My undergraduate degree is in Arts Management from the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Although I took some Kelley business classes, I had little to no experience in IT prior to joining the program; my work experiences were in music management, music publicity, and event management.
But I was inspired because I knew the MSIS program was going to shape and prepare me for a wide range of roles and positions in the business world.
When I took time to really think about the usefulness of this type of degree, I remembered that IT is involved (whether strategically or operationally) with every industry and sector, and therefore, a degree in Business and IT would make me more valuable to a more broad range of businesses.
I became more convinced to make the decision after talking to my brother (an MSIS alum) and Professor/Chair Bipin Prabhakar about the placement rate and specific concentration offerings.
I liked that I was able to choose the concentration that I felt best suited me and that my chances of having full-time employment upon graduation were almost guaranteed (given I put in sufficient academic and networking effort).
I have the utmost respect for the program because they consider intelligent and unique individuals; they take into account character in addition to academic prowess. I was given an opportunity to interview for the program without any IT experience or knowledge, and I was encouraged to join because of my differences.
Of course, I was worried about how I would keep up with fellow students with more technical experience than I had, but many program representatives reassured me that I would be provided an opportunity to learn all topics and concepts needed either in the classroom or from fellow students.
Looking back now, they were completely correct; I not only was able to learn a great amount of information in a short amount of time to “catch up,” and even excel, but I was also able to apply lessons I’ve learned from my previous experiences in the classroom and share my unique knowledge and skill set with other students.
Once officially accepted into the MSIS program, I chose to take on the Analytics concentration, a dual concentration with Business Intelligence, with an additional 4.5 credits in Multivariate Statistics over the summer. Although the initial summer semester was challenging because I had little statistics background, I was able to learn how to program in an advanced data analytics tool and apply predictive analytics to a real case.
Also, I was able to start the MSIS experience early on, which made Fall Core less nerve-wracking. The structure of the program is outstanding; I couldn’t imagine what my graduate academic experience would have been like if I had not gone through Fall Core. The Integrated Core is strategically designed to prepare students for the working world in various ways, from IS/Business concepts to very real lessons in time management and teamwork. The core shapes your way of thinking, of approaching an assignment/project, and of interacting with others on a professional level.
One extra perk of the program is something I did not expect. I did not realize how much exposure I would have to high-level executives and professionals (partners, senior managers, CFO, etc) from major companies. It is one thing to hear lessons and words of wisdom from professors (who are accomplished businessmen & women themselves), and it was another to hear it from EY, Deloitte, and PwC.
As someone who struggled initially to make a decision of joining the program, I whole-heartedly recommend this program to any driven individual. The program offers endless opportunities to students that come in various shapes and forms; as long as you’re willing to work for it, your future can only get brighter.