Why MIS is Your Product Management Power Move

Written by: Yashwanth Raj Penugonda, MS in MIS ’24

Aspiring to drive product strategy and innovation? A Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MS in MIS) degree can equip you with the diverse skills to excel as a product manager. 

Having been in the product trenches at a startup, I’ve personally witnessed how MIS builds proficiency across the core pillars of stellar product leadership. Read on for a look at how the MS in MIS program at the University at Buffalo cultivates versatile product management talent. 

From my experience as a product manager at an early-stage startup, I saw firsthand how Management Information Systems shapes one’s journey in product management. At the startup, it felt like I was helping build the company’s DNA, not just the product. That experience showed me the four pillars vital for stellar product management – all of which the UB MS in MIS program develops remarkably well.

  1. Technology: This backbone of any digital product was demystified for me through courses such as System Analysis and Design, Technology Innovation and Management, and Cloud Computing for Managers. Grasping tech nuances allows more informed choices and smooth communication with engineers, which is key for translating visions into real products. 
  1. Data: In today’s data-driven world, harnessing and presenting data is invaluable. Classes in Data Visualization, Data Warehousing, and Healthcare Analytics honed my skills here. I can now spot trends, risks, and opportunities to guide data-backed product evolution. 
  1. Design: Beyond functionality, a product’s user experience makes or breaks it. Prototyping in Digital Product Management and System Analysis taught me design basics for crafting seamless user journeys. Products should be functional and easy on the eyes! 
  1. Stakeholder Management: Likely the trickiest pillar, given the many people product managers juggle – from developers to customers. The MS in MIS program doesn’t just cover this in class but also trains you through group assignments with peers of diverse backgrounds. This level of collaboration is priceless for achieving stakeholder satisfaction. 

In essence, each pillar is integral for stellar product management. For me, UB’s MIS curriculum thoroughly embedded these pillars into my approach. The courses, projects, and ethos undoubtedly build robust product leadership skills. My MIS classmates will thrive as multifaceted product talent. If you seek to drive product innovation, let UB’s MS in MIS power your potential today. 

Bio: Yashwanth was born in the southern region of India, where he spent his early years immersed in the rich cultural traditions of his community. He later moved to the technology hub of Hyderabad, where he completed his schooling and cultivated his interest in engineering. Driven by a lifelong passion for technology, he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering. This built a strong foundation for his future career ambitions. After graduating, Yashwanth gained valuable experience at leading technology companies such as Tech Mahindra, HCL, and Robert Bosch. Working on critical projects helped him understand the nuances of delivering robust enterprise solutions. However, he soon realized his true calling was in solving ambiguous problems and shaping early-stage products. He pivoted into Product Management, joining an early-stage startup.  

At the startup, Yashwanth played a pivotal role in building both the product and the company from the ground up. He relished the thrill of launching innovative solutions and testing creative ideas. The scrappy environment unleashed his entrepreneurial spirit. He is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in Management Information Systems at the University at Buffalo. This advanced education is helping him gain valuable skills in data analytics, information systems, and business strategy. Upon graduation, Yashwanth aims to leverage his multifaceted experience and education to continue driving innovation at technology companies. Outside of his academic and professional pursuits, Yashwanth enjoys practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and playing table tennis. These hobbies provide a physical and mental balance to his demanding work. The competitive spirit and camaraderie keep him engaged and energized.

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