Ben Webb, EG21, EG22

School: School of Engineering 

Degrees: Master of of Science in Innovation and Management (2021); Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (2022)

Geographical home: Reading, Massachusetts 

Spiritual home: With friends and family 

Why was the School of Engineering the right place for you? 

When I was looking for graduate programs, I knew that I wanted to expand my knowledge of engineering. I had earned a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and then worked in design engineering for four years. What really drew me to Tufts was the dual degree program: getting a master’s in innovation and management (MSIM) and engineering at the same time was exactly right for me. The MSIM program prepared me to bring new perspectives to my engineering classes, along with a bit more experience working with different types of design processes.  

What is the most important thing you’ll take with you on your career? 

In my Inventive Design class, we spent a lot of time working through critical race theory, tribal crit, and other social critical theories and talking about social movements like feminism and how those perspectives can be used to make sure that you are truly involving your customers in the design process. That was incredibly impactful. It expanded my perspective and dovetailed well with what I learned and loved from the business side of the MSIM program. Ultimately, it helped me understand how I’m going to work others into my design process going forward—especially people who don’t look, feel, or think the way that I do.  

The adjective that best describes you? 

Tenacious—but I wasn’t always like this. In undergrad and even while I was working, my objectives weren’t clear, which made it difficult for me to fully apply myself. In general, having a longer-term goal really crystallizes things for me, so coming in here knowing what I wanted to get out of the dual degree program allowed me to throw myself fully in, be dedicated, not give up. But it took a lot of personal development to get that.  

The best advice for people who aspire to do what you’re about to do? 

Have patience. Make sure you’re ready to apply yourself. What I’m about to do (I hope) is work at a startup, applying what I’ve learned from both of these degrees. I was not ready to do that before. If I had come to Tufts straight from undergrad, I would not have been able to get the most out of it. But having taken time to work, I came in knowing more specifically what I wanted to get out of it, and that made all the difference. 

This profile originally appeared as part of the series “Profiles in Inspiration: Commencement 2022 Spotlights."

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