Aswin Prakash Thiyagarajan
MS-MIS Alumnus 2012
Concentration: Management Information Systems
Industry/Field of work: Cleantech/Software
Undergraduate degree in: Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering
Undergraduate School: Vellore Institute of Technology University, Tamil Nadu, India
Organizations involved with: INFORMS
What is your current role?
I currently work as an Associate Professional Services Engineer at Opower, constantly voted as one of the best in Cleantech company rankings. In my role, I’m responsible for getting data right as we as a company do analytics to promote Energy Efficiency.
What prompted you to return to school to achieve your master’s degree?
While working for Tata Consultancy Services as a Systems Engineer in their ‘Software as a Service’ Small and Medium Business unit, I was curious to learn more about the business aspects of the IT Industry.
Why did you choose UIC Liautaud for your graduate study?
The graduate program in MS in Management Information Systems at UIC Liautaud offers the right blend of technical, management courses in a flexible manner. The Capstone Project Experience, which helps in augmenting the skills learnt by practical application, is impressive and makes the program a convincing proposition.
Whhat has been the most unexpected gain the program has given you?
Wider perspective and network.
Which class/professor has been your favorite thus far and why?
Prof. Ranganathan Chandrasekaran’s class on Information Systems Strategy and Management was my favorite. I was fortunate to get a chance to take the course in my very first semester at UIC. This was the class that helped break my single dimensional thought process as a techie and helped me gain perspective and analyze IT business problems effectively. Also, the case discussion based approach helped learn to present to a wider audience.
What is your favorite aspect of the UIC campus and why?
It’s diverse. You get to meet different people. That’s important as any workplace today is diverse and knowing and learning cultural differences can make a difference in effective networking.
How would you define the Liautaud student?
A Liautaud student is someone who’s not textbook. We’re practical. We’re flexible. We’re keen to learn and try different things.
What advice would you provide to incoming UIC Liautaud students?
Being at UIC Liautaud is like working at a start-up. We’re young. We’re not stereotypical. We’re flexible. We explore. Be inquisitive. Learn so much that while walking out as a UIC Liautaud graduate, you’ve tried and tasted so many different courses that you can truely understand what J. Robert Oppenheimer meant when he said, “No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows.”