Alumni Spotlight: The Power of Two: Nick and Dylan Buczek, IE 2014
Nick and Dylan Buczek have been together their whole life, as best friends and biggest supporters of one another. No surprise, being that they are twins. The powerful pair both studied supply chain engineering at ISyE and post-graduation are beginning their careers at Johnson & Johnson, albeit in different states.
Their most recent accolade was the ISyE Alpha Pi Mu Academic Excellence Award for their GPA, and rigor of curriculum and research. The award was presented by ISyE Professor Dave Goldsman who has witnessed their inseparable bond. He says, “Their close relationship as twins is a pleasure to observe – they often finish each other’s sentences as well as challenge one another on academic, political and other issues.”
From playing significant roles on their senior design team last semester where they were finalists and winners of the Southeastern IIE Student Technical Paper Competition, to both leading a public speaking club for Georgia Tech students, it is clear that this duo will be doing big things in the future. We were able to talk to the two about their time at ISyE and what lies ahead for them.
What motivated you to become an industrial engineer? Were you always interested in ISyE?
Dylan: Originally, I enrolled into Georgia Tech as a BMED major. I changed to an ME major, before ultimately deciding to be an ISyE major. I became interested in industrial engineering because I like how it is a hybrid of technical and business acumen.
Nick: I was looking for a major in which I could combine my passion for data analytics and business. I found that ISyE allowed for just that after I attended Freshmen Orientation for ISyE and heard Dr. Chen Zhou's presentation about industrial engineering. As a high school student in California, I originally applied to Georgia Tech as an applied mathematics major and was going to double major in business.
What was it like to go through this program together as twin brothers and now classmates? What is it like to be twins going through the same academic program at the same time?
Dylan: I really enjoyed having gone through the program with Nicholas. I believe we had around 20 of the courses together, so it was nice to have a majority of the program with each other. I always felt like I had a “study buddy” in my course with Nick, and would trust his input with any questions I had on the course material.
Nick: It was awesome. I believe in the majority of our ISyE courses we were enrolled in the same class times, so outside of class it was nice to be on the same schedule. One benefit that comes to mind in going through the same classes together is that we were able to study/do homework together.
Do you compete or complement each other?
Dylan: I like to think that we complement each other.
Nick: I'd say complement. We both have different strengths and may thus approach problems from different perspectives.
Studies have shown that twins usually think alike; do you find this to be true with both of you?
Dylan: I think that our mindsets are similar yet different. It is similar in that we have similar aspirations and motivation. However, it is different in that Nicholas tends to think in the “big picture”, while I think in terms of the “specific details”.
Nick: Growing up, we were always together. Thus, I think personality and interests we tend to be similar. However, in terms of problem solving, we approach problems with different perspectives.
Can you tell us about the public speaking club you led for GT Tech students? Why do you think this is important to be a part of?
Dylan: The goal of the Public Speaking Club is to provide a positive informal setting for peers to learn many essential elements of public speaking such as volume, eye contact, hand gestures, and body movement, etc. Over the years, I have seen many undergraduate and graduate students greatly improve and develop confidence in public speaking from partaken in this club. I feel that developing this skill is important because in the business world, effective communication skills are highly desired.
Nick: When Dylan and I were part of the public speaking club, what we enjoyed most about it was in seeing individuals have a growth in confidence. Thus, I feel like the most important thing is not the "little pieces" of advice for how to improve a speech. I believe it is more than that; I think the importance of the organization is thus the confidence it helps individuals grow so that the next time a presentation opportunity arises, he or she will be looking forward to it.
Have you had a dream come true while at ISyE?
Dylan: I am really appreciative at everything the ISyE program has offered to me in my 4.5 years. Through my three internships with General Motors, General Electric, and Johnson & Johnson, I got to learn about different industries and see different parts of the United States (Michigan, Arizona, New Jersey). Also, I am a glad to have done the GT Lorraine program where I got to visit 17 cities and 7 countries through Europe.
Nick: Looking back at my 4.5 years at Georgia Tech, I am grateful for the opportunities it has allowed for me to travel throughout the world. Through Georgia Tech, I've been able to have internship experiences in Alaska with BP, New Jersey with Johnson & Johnson, and Kentucky with Toyota. Also was able to spend a summer in Europe through the GT Lorraine Study Abroad program.
What can you attribute your academic success to?
Dylan: Showing up to a professor’s office hours with prepared questions. After each class, I would review and rewrite my notes from the lecture, and if I didn’t understand something, I would reach out to the professor. By doing this consistently, I felt that I never really fell behind in the course.
Nick: Hard work ethic is one aspect. I've also been lucky to have great professors who were more than happy to answer any questions I'd have in office hours and emails.
What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
Dylan: I would say my smartphone. I like to always be reachable, and have access to instant information.
Nick: Cell phone. Post college, it has been even more important, as it is allows for me to keep in touch with my buddies.
What are three traits you would use to describe each other?
Dylan: I would say that Nicholas is loyal, caring, and hardworking. I know that Nicholas always “got my back” and has my best interests in mind.
Nick: Diligent, loyal, and well-rounded.
Do you feel anything will change when you start work at Johnson & Johnson, since you’ve spent most of your life together?
Dylan: So far in the four months we have been working with Johnson and Johnson, I would say that things really haven’t changed. During the weekdays, I am so focused on my work that it doesn’t really hit me that we are separated from each other. We have been separated before during past internships, so we have been through this before. Fortunately, we are only two hours away from each other - I am in Pennsylvania, while Nick is in New Jersey - so we try to see each other every other weekend.
Nick: In the past four months since we have started work, not much has changed. We typically see each other every other weekend, and sight-see around the Northeast. During the weekdays, work has been quite busy so I haven't really thought about it much during the weekdays. The times that we get to see each other we make the most of it, and it is just like our old days before college and Georgia Tech. Most of our buddies are in Atlanta, but we are lucky to have one in New York who we are looking forward to continue spending time with them.
What do you do for fun?
Dylan: For fun, I like playing sports, lifting weights, traveling, and reading.
Nick: I like to play sports (basketball and baseball), travel, and root on my New York Yankees!