Part-time student Kanika Singh talks about the lessons she’s learned in Northwestern Engineering’s Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) program and how the program helped her move into a leadership role at her company.
Kanika Singh was a learning technologies analyst at the global law firm DLA Piper when she began Northwestern Engineering’s Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) part-time program in 2020.
Now, a few months before she’s set to graduate, she’s seen the program’s benefits. Singh is currently a senior talent and inclusion analyst at the firm, responsible for managing, retrieving, and reporting data requests for the talent development and inclusion department.
She said the promotion would not have happened without MSIT.
“The combination of IT, analytics, and leadership classes have armed me with new skills, allowing me to transition to a leadership role,” Singh said. “I have a greater sense of time management, asking straightforward questions, identifying critical data resources, and distinguishing between garbage and gold.”
Finding that gold can be a challenge, particularly as Singh works to understand her audience, determine why they need the data, and subsequently find the appropriate narrative to communicate that data in a short turnaround time. Adding to the challenge is that she interacts with people who have a wide variance in technological understanding, so the stories she communicates need to be adapted to each audience.
Communicating effectively is just one of the lessons she’s learned in MSIT. Singh recently used lessons learned in statistics and analytics to present the firm’s annual evaluation data merged with its diversity data. She also now collaborates on interdepartmental projects to analyze distinct data relevant and valuable to the firm.
“I’ve acquired more functional knowledge than I expected when I enrolled,” Singh said. “The professors understand the working professional and are always there to help.”
Having a diligent routine has also helped. As a full-time analyst and part-time student, Singh’s days are filled with a combination of duties for her job and assignments for her classes. Maximizing free moments are key for her success.
Singh begins her weekdays with a workout and an hour of studying. She then works for eight or nine hours, then completes another hour of schoolwork in the evening. She meets with classmates to work on projects once a week on top of the time spent in class on Saturdays.
The workload can sound daunting, Singh said, but from her perspective, the payoff is worth it.
“In this program, you will be the most successful when you take personal responsibility for your own learning over the two years,” she said. “I value connecting with my classmates and have had the chance to engage with alumni, guest speakers from industry, and workshops. I can’t wait to graduate but I will miss the program and the Northwestern environment.”
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