Interview with Nitish Kulkarni, April 2015 MSIS Graduate
Tell us about your experiences here.
When I arrived to EMU, it was confusing, and I had no clue what was going on! With help of the staff in the Graduate Programs Office I was able to get going. The first semester was challenging, and it was difficult to adjust to the culture. I had a goal of finishing as quickly as possible as I had 60 credits to complete [Nitish came to EMU as a Bridge student, having earned a three-year Bachelor’s degree rather than four.] My second semester was better.
In Summer 2014 I had three graduate courses, and two undergraduate courses, and I was attending both EMU and at WCC! Then in Fall I had 12 credits which was four MSIS core courses. Also for Fall semester I got offers for an internship as well as a GA position – both offers came on the same day, so that was a big dilemma! Krista [Mort, CIS Department Secretary] helped me make the decision which was to take the internship. So I was working 40 hours a week at Quicken Loans, as well as taking classes. Most days I would leave home at 5:30am and get back at 10:30 at night. By far it was my most challenging semester, but was my best semester! I did it – I “held onto the bars” -- all by God’s grace. This Winter I had only 3 subjects to complete, so it was more manageable.
Did you have a favorite professor and why?
Dr. Mrdalj was my favorite professor. Students had to follow his rules. When I turned in an assignment, changes were always made. He challenged us as students. He has perfected the amount of knowledge he has and how he shares it.
What was the most useful course for you?
IS 614 Systems Analysis & Design, which is about the complete designing of systems and was one time when I had Professor Mrdalj. This was a brand new subject for me, so it was hard. Professor Mrdalj has always been very supportive to students when it comes to sharing of knowledge. Today I can proudly say that I can design a diagrammatic form of a system and present it to the stakeholders in the company. I was very glad that I got a chance to take a class under him and I would recommend him to other students.
What advice would you give to anyone considering to come to EMU from your home town?
I’m from Belgaum [in India]. I was the first student from there, then there were three more, and then another four came, all on my recommendation. I had applied to eight schools, but only EMU accepted me because of my three-year Bachelor’s degree, so I was grateful. I tell my juniors [undergraduate students] that EMU offers a great platform. The curriculum here is different: a balance of management and technology. This was especially true in IS 625 (Project & Risk Management), 637 (Information Systems Audit), and 650 (Enterprise Resource Planning). These are the best “technomanagement” courses: managing your work through the use of technology. I advise any future student to come and experience this program; they will definitely benefit.
Will you maintain a relationship with EMU and the College of Business after you have left?
For sure. I will register into the Alumni Association. I will continue to tell my juniors they should come to EMU. The program is very flexible, and the curriculum is strong. There are people here who support students. And international students are able to find jobs on campus and that’s important.
Nitish Kulkarni has since been hired by DuPont Pioneer in Des Moines, IA, as a Business Systems Analyst.