Our lives are becoming more dependent on technology, now more than ever before! In the workplace, demand has increased for tech-savvy employees who are able to adeptly solve business problems. The Kelley School of Business Master’s in Information Systems (MSIS) enables students to do just that: solve workplace challenges using technology and build on their undergraduate degree, regardless of their major.
Students have the opportunity to participate in a 12-week summer bridge program, or Jumpstart!, assuming they don’t already have any business or technology courses on their transcript. After the 12 weeks, they are ready to succeed in the MSIS program.
Kaitlyn Daanan, a May 2020 MSIS graduate, majored in neuroscience and had no prior experience with technology.
“For me personally, I was coming from a neuroscience background and was naturally interested in how the technology itself really reflects a lot of how the brain processes information,” said Daanan. “What I really think sets the program apart from others is that it really emphasized the idea of bringing different people from different backgrounds together and really wanting people to build from the ground up as opposed to having a background in it already.”
Fellow alumna Elizabeth Klinger came from a psychology background along with a marketing minor.
“While I liked my psychology classes, I really loved my business courses,” said Klinger. “The fact that a psychology major could walk into this program, with no prior technological or business experience, and come out in a year with a fabulous job was amazing to me.”
Klinger graduated from the program in just one year because she had prior internship experience during her time as an undergraduate student.
“I was pushed and stretched in ways that made me stronger and more knowledgeable across a variety of subjects, such as business, interpersonal skills, technology and career research, forcing me to think more creatively in my life within and beyond Kelley,” said Klinger.
Students can complete the program in one year like Klinger if they meet the requirement of prior related internship experience. If not, the program can also be completed in three semesters and include an internship.
Time spent in the internship is incredibly valuable. In addition to earning money through these paid internships for 3, 7, or 11-months, students get to go through fall recruiting a second time with relevant experience under their belt.
In fact, students who choose the 11-month internship can expect to walk out of the program with a job and extra money in their pocket.
Riley McGrath, who will graduate from MSIS in December 2020, secured a Digital Technology internship with GE Power for Summer 2020. This translated into a full-time offer to join the company in their Digital Technology Leadership Program following graduation.
“Employers nowadays are looking for applicants who come from a non-traditional background,” said McGrath. “While I admit I am not as technology savvy or business oriented as my peers, as a result of the MSIS program, I have learned that you don’t have to have a business or technological undergraduate degree to make an impact.”
With an undergraduate degree in human biology, a minor in psychology, and a business certificate, McGrath found herself on a pre-medical track, staring down the barrel of a multi-month MCAT study plan and didn’t necessarily want to be in school until she was 30 drowning in student loans.
“After spending time shadowing doctors in hospitals and observing surgeries, I found myself asking more and more questions about the technology side of medicine as opposed to the science side,” said McGrath. “So, I was in a place where I didn’t know what I was going to do with a human biology degree if I didn’t want to go to medical school, and that is how MSIS entered my life.”
97% of students receive job offers in their degree field, which means the program allows students to get the jobs they truly want.
“Each day as a consultant at IBM, I am responsible for listening to business problems and providing technological solutions,” said Klinger. “MSIS provided me with the toolkit to be successful in a realm .”
In addition to learning technical skills, students gain valuable soft skills that are crucial to being successful in the workplace.
“I learned how to interview with someone and how to present for businesses for the consulting side, so not only am I completely versed in a lot of different technologies, but it also helped me improve my people-to-people skills,” said Daanan.
Throughout the program, students learn to adapt and be flexible, but also receive support from faculty members, program directors, and even the office staff.
“One thing I definitely didn’t expect out of this program was how tight knit it was,” said Daanen. “It wasn’t hand holding, but you never felt that you we’re thrown out to the sea and on your own.”
“The adaptability and flexibility that I have learned as a result of this program cannot be understated,” said McGrath. “Those who are able to roll with the punches, have a positive attitude, and do the work that needs to be done will have countless opportunities offered to them if they choose to enroll in this prestigious program.”
For more information about the MSIS program, visit https://kelley.iu.edu/programs/ms-information-systems/index.cshtml.