Saint Mary’s Univer­sity Sci­ence

With the proper sup­port, you can do any­thing

The Coast - Career Minded - - NEWS -

Kan­ngi Ma­ha­jan en­rolled in her MSc Com­put­ing and Data An­a­lyt­ics Pro­gram at Saint Mary’s Univer­sity as one of the youngest peo­ple in her class. Mov­ing to Hal­i­fax from In­dia, she felt ner­vous about her tran­si­tion, but within the first few steps into her class, she was com­forted by the en­vi­ron­ment around her at SMU.

“I still re­mem­ber the day when I had re­ceived ac­cep­tances from all of the top univer­si­ties, SMU be­ing one of them, and I had to choose one,” Ma­ha­jan says. “My fam­ily and I were moved by the way Dr. Pawan Lin­gras de­fined this pro­gram at SMU, and I’m so happy to have gone the di­rec­tion that I did. Dr. Lin­gras, along with the grad­u­ate pro­gram man­ager Keith Bein, have al­ways been a big sup­port to me through­out this pro­gram.”

Ma­ha­jan speaks to the qual­ity of the pro­gram at SMU and how the in­struc­tors work day in and day out to en­sure that you are feel­ing pre­pared. “Right from the be­gin­ning they lay down the course struc­ture and ex­tend their open and flex­i­ble sched­ules to you. If you’re not sat­is­fied, you have tu­tors to as­sist you at just a call or email away,” she says.

Along with the help and open dis­cus­sions she re­ceived from her pro­vided men­tor, Sree­jata Chat­ter­jee, many of her class­mates came from dif­fer­ent back­grounds, and Ma­ha­jan felt she had a lot to learn from ev­ery­one around her. “It was amaz­ing ex­po­sure to come across such in-depth knowl­edge in dif­fer­ent sub­jects,” she says.

Ma­ha­jan gives credit to her teach­ers and class­mates at SMU for their sup­port, and with their help she com­pleted her course – which usu­ally takes 16 months – in just 11. Prior to her grad­u­a­tion, she al­ready had a job wait­ing for her at IBM.

“Ev­ery­one was such a big help, and it ad­vanced smoothly and quickly. I worked re­ally hard and it felt so re­ward­ing to get there,” says Ma­ha­jan. Work­ing at IBM is an in­cred­i­ble achieve­ment, as Ma­ha­jan is work­ing di­rectly on in­no­va­tive projects to help find so­lu­tions to con­tem­po­rary chal­lenges as an IT Spe­cial­ist.

IBM pro­vides Ma­ha­jan with new learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties every day, where she works with ex­pe­ri­enced team mem­bers and amaz­ing new tech­nolo­gies. “When I was first placed on the Data An­a­lyt­ics project, I was ner­vous about work­ing with peo­ple who had 20 years of back­ground. But while I sat in that meet­ing, to my sur­prise, I was an ac­tive part of it and could un­der­stand ev­ery­thing,” she says, thanks to her Data Min­ing classes. It was in these classes with Dr. Lin­gras that they per­formed case stud­ies that served as real-world prob­lems, and even­tu­ally came in handy for Ma­ha­jan.

Ma­ha­jan says be­cause of her long-dis­tance sup­port from her fam­ily and her friends, in con­junc­tion with the fac­ulty at Saint Mary’s, she was able to man­age ev­ery­thing and end up where she is now.

“Ev­ery­thing seems hard from the out­side, but once you get started the path be­comes clear and you re­al­ize that you can re­ally do this. This pro­gram helped me, not only by pro­gress­ing my ca­reer but it has given me one of the best gifts in be­ing at IBM to­day.”

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