Statement of Purpose
Saheb Singh Gandh
Master’s program in Information Systems, fall 2018
Carnegie Mellon University
It is often said that early childhood interests if followed in higher education and made into careers helps turn out our ordinary lives into happy and content ones, I am hopeful to turn my childhood interest of Computers into a career and thus a content life. I was always an inquisitive child with my primary interest in functioning of computers. Scoring 100/100 in Computer Science in the 10th class ICSE board exam just reassured to my career choice & led me to take up Computer Engineering as my bachelor’s major. The beginning of the journey was full of enthusiasm and passion as my childhood dream of knowing what exactly happens inside that box called the CPU had begun. The first two years helped establish the foundation and the emphasis was always on understanding and absorbing concepts instead of grades which sometimes meant lower grades in written exams while grades in practical exams were outstanding as that is where I would outperform my classmates. Soon the question of clarity for choosing a concentrated approach crept in, thus I concluded to be involved more in the software area. My father’s professional journey is a live example of “Rags to Riches” which I have closely observed since an early age. This has led me to imbibe his “Only hard work pays” principle and a subconscious business sense. I would like to pursue something which is a combination of my passion for computer software and business sense.
Preparing for my graduate program, I undertook a major senior year project in Data Mining, Machine Learning & Computer Vision, Virtual Personal Yoga Trainer to conceptualize and design a virtual personal yoga expert system, a desktop application that will try to replace a physical yoga trainer providing error analysis of user’s posture and correct the same. To start with I studied numerous technical publications to seek ideas for the detection of the object in a live video feed and perform error analysis on the same. I also learned some yoga exercises from yoga experts as part of the data set, to understand the practical implications of the various postures. To enhance my programming skills for this project, I studied new libraries within Python namely Numpy & OpenCV, thus enhancing ability to analyze data and train a system with these datasets.
My interest to learn more about various business concepts & new technical skills led me to take up internships & additional courses to enhance skills whenever possible during my under graduate program. I always tried interning with startups to get a holistic understanding of their working rather than concentrating only on my tasks as would have been the case in well established firms.
My first internship was at Coderaft Technical Solutions hosting peachmode.com, an e-commerce website dealing in traditional women apparels & accessories. I was given the task of writing code for ‘Add to cart’ module in PHP which added the same in my technical skillset. I also understood some real problems faced by the company and ways to deal with them as I interacted with the founders on a daily basis due to their No Door in Office Policy.
My second internship was with Plutus, a company merging finance with technology. The company was in its nascent stage and was developing its first product which was a registration portal for Goods and Services Tax, a major tax reform of India. When I joined in, the only technically skilled person was the CTO who was also a founding member of the startup. They later added two more people to the team. I did a lot of brainstorming sessions on designing the registration portal and the returns portal with the other founder members who were experts in the field of finance helping me understand the nitty-gritties of the world of finance which I used to blend with my IT skills to deliver what was expected from me. It was during the brain-storming sessions with the senior management that I came to understand the vision they had to take their company to greater heights. This impelled me to take a hard look at my career and clearly delineate my professional goals. My mentors stepped in and suggested I should acquire a sound knowledge of business foundation for IT, Enterprise Data Management and Project Management and after some research I found that the Management Information Systems program offered a tailor- made solution for my academic quest. Hence I have decided to enroll for a Master’s program in MIS. Based on my academic and professional experiences one thing that struck me the most was how businesses take decisions these days which impact not just outcomes of these businesses itself but the individual customers too. This led me to dig deep and that’s when I realized.
The senior management in the company appreciated my performance at the end of my internship tenure and extended an offer to work part time with them after college hours and mentor two interns as well. I accepted the offer and have been working with them ever since.
In keeping with my interests, I also started a small freelance venture of my own. This venture was aimed at taking small local businesses digital which was aligned with the aim of Digital India of our honorable prime minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi. Through this venture I have helped two companies till now boosting their companies’ sales by taking their businesses in reach of digitally surrounded customers. These venture experiences not only add interpersonal skills like negotiations but also helped me get insights of how business decisions should be made, eventually inclining me more towards pursuing the course of Masters in Information Systems.
To supplement my career path and to stay a step ahead of my class, I indulged in a number of co-curricular activities. I completed two courses from external institutes, wherein I learnt Hadoop & Android Programming. I completed two projects as part of the curriculum as well. This gave me the exposure and the knowledge required to be successful software professional. I have also imbibed a quality of keeping myself abreast with latest developments in the field of my interests thereby making me at par with the competitive world.
Through a gamut of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, I have evolved into a well-rounded individual. My organizational endeavors have endured me with leadership qualities and team participation skills. They have also augmented my problem solving skills and enabled me to efficiently communicate my ideas and thoughts.
On completion of the master’s program, I aspire to work for an organization to gain relevant experience by interacting with the clients and gathering information about their specific needs. Thereafter I would frame the optimal technologies that should be used and propose necessary security measures that should be taken while developing the software in accordance with the client requirements. Most importantly I wish to design the system flow of the software and also be actively involved in solving the bottlenecks, while developing with the developer team, using my problem solving skills. I believe the Master’s program will provide me with the required technical knowledge and business prowess to achieve my career goals.
Therefore, I wish to apply for Master’s in Information Systems Management at the Heinz College of Information Systems in Carnegie Mellon University. The internship opportunities at Heinz College will give me exposure to real-world problems and prepare me to face the toughest technical and business challenges with mastery and ease. I eagerly look forward to studying under the guidance of Prof. Sudha Ram and learn the nuances of Enterprise data management from her. Armed with a Master’s from Eller College, University of Arizona I can confidently step into the realm of business entrepreneurship and carve a niche for myself in my chosen field.