master’s program to reflect mastery of those business methodologies.
Developing those skills, Huval says, allowed him to perform at a higher level in his job as a continuous improvement manager at the same company where he worked while earning his degree.
Huval worked with executives, traveling to facilities worldwide to identify and improve upon processes for greater efficiency and profitability. He was even able to complete his thesis within the company.
Since completing his degree in 2016, Huval has transitioned to a new position as a regional quality manager with TEAM, Inc., an engineering and industrial services company.
“My current job has a lot to do with the continuous improvement side, but now it's more of the business side,” Huval says. “So not only continuous improvement, but also managing the quality team, the quality system, and client interactions, as well.”
The Business of Engineering
Huval’s interest in the business side of industry, engineering, and manufacturing began as an undergraduate with a business minor.
He was able to lean into that in his graduate coursework with electives offered through the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration as part of the M.S. in Systems Technology program. Students can take up to nine hours of business electives.
Huval recently enrolled in UL Lafayette’s MBA program online and says he was able to jump right into the accelerated coursework because of the foundational courses he took previously.
“That was a big benefit for me, too,” he says.
Huval was among the first graduates from the online Master of Science of System Technology program — the only program of its kind in the region. He says since that time, the program has become recognized in the industry.
"The classes were very practical to real-life situations. You still go through the theory, but there is more application to real-world scenarios that you would see,” Huval says. “That's what I loved the most about it.”
Develop the knowledge and skills you need to stand out and advance in manufacturing and engineering. Request information today about UL Lafayette’s M.S. in Systems Technology online degree program, offered through the College of Engineering.