Karthik Chandrasekaran shares his thoughts on the MIS programme at the University of South Florida.
“One small step but a giant leap of faith” — these were the exact words that resonated in my head as I set foot on American soil a year back to pursue my Master’s. I had this dream since my undergraduate days, but was yet to discover my area of interest.
Subsequently, my work experience with leading Information Technology service providers equipped me with solid technical knowledge that laid the foundation for my master’s study.
After meticulous survey of courses and universities, I decided to enrol in the Management Information Systems (MIS) programme at the University of South Florida (USF).
USF is a leading public research university located in the scenic city of Tampa. It offers world class research labs, well-equipped gymnasium and a vibrant campus life with multitude of activities happening all year-round.
One such event that I participated in was the ‘Parade of Flags’ where international students march around the campus carrying the flags of their home countries.
The USF MIS is an industry oriented master’s degree that provides a holistic understanding of aligning Information Technology with business strategy.
The MIS programme also offers a specialised track focusing on ‘Analytics and Business Intelligence’. Students who choose this track are awarded a certificate from a prominent analytics company in addition to their master’s degree.
The MIS department is well known for its generous scholarship to deserving candidates. (I was awarded a tuition fee waiver and a paid stipend as part of my Graduate Assistantship).
The MIS program is flexible and allowed me to take additional courses and complete my master’s degree within a year.
As part of course-work, I participated in exciting projects such as ‘The Great Mind Challenge’ and ‘Online Marketing Challenge’. I was part of a team that was sponsored by the MIS department to participate in the ‘Case Competition’ held at Texas. These activities honed my analytical, management, leadership and problem solving skills.
During my time at USF, I was fortunate to meet eminent personalities like Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Mr. N.R Narayana Murthy and Mr. Robert B. Carter.
My master’s study at USF has been both a challenging and a rewarding experience. It taught me to think critically and act decisively.
It took me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to exhibit my potential. More than the education it has been a life experience — learning from renowned professors, taking part in co-curricular activities, managing study and part time work.
Looking back, I will always cherish that moment in time, when I waltzed onto the podium to receive my graduation honours with a GPA of 4.0. In the end, my leap of faith has been completely justified.
The writer has Master’s degree in MIS from the University of South Florida.