How a Summer Start Set Me Up for Success in the MS in MIS Program

Written by: Shashank Shivananda, MS in MIS ’24 

As I embarked on my journey towards a Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MS in MIS) at the University at Buffalo, I couldn’t help but feel a mix of excitement and anticipation. The prospect of delving into the world of information systems, data analytics and business management was exhilarating. Little did I know that my first semester would prove to be a transformative experience, both academically and personally.  

The program started in July, also known as “summer semester one” and was a unique aspect of the program because it gave me the opportunity to begin my studies during the summer season. My schedule for the summer semester included two core subjects: Database Management Systems (DMBS) and Systems Analysis and Design.

  • Database Management Systems (DMBS): DMBS is one of the foundational courses of the MS in MIS program. It focuses on the principles and practices of database management, a crucial skill in today’s data-driven world. The course provides a comprehensive understanding of database design, implementation and management. The professor’s expertise in the field was evident as we delved into topics like relational databases, SQL queries and normalization. Hands-on assignments and projects allowed us to apply theoretical knowledge to practical scenarios. I vividly remember designing complex databases for imaginary organizations, each project more intricate than the last. 
  • Systems Analysis and Design: Complementing DMBS was the Systems Analysis and Design course. It introduced us to the methodologies and techniques required for analyzing, designing and implementing information systems. This subject proved to be instrumental in bridging the gap between technology and business. We began a journey to understand the intricacies of gathering and documenting system requirements. Through group projects, I honed my communication and collaboration skills, learning to work effectively with diverse teams. What truly stood out during this course was the emphasis on real-world applicability. Our professor shared personal experiences and case studies that showcased how the concepts we were learning were being implemented in organizations across various industries. It was enlightening to see how theory translated into practice. 

The Challenges and Triumphs 

The summer semester was not without its challenges. Balancing coursework, assignments, and project deadlines in an accelerated timeframe required disciplined time management. There were moments when I felt overwhelmed, but the support of my professors and peers proved invaluable. We formed study groups, shared resources, and motivated each other to stay on track.  

One of the highlights of my first semester was the sense of camaraderie that developed among my classmates. We came from diverse backgrounds and cultures, each bringing a unique perspective to the table. Collaborative learning became a cornerstone of our MS in MIS program. 

Looking Ahead 

As the summer semester concluded, I reflected on the knowledge gained and the personal growth experienced during those few intense weeks. My first semester at UB set the stage for an exciting academic adventure. With a supportive academic community, dedicated professors, and a diverse cohort of peers by my side, I was ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.  

My first semester ignited a passion for leveraging information systems to drive business success, and I am determined to make the most of this transformative journey. 

Shashank is originally from Bengaluru, India. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering and a master’s degree in Information Technology. His professional journey includes working as a developer at Philips R&D. In his early years, he actively volunteered as a Student Placement Coordinator, collaborating closely with hiring HR professionals and the CRC department. He also took on the role of an event coordinator, organizing efforts to provide mid-day meals for school children. Shashank’s passion lies in technology, and he is committed to continuous learning, engaging in new knowledge daily. His decision to pursue the MIS program at UB is fueled by his desire to transition from a technical role to a managerial one. The program’s unique blend of management and technology aligns perfectly with his goals.

Photo credit: Tom Wolf

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