The Total MSIS Package: Courses, Mentoring, Co-op
Sai Kale joined the Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program in Spring 2020, immediately jumping into topics such as application engineering, web development, and user experience engineering. When asked why she chose Northeastern University, Kale states, “The opportunity to learn new technologies through well-designed courses, alongside practical exposure through a strong co-op structure, attracted me to apply and inevitably choose Northeastern University.” Upon joining the program Sai describes how she was excited to be able to “select from a variety of courses” and to explore with flexibility “new skills, while leveraging interpersonal skills which are as important as the technical [skills].”
Kale knew immediately upon joining Northeastern University that she wanted to take part in the university’s cooperative education program. The university’s cooperative education program, also known as co-op, is ranked number one by U.S. News and World Reports in co-ops/internships.
In her first semester, Kale enrolled in the co-op Career Management for Engineers course, successful completion of which is required by all who seek to obtain a co-op opportunity. Although this course is a requirement, it also strategically prepares students for their careers in their respective industry; Kale describes the courses as, “extremely helpful and rewarding during my co-op search.” Taught by her Faculty Co-op Advisor Melissa DeGrandis, Kale states, “I learned how to portray myself best in face-to-face interviews, especially during virtual job fairs.” As for the mentoring she received, Kale says, “The inputs and suggestions provided by Professor DeGrandis helped me to get better with every passing week and instilled in me a sense of confidence so I was able to achieve my goals.”
When asked about her co-op search process, Kale says, “I started preparing and searching for my co-op during summer 2020. Although quite a lot of things were unexpected and difficult due to the pandemic, I continued to put in constant effort in terms of applying for related positions every day, being active on LinkedIn, and expanding my network.” Kale attributes her successes to her preparation and resiliency, as well as the guidance she received from Professor DeGrandis…all of which helped her to land a co-op!
Kale began her co-op in Spring 2021 at SS&C Intralinks. Working as a Software Engineer Intern, she and her team are involved in all activities, from the requirement analysis phase of an application to its deployment. She says, “I am constantly learning new techniques and processes, and am currently working on a microservice-based application where I am refractoring different APIs and integrating it with the front end.” Kale enjoys her time with the company and her team, as she describes gaining invaluable industry knowledge from those around her and about how she is learning to solve real-world problems in an efficient, hands-on way.
In addition to the mentorship she received from Professor DeGrandis, Kale also found her coursework essential to her success. She specifically attributes her ability to understand complex business cases and various approaches to providing the best possible solutions to her Application Engineering and Design course. Instructed by Information Systems’ Sr. Program Director Dr. Kal Bugrara, Kal states, “The class provided me with a solid foundation on how to solve business issues with useful applications, as well as helped advance my Java skills, which came in handy during various companies’ coding rounds.” Additionally, through the subject matters explored in the Program Structures and Algorithms course, Kale describes how this prepared her for various interview rounds prior to being offered a co-op opportunity. “During the majority of my interviews I was asked about the algorithms I had learned along with their applications,” she says referring to the knowledge she gained in the course.
Kale is currently on co-op and looking forward to the new experiences she will have both professionally and academically while at Northeastern University. In the future she hopes to become a Full-Stack Developer and is committed to learning all she can through her classes and from her mentors, continuing on a path to becoming a thought leader in this ever-evolving industry.