Carnegie Mellon University

When Andrei Girenkov entered the MSIT-SE Distance Education program in 2006 he was a software engineer at Siemens Corporate Research. By the time he graduated three years later, he was working as a software developer at Direct Edge Stock Exchange where he quickly rose to become the manager of the department. He credits the MSE management and communications courses  for giving his career that initial boost and for helping him navigate a crucial pivot in his career.

The transition from the hands-on work of coding, which he still deeply enjoys, to managing other people was a challenge for him. “At first it was hard asking the line manager for a report. I don’t think the MSIT-SE program prepared me to be a manager right out of the box. But, it gave me something of greater value: it instilled in me an interest in people and how to effectively lead them, and equipped me with the skills to communicate with business users. All of which played a large part in my ability to succeed in that first management role and rise to the executive level.”

From Advice to the Past...

If Andrei could travel back in time and give his younger self advice, it would be to select a job opportunity that “allows you to do what you enjoy because you’ll spend a lot of time doing it.” And to take the time to understand the profit and cost drivers for your business. "These are the things that business leaders care about and make the work we do in technology meaningful, and become more important to understand and explain as you progress in your career."

To Shaping the Future

As the Chief Technology Officer at Greystar, Andrei believes it is important to help shape the next generation of software engineers. In addition to serving as an advisory board member for several universities, he currently sits on the MSE Alumni Advisory Board, and actively engages with students by providing real-world projects and summer internships, conducting mock interviews, and serving as a mentor. "I always volunteer for industry outreach. The student is the center of the universe. Everything else is secondary."