Interview with Nitish Kulkarni, April 2015 Graduate
Tell us about your experiences here.
When I arrived at EMU, it was confusing! 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, two undergraduate courses and I was attending both EMU and 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 5:30 a.m. and get back at 10:30 at night. By far it was my most challenging semester but it was my best semester! I did it all by God's grace. This winter I had only three 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 and shares it.
What was the most useful course for you?
IS 614 Systems Analysis and Design, which is about the complete designing of systems. This was a brand new subject for me so it was hard. Professor Mrdalj has always been very supportive when it comes to sharing knowledge. Today, I can proudly say 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 from him and I would recommend him to other students.
What advice would you give to anyone considering EMU from your hometown?
I'm from Belgaum [in India]. I was the first student from there, then there were three more and then four more. They all came 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 and 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 students 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 with 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.
Since leaving EMU, Nitish Kulkarni has been hired by DuPont Pioneer in Des Moines, IA as a business systems analyst.