Grad school plans

29 01 2012

As many of you know, I have applied to grad school for Fall 2012. The programs that I am looking at all are related to Business and Technology:

Boston University:

Dual degree program, so I’d receive an MBA and a Masters in Information Systems (Definitely the most versatile degree to come out with, as both would be extremely helpful).

Carnegie Mellon University:

One is through the Tepper Business school — MBA, with concentration in Technology Leadership, and the other is more technical, through Heinz College — Masters in Information Systems Management with a concentration in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics.
The second, more technical degree, fits more in line with what I want to do right after graduate school. As a system administrator who works a lot with our storage systems, I know that data is growing tremendously, especially unstructured data. At Biola, we have a few storage systems, adding up to over 100TB of usable storage for the University. Wow. We aren’t even that large of a company. My future plan is to work in a Fortune 100 company and assist them with utilizing their data (via technology) to make strategic business decisions. I feel that this can be my strength, as I’m good on the business planning side and the understanding of technology. So the Business Intelligence and Data Analytics degree would be good for my 5 year plan.

My short-term career plan is to work as a Business Intelligence Agent or within an Operations Research team in a firm such as IBM or General Mills. These companies employ technology to successfully create products and serve their customers. In my role, I would implement processes that improve the productivity of the company by analyzing business data and current uses of technology within the business.
I aspire to gain more experience and understanding of how to effectively implement technology to resolve business issues. After attaining these skills, my long-term goal is to be a senior IT executive at a Fortune 500 company or the chief business strategist, specifically at an IT company. In either of these roles, my desire is to utilize technology to improve operational efficiency. I have chosen these specific career objectives because I thrive in situations where I resolve perplexing situations and because I love using technology to provide effective solutions and create value for the organization.

University of Rochester:

MBA program with a concentration in Computer and Information Systems.
I’ve been accepted already to this school! I was surprised to hear back so quickly (about 2.5 weeks!). I’ve been invited along with 25-30 other top applicants to compete for more scholarship during what they call “Scholarship Weekend”. I’ll be heading to Rochester, NY next weekend to visit the school and compete for more scholarship money! I’m excited to go, as it will really help me get a better feel of the school. While I’m there, I’ll also be driving down to Carnegie Mellon University (with my BFF Christie! so excited!) and doing an interview there! Yay. After CMU, I’ll be flying to Boston University to check out their campus and program. It will be a short trip, but I’m hoping that it will give me a better feel for which school I want to go to (as of now, I have only been accepted to Univ. of Rochester, so still waiting to hear before getting my hopes up about the other schools!).

University of California, Berkeley:

MBA More general program with less focus on technology, however there are lots of technology companies in the bay area, it would be a great location (much less cold!), and I know people up there (much less lonely).

An MBA will help me further on down the road, as it’s more general. However, I really enjoy the technical experience that I’ve had, so the technical programs really intrigue me. Maybe I can do the best of both worlds at Boston University and gain two degrees (although, the program is 84 units in 2 years! Yikes! I may die — although I like to work hard, and academia comes pretty easily to me.)

At church we’ve discussed the word “anticipant” before — it’s a mix between anticipating and expectant. I think this is my attitude currently. I’m excited to see where the Lord will take me this next year. If I go to the East Coast, it will be quite a change for me, wherever I am. All of those places look frigid in the winter. I’m reminded of how different my life will be on days like today, when I took a bike ride in 80 degree sunny SoCal with my shorts on. Next week in NY will be quite a change! ha!

So, if you think of me, pray for the Lord’s leading and guidance. If I get accepted to all 4 schools (5 programs), I am not sure which one I will choose! I’m pretty at peace, as I think this is this the next step that I’m supposed to take. I have been learning about taking risks; I normally like what is safe, and applying to top MBA programs is not safe! Following the Lord does not always seem safe either, but it is always good.




2 responses

29 01 2012

So excited for you Amanda! This is a fun time for you. I was just in Rochester in October for an old Biola room mates wedding. It’s beautiful up that way…but I just missed the snow! Pack warm dear friend! Can’t wait to hear how it goes 🙂


30 01 2012

Great! …just a thought, that picture of Rochester; that’s probably what it looks like in Summer. Better pack a parka! 😉

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