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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

Shaun Robinson, MBA’01 Vice President-Product Management, AMX Robinson, a Dallas resident, has been at AMX since 2002, and in his current position for three years, where he leads the AMX Product Management team. He oversees 30 product lines spanning device control, user interfaces, digital media switching, IP content management, digital signage and enterprise asset management software. He says he’s “passionate about simplicity and creating great user experiences through the effective and innovative use of technology.” For the past several years, Robinson, who earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University, has received high praise from UT Dallas students and faculty as a volunteer mentor to current MBA students.
Robinson enjoying a surprise gift from his wife -- a recording session at Sun Studios in Memphis.
Robinson enjoying a surprise gift from his wife -- a recording session at Sun Studios in Memphis.
Tell us the highlights of your professional career. What are your proudest achievements?
The highlight of my professional career is leveraging the UT Dallas Full-Time MBA program to transition career paths into a job that I absolutely love. After being at AMX almost 13 years, I still get up every day looking forward to going into the office. When you do something you love doing, you never really work a day in your life. Because I’m happy and fulfilled at work, I’m a better husband and father at home.

My proudest achievements come through what my product management team is able to accomplish. Developing product managers and helping them create great products that solve real business problems, and making technology easier to install, use and maintain thus simplifying our customers’ lives, is what I am most proud of.
What brought you to UT Dallas?
I was in a startup for two years working long hours as an engineer without any significant growth opportunity. I was trying to figure out my next move. A good friend had recently graduated with an MBA from UT Dallas and highly recommended the program. I fondly remember him telling me how the telecom companies (such as the one he landed at) were giving signing bonuses that would practically repay the outlay of funds used for tuition. I then researched the Full-Time MBA program and decided to quit work and go back full time, a scary proposition for someone with a family. 

I graduated in December 2001, shortly after 9/11 and the bursting of the dot-com bubble. Needless to say, the telecom corridor had shut down hiring and it took eight months to land at AMX. I’m very happy to say that it worked out far better than I could ever have imagined, exceeding all of my goals for job satisfaction, salary and work-life balance.
What is your favorite UT Dallas memory?
I have to share two memories:

One of them has to be Halloween pumpkin carving with my fellow MBA students, the majority of them from other countries who had never done that before. It was a blast being able to share what is predominately a U.S. tradition with our international classmates, who really got into it and created some amazing jack-o-lanterns.

But the one that really stands out is working with my Full-Time MBA project group in my first semester for an organizational behavior class where we did mock face-to-face interviewing and firing scenarios. I know it sounds crazy, but I never laughed so hard in my life. I guess it was the lack of sleep and all the stress we were under, but my fellow group-mates Patrick Toma and Susan Bright kept me in stitches for most of that exercise. That was a lot of fun.
Who was your favorite professor and/or what was your favorite class and why?
Definitely Dr. Ram Rao and Introduction to Marketing in my first semester. Although a painful and stressful class at the time, Dr. Rao’s class helped me, most importantly, transition from an engineering to a business mindset. It made me realize that the world is not black and white, that you can’t solve every problem with an equation, but you still have to make a decision using the information available to you. Looking back, I realize that was the turning point for me.  
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Playing blues guitar and spending time with my family.
What advice do you have for current students hoping to succeed in the business world?
Do what you love, not what you believe will make you the most money. Believe me, if you focus on working in an area of your passion, you will pour yourself into it, will get good at it, and as a result, the money comes. Life is way too short to spend the majority of it not being happy.
What makes an effective leader?
I’m a huge proponent of Marcus Buckingham’s definition of effective leadership in his book, The One Thing You Need to Know. He says a leader is one who provides extreme clarity of vision, one who can inspire but at the same time articulate in great detail who we serve, how we will win, how we will measure success and what our next steps are to move forward. When leading those who are passionate about what they do, having an articulated vision and strategy will help the entire organization work together and move in the same direction effectively. People want to be inspired and they have a deep need for clarity.