There are endless examples of techno-geeks and crude
businessmen who had the potential to turn the world around. They have brought
out numerous inventions, and crazy business strategies which have helped create
the world we live in now. However, they didn’t make fortune with just grey
cells or just profit margins. At some point, they had to depend on each other; publicity,
marketing and right timing was also key to their success and fame. Times have
changed, we have moved from manual to automation and it is very essential now,
to cope with the ever evolving technological advances and meet technical
demands of business world at the same time. Hence, a Master’s degree in
Management of Information Systems is need of the hour for me.

During my undergraduate degree in Information Science and
Engineering, several subjects caught my attention. One of the most exciting
topic was Information Systems which had concepts like Information Systems in
Business, Managerial challenges of IT, Trends in Information Systems,
Enterprise Business systems, and several others that made me realize the
importance of managing, technology and business and how they go hand in hand. Database Management Systems was another subject
that caught my attention. The concepts of Entity Relationship Model and SQL
programming intrigued me. Analysis and
Design of Algorithms was another area of my interest. Realizing their power
over software programs and their importance in any IT project made me see how good
architects can drive the success of any company in today’s world. My fascination
translated into an ‘A’ grade in this subject. In addition, I mastered web
programming, using PHP language

In my 4th semester, I
presented a paper on “Big Data Analytics for Agricultural Development in India”
in the 4th International Conference, ICACT (International Conference
on Advanced Communication Technology) – 2016, held at AMC College, Bangalore.
In my paper, I delved into prevailing agricultural conditions and various ways
in which Big Data can be used to increase overall produce. To prepare this, I
scoured numerous articles and interviewed farmers to understand their problems.
To combat threats of global warming that made seasons unpredictable and
compelled farmers to change the rotation cycle of growing their crops, I
proposed collating data from a large agricultural area, analyze the overall
weather conditions, and then decide upon the type of crops to be used in
rotational basis. The same principle can be used in collecting soil samples to
verify crop suitability. This was one of my most educative experiences. I
learnt a number of new concepts and unlearnt some. However, throughout the
process, one thing that I realized was that there is an abundance of
information out there, and huge data are being collated and analyzed from
various social websites. What the world lacks today is tools required to
analyze this huge influx of information. Things like Information resource
management and relational databases are far from known, let alone be available.
With the help of MIS courses that I learn at your esteemed institutions aided
by my technical acumen, I would like to propagate my ideas and bridge the gap
in technology and business. A course in Management of Information Systems can
aid me in developing just such ways and technologies.

To increase industry exposure
before pursuing higher studies, I did a product internship at We-Chat. During
the training, I learnt to collate data on app usage, analyze it, and recommend
improvements. I also learned to handle survey responses that consisted of large
amounts of incomprehensible information we took hours to clean. I created a
forum for all interns so that we could discuss our problems when trainers were
not available to guide us. I collated this information at the end of the day,
checked with the trainers, and reverted to the team with solutions.

In the final year, my project –
“Privacy Preserving Cipher Text Multi Sharing Control for Big Data Storage” –
was based on the idea of providing increased security and privacy for data
transmission across systems. In a team of four, we aimed to provide double
security to applications used in banks, security, and businesses having a high
demand for security. We encrypted the data twice and transmitted it from a hoax
server rather than disclosing the sender’s identity. I helped the team in
understanding the theoretical concepts behind the application and assisted them
with syntax corrections, maintaining projects reports, and presentations.

Encouraged by my ‘Information Systems’
teacher, I attended an Application Development Training program powered by
Microsoft partner EDUKINECT in 2014. After understanding Cloud Computing and
Mobile Apps concepts, I completed a project in ‘Web Designing using C#.’ Later,
in the summer of 2014-15, I attended SAP’s launch program seminar on SAP HANA
that also included product exhibitions and tech talks. This gave me another
golden opportunity to get closer with several successful organizations like
XBOX and SONY and how they use business strategies like pre-analysis of market
trend, market need for their launch product and techniques to cope with their
competitors. Just something to put me a step ahead in my career as Business Analyst.

In last semester, I presented a
technical paper titled ‘Budget-Driven Scheduling Algorithms for Batches of Map
Reduce Jobs in Heterogeneous Clouds.’ Scheduling Algorithms was something I had
learnt in my Operations Research course already. Now, I concentrated on
task-level scheduling algorithms with respect to budget and deadline
constraints for a batch of Map Reduce jobs on a series of heterogeneous
machines in cloud platform. The paper talks about heterogeneity that is based
on “pay-as-you-go” model where there are different charges depending upon the
services required. This presentation was a good way to delve deeper into cloud
computing techniques through literature survey of the latest IEEE papers.

Upon completion of my studies, I
joined Amazon from campus as an investigator in their TRMS (Transaction Risk
Management Systems) Department. I accepted this position for two reasons.
Firstly, I saw the learning potential this job offered. I investigate
fraudulent activities taking place on the platform and develop solutions for
the same in the form of algorithms. The quick decisions I take affect the
entire business. This challenging and interesting profile has expanded my
analytical and creative thinking that is imperative for success in graduate
school and beyond.

Secondly, this job brought
exposure to the working of an e-commerce giant. I was able to see how such
businesses harness the information systems like enterprise data management,
auditing of information systems aided with statistical tools like R, SQL and
Business Intelligence and Analytics tools like SAS and software packages like
SPSS Statistics to gain advantage in the market. In the past two years, I have
comprehended its actual model and developed several contacts within teams and
processes centered on information systems and management.

As part of a pilot team in the
Lexis-Nexis Bridger project, I prepared an SOP document for every investigator
to refer to in order to solve cases. Eventually, I also brought together an SOP
drafting committee where we documented our doubts with their respective
answers. The project gave me hands-on knowledge of Visual Basic and Excel
developer macros. I completed several small projects and created certain tools
for the benefit of the management as well. For example, I devised a reporting
tool wherein the investigators can feed their work and automatically save it in
a cloud repository that is updated regularly. These innovations earned me two
Electra Awards given to employees who deliver beyond their daily work metrics.

At Amazon, I have learnt that a
solution in IT world is one big code of programming language and often needs to
be built in parts that are integrated later. I have gained an understanding of
the problems companies face, client demands, and how simple yet creative
solutions can work wonders! At this juncture, I want to dive deep into the
subject of my interest – Information Systems – again so that I can start my
journey as a Business Analyst. An MS in MIS will be the best route to
strengthen my fundamentals (since my undergraduate major was different) while
acquiring specialized knowledge and internship opportunities in my
specialization area.

After completing my masters, I
would like to work in an IT company and use skills and knowledge that I gain
during my course and help them solve problems like planning and forecasting,
trend analysis, and cloud maintenance, developing and defining the business
trends to management and partner teams. Use my knowledge to model data and create
dashboards for data mining and business process management.

CMU is among the premier
institutes in the world and provides quality education that would set me way
ahead in my career in MIS. While browsing through the university website, I
found courses like Economic analysis, Financial Accounting, and technical subjects
like Database Management and Object Oriented Programming, which would provide
me with best of both the worlds and give me a hands on knowledge with
management as well as the technical aspect of a business. After gaining apt
knowledge and experience in this field, I would like to open a business or
small firm of my own, where I can use my potential and harness the power that
Information Systems hold. As I had stated previously, I would like propagate
the “techno-business” and help people understand their business, use strategies
and manage information systems to gain an edge in the market.

The 21 month track, Global MISM
degree would give me an exposure to multiple job markets and help carve a niche
for myself. Added to this the research being carried out would give me a chance
to delve deeper in the subject of my interest. In particular, Dr. Professor
Rahul Telang, whose area of specialization lies in the field of piracy and
information security. As we know, the world today is plagued by theft of
intellectual property and copyright infringement, and it’s become ever
imperative to protect our data and prevent further damage. Professor Telang,
through his project, IDEA – Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics –
researches how, though the recent technologies have provided new ways of
distribution in the Entertainment Industry, have also given rise to several
challenges like counterfeiting and aims to curb these malpractices and help industry
get rid of these problems. It would be an honor to work under him and contribute
to his ongoing research. Given a chance, I would like to provide more ideas and
under his guidance and the immense knowledge he possesses, I would be able to
bring them into reality, too.

With the knowledge that I gain at
the Carnegie Mellon University, and my perseverance and hard work, I wish to
unleash the power that Information Systems holds in the technological world. It
is a universe waiting to be uncovered and I want to be at the forefront of this
revolution.

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Hi!
I'm Erica!

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