Santa Clara University

Eric Dong

MSIS 2008 : Product Manager Coventry Connect MSIS '08

Eric Dong knew that getting an MSIS degree from Santa Clara would change his resume, but he didn’t know how much it would change his life.

“I never expected that, but it actually changed who I am,” said Dong, a product manager at Coventry Workers Comp Services. “It’s given me a new confidence. I no longer have anything to prove to anybody. I know why I do things and I can clearly articulate my thinking.”

His work is a conduit between customers and the engineers who develop solution to customer needs and with other units within the company. The fact that he can handle marketing with the customer while understanding the technical needs of the engineers .

“The development team I work with loves me because I can champion their ideas,” he said. “I also have the technical background to call their bluff. To me, it’s always been about understanding and solving the real problems, not just creating a Band Aid.”

Dong chose Santa Clara because the MSIS program fit a gap in his experience.

“I’d identified product management as where I wanted to go, but the feedback was that I wasn’t technical enough, that I had the aptitude but it didn’t show up on paper,” recalled

Dong, who has an undergraduate degree in business administration from San Jose State University, and who was working as a marketing specialist at Varian Medical Systems.

His subsequent jobs have come through contacts he made at Santa Clara, which he maintains is one of the extracurricular benefits of the program. It’s important to him that other students have those opportunities, which is one reason he’s a member of the Alumni Council.

“I spend way too much time on campus considering I’m not in school any more,” he admits.”It’s important to me because Santa Clara gave me a lot and I want to help foster the alumni community.”

He credits the school’s humanistic approach to the most significant changes he’s experienced, things that don’t necessarily show up on a resume.

“It comes back to how you relate to the world as whole,” he said. “That may have a lot to do with the changes I experienced in the program. I was 31 when I started the program, but I was still a kid. I came out of it understanding that as an adult, I can shape how I want to be.”