Written by Likith Parameswaran, MS MIS ‘22:
Hi, I’m Likith Parameswaran, a candidate of the MS in MIS Class of 2022. I joined UB during the Fall semester and my experience so far has been exhilarating—everything was different, everything was exciting and, most of all, everything was new and it was a huge learning curve. While I learned a multitude of things about many interesting topics in the technology space at UB, I also had several opportunities to self-reflect. I believe this has helped emerge as a more resilient and well-rounded version of myself.
Below are 5 things I learned about myself during my first semester as a student at UB:
1. Discovered what I’m passionate about.
I’ve become much surer of what I’m passionate about. The thing about being a graduate student is nobody is forcing me to be here, I’m here because I want to be. I quickly learned what drives me and what doesn’t get me out of my bed in the morning!
The things I expected to find interesting in my coursework did not turn out that way, and sometimes I was surprised at the areas that ended up enthralling me. In addition, UB has a plethora of student clubs and organizations fuelling almost any topic of interest. There I converse with like-minded people, explore different cultures, work or develop my interests and have learnings and fun along the way.
2. Learned to embrace change.
Resilience is key to being adaptive and able to manage change. As an international student, I was bound to experience several changes. For example, moving to a new country and to suddenly be surrounded by different cultures and perspectives came as a shock to me. Sometimes I found it challenging to choose my electives with my mind swaying across different choices as I sought advice and conversed with different groups of people. Things did not always go as planned, so I had to pick myself up, and face a few rejections before I got to the right place. Over time, I became comfortable with changing my mind in order to make decisions that I felt were in my best interest.
3. Realized that confidence comes from within.
It was important for me to consciously spend enough time focusing on myself because it was very easy to get carried away with everyone doing everything all the time. While I had made great friends who had my back when I needed them the most, it was important for me to remind myself that I’m just as talented, I’m just as smart and funny as anybody out there. When I began to build confidence from within, I started noticing the change in myself. Basically, it was important for me to be there for myself first and it’s all about the mindset!
4. Found out what I like about myself.
Whether working on an individual project or commuting to class or doing my household chores, I was spending more time by myself. While exploring my interests and abilities, I had the chance to rediscover myself like never before. I saw this as a great opportunity to grow into my own skin, to be independent and scale myself where required to become the person I want to be. I also spent time with Bridges Buffalo, a UB Club, where I hang out with students from other countries. I spend time learning about them and their cultures and having fun together by playing games, going out on short trips and exploring common interests.
5. Discovered how strong and capable I am.
Not every day was a great day, whether it was waking up late for a seminar, or working on my very first student job. I had to be a superhuman to survive my first semester abroad without anything going wrong which, of course, I’m not, so a lot of things did go wrong. No amount of planning or organizing could predict what may not go according to the plan. When things did go wrong, I did not panic, but instead took a moment to consider my next move and build a correction path. It was frustrating but it is all part of the study abroad experience, that allowed me to become a self-sufficient problem solver. I never knew what I was capable of until I was tested, and sometimes I surprised myself with hidden talents and abilities, and sometimes those trying times were the most rewarding.
BIO – Likith is an international student from Bangalore, India. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 2018 with majors in Electronics and Communication Engineering. He worked for Dell Technologies, specializing in Enterprise Data Center Infrastructure, from the Edge to the Cloud, enabling customers in their digital transformation journey.
Likith is passionate about technology and welcomes conversations around new technologies, innovative products and enjoys the creativity aspect of planning the various components of a system and its features. He is currently pursuing MS in Management Information Systems from University at Buffalo to build his leadership and product management skills and seeks to advance in his career as a product manager. Besides school and work, he loves travelling, exploring new places, culture, cuisines and actively involves himself in extreme adventure activities including bungee jumping, scuba diving, high-altitude treks, skydiving, etc.