Naveen Jindal School of Management Alumni Spotlight

From real estate to healthcare management, to information technology and finance, we are proud to shine a spotlight on some of our alumni whose career paths are representative of the many employment options to which a degree from the Naveen Jindal School of Management can lead. With more than 29,000 alumni, the Jindal School is impacting the culture of business in the U.S. and beyond.

The following JSOM graduates agreed to have their information posted. If you are an alumnus and willing to share your information, please contact Caroline Mandel, Assistant Director, Development Communications and Donor Relations.

Steven P. Nelson, MBA’89 Director, Ecosystem and Marketing Platforms
Freescale Semiconductor
When Steve entered the Jindal School’s MBA Program, he decided to stray from his engineering background and pursue a concentration in marketing. That unlikely decision uncovered a new passion and ultimately shifted his career path. Today he serves as the director of marketing for a leading electronics manufacturer based in Austin, Texas, a position that combines his engineering knowledge and marketing expertise. Nelson’s Jindal School experience demonstrates that taking a course outside one’s comfort zone not only broadens knowledge but could also reveal a hidden interest.
Electronics and racing, a great combination.
Tell us a few highlights of your professional career.
What I have enjoyed the most about my career have been the opportunities to work within different industries and with so many great people around the world. Specifically, the electronics industry has provided the opportunity to work in a global environment and see so many wonderful things that the world has to offer. It has also been fun to work in different departments, all within the industry, such as marketing, sales and general management.
What brought you to UT Dallas?
UT Dallas was a good fit for me because it offered the graduate program I was interested in and provided the flexibility I needed for both my work and travel schedule.
What is your favorite UT Dallas memory?
In the late 1980s, Dallas was booming, and I was in class with so many smart and energetic people who were also working full time. I had the opportunity to learn about a wide range of businesses, including Texas Instruments, JCPenney, Electronic Data Systems [now Hewlett-Packard], Frito-Lay and all the Telecom Corridor companies. I also remember lots of late nights and weekend study groups too. Of course my favorite memory was graduating after three years. I even got married during this time and still completed my degree.
Who was your favorite professor, and/or what was your favorite class, and why?
When I began the MBA program, I assumed a finance concentration would be a natural fit since my undergraduate degree is in engineering and finance courses would focus on numbers. So it was a real surprise how much I enjoyed the marketing classes.  My favorite professor had a PhD in psychology and had previously worked at Miller Brewing Company [now MillerCoors]. In his class we read a lot of case studies on the beer industry. The professor really emphasized the psychological and emotional side of marketing, which I found very interesting.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Now that both of my children are in college, my wife and I have a lot of free time to spend with each other. I do enjoy traveling and playing golf.
What advice do you have for current students hoping to succeed in the business world?
Try as many things as you can. Look for opportunities to work in different areas so you can learn what makes different businesses successful. A career is not a straight path but something that weaves around in unexpected ways.
What makes an effective leader?
Be engaged and lead by example. Through your actions show that you are committed to working side by side with your team and are equally invested in their success.