Information Systems and Technology Management (ISTM) Spotlight: Meet our students

Earlier this semester, we spoke with Andrea Everard, Lerner College professor of MIS to discuss how prospective students can best decide if our master of science in information systems and technology management (ISTM) is right for them.

Earlier this month, we highlighted a number of alumni of the ISTM program and the ways they apply their expertise to a variety of careers.

In this article, we get to know some current students in the ISTM program, who are working to master the intersections between IT and business.

Melissa Gartland, Class of 2019

What made you decide to pursue an ISTM degree? 

Not only did I decide to pursue the ISTM degree because of my enjoyment in handling data, but also because the advisory staff was very welcoming. When initially I met with Dr. Everard about possibly joining the program, she was very easy to talk to and very encouraging. That meeting left the impression that not only is the ISTM program excellent academically, but is also made up of advisors and faculty who truly want to see their students thrive and succeed.

What are your career goals?

Upon entering the program, my goal was to make myself marketable to a new field. I had worked in restaurants for just shy of 10 years and had no desire to go back once I enrolled full time. That goal has been met, as I have accepted an internship with a local company working in their business intelligence sector after just completing my first semester. As for farther-reaching long-term goals after completing my master’s degree, I hope to gain more work experience as a data scientist. I would also like to eventually finish a Ph.D. and come back to the world of academia.

What is your favorite thing about the ISTM program?

My favorite thing about the ISTM program is that everyone has a little something different to offer. Everyone has a slightly different background. Some are from different countries, some have lived or worked in multiple different countries, while others have unexpected bachelor’s degrees or currently work for amazing companies. However, despite the wide range of experience that my fellow students have to offer, we all share the same passion for being technology nerds.

Anatoliy Anguelov, Class of 2018

What made you decide to pursue an ISTM degree? 

I think a few factors played a role. First, one of my last classes in the UD MBA program was database management. I took it as an elective. It was a hard class, but I enjoyed it very much. After that, I used every opportunity at work to apply the knowledge by building Access databases. It was exciting to see people using something you have created.

Second, throughout my career in investment management operations, I have been heavily involved in many projects and programs related to various system implementations, software UI design, process re-engineering and so on. With the solid domain knowledge, and experience with tech projects, I discovered that I was missing some fundamentals that would help me not only with potential career change, but also adding more value for my organization. I was very excited to find that UD was offering a master’s degree in ISTM. It didn’t take much time for me to make the decision to pursue my second Master’s.

I would highly recommend the program to everyone who is interested in pursuing a career in analytics, data management, process improvement or project management. With the rapid changes in technology, I think obtaining a degree in information systems can significantly impact future career opportunities.

What are your current/future career goals?

Data visualization and analytics is the area I would like to focus on. I have been working with data for years, and I find that not only do I enjoy it, but also that I am good at it. But here is the part that I consider to be key from the career perspective: The balance between business knowledge on one side, and data and tech skills on the other creates a very powerful combination.

What is your favorite thing about the ISTM program?

Many things: The variety of courses, the teaching styles of the professors, the depth of the material covered, and the passion with which the instructors transfer their knowledge. They really wanted to make sure that every student takes a full advantage of the time invested in class.

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