By Jennifer Erb
2016-08-142016-09-01https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
Walt Stender didn’t imagine the career he has had when he was an undergraduate at WVU. In fact, Walt has had two unique careers. For the first 20 years of his career, Walt worked on a series of high profile leadership positions in major corporations.
Walt’s second career has been a series of senior executive positions in entrepreneurial businesses. He has worked in virtually every type of business including nano technologies, sensors, consumer products, defense products, medical devices, and telecommunications.
Walt comments that his IE background has given him the ability to transition from one type of industry to another. The challenge of going from a large business to a smaller one was more difficult. Transitioning to an entrepreneurial culture requires you to be careful as to the types and sophistication of operational processes that are used.
Walt’s career was shaped by an opportunity to lead his classmates in the Institute of Industrial Engineering as a senior at WVU. This was when he realized he had the ability to motivate others to achieve a goal.
“Fate will create opportunities that you need to take advantage of.”
Walt advises students to be careful in the guidance they receive from a first boss. As Walt says: “If you don’t have a boss that values analytics and facts, you should look for another boss/job.” Walt says that everything he does is guided by analysis generated from the models he learned as an undergraduate.
Walt attributes the ability to set priorities as being key to his career. “You have to learn how to focus on things that really matter.”
Walt also believes that the ability to bring together people to work toward a common purpose is critical. This requires people skills. Walt’s WVU background has been critical in this area because he came from an educational culture where classmates learned how to work together.
Walt advises students to take career risks: “Do the jobs that no one else wants to do.” “Fate will create opportunities that you need to take advantage of.”
To this day after a 40 year career, Walt is still taking classes. “Students need to realize that they can never stop learning,” Walt says.
Walt believes that the WVU IE program is one of the best educational programs available. “I graduated with a combination of people and analytical skills that are hard to find in degree programs today.”
Walter Stender is a results-driven executive with more than 20 years of diverse experience leading companies to success. In his career, he has experience in leadership for both entrepreneurial businesses and those that are well established. Walter’s experience in leading entrepreneurial businesses includes:
Earlier in Walter’s career, he had extensive experience with well-established companies:
Walter has an MBA from Pepperdine University in addition to his undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from WVU.