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Patrick Quirk

Patrick Quirk

Vanderbilt Executive MBA 2009

Senior Director of Embedded Firmware at Emerson Network Power (Avocent), Emerson Network Power (Avocent), Op4G, Integr8 Networks, LLC


Adding Tools for Technology

With Enhanced Skills, Quirk Became Full-Time Entrepreneur


With more than 20 years in telecommunications, networking and semiconductors, Patrick Quirk's experience ranged from early-stage startups to Fortune 100 companies—most recently in Ireland as general manager of European engineering operations for LSI.

But as an engineer by background, Patrick saw gaps in his knowledge of finance, accounting and strategy—gaps he needed to fill both to handle his steadily increasing responsibilities and equip himself for new ones. The Vanderbilt Executive MBA, which he chose primarily for its strong reputation in all three areas, required a challenging balance between work, school and family. One solution involved joint study time with his sons as they all did their homework together.

Along with the skills he sought, Patrick says he gained the leadership and analysis tools to guide decision making. Those skills played a role in another big decision, too. In 2003, he had formed a side business, Integr8 Networks, to help clients incorporate connectivity and networking into their products. During his first year in the EMBA program, Patrick left LSI to focus on transforming his company from consulting to technology development. "My time at Owen," he says, "empowered me to see beyond the information and discover the trends, enabling me to shape my world rather than be shaped by it."