Ellen Janowski makes a living by supporting, maintaining, and deepening knowledge management practices across the core facets of people, processes, and technology. She does this as a senior associate at Invenergy LLC, a leading, privately held, global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions. She wouldn’t be where she is today without the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Here, she realised her true potential.
It all began in her undergraduate years, when she came to the university to pursue a BA in French. While exploring French commercial studies, business administration and marketing, she took on an internship with USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative. Working with the knowledge management team sparked her interest in information management. It’s little wonder why she chose to pursue postgraduate studies at her university’s School of Information Sciences (iSchool), which delivers the dynamic MS in Information Management (MS/IM). The decision certainly paid off.
“What I learned during my time at the iSchool empowers me every day to think critically but flexibly,” said Janowski. “In my first six months in this role, I’ve already referenced course materials several times, and I am very excited to continue to bring this formalised training and expertise to the Invenergy team.”
This programme is designed to prepare learners to lead the way in leveraging today’s growing information resources. After achieving the degree, graduates enter the workforce as in-demand professionals capable of addressing key organisational and social challenges in a range of sectors.
To ensure graduates stand out in the industries of their choosing, the iSchool provides optimum flexibility. Students can pursue a broad range of electives and two course groupings customised to specific career pathways: Data Science and Analytics, as well as Knowledge Management and Information Consulting.
Nirvik Pravin chose the latter to master the art of analysing and representing information while customising and efficiently utilising systems that manage critical organisational information. This is precisely what he’s doing today as a Process Engineering Specialist for Stellantis’s Software User Experience department. He is also a Process Architect for one of the organisation’s internal tools, which is currently being used by over 4,000 users globally. Pravin proudly credits his success to his customisable iSchool degree.
“Subjects like Entrepreneurial IT Design, Information Consulting and Applied Business Research helped me better understand the pathway I chose,” he explains. “I also took up courses in Information Modeling and Data Visualisation, which helped me understand the best way to model and present information.”
Since options are countless, the iSchool provides unlimited guidance. Its career services team offers critical and timely career advice and programming. One-on-one mentors remain available to those having trouble navigating challenges and are ever-willing to help students build relationships with potential employers and practicing alumni.
“There are many mentorship opportunities that are open and many collaborations that we can arrange between the students and the companies that each of us works in,” says Pravin. “Incredible opportunities may present themselves when we meet with the new generation of leaders.”
He would know — getting a glimpse of the industry played a pivotal role in boosting Pravin’s ability to land a job immediately post-iSchool. Whilst a student, he was part of the Business Intelligence Group, which saw him lead two projects for real-world clients over the course of two semesters. “These two projects helped me gain a better understanding of project planning and consulting,” he says.
Pravin was part of the iVenture Accelerator too, which he describes as an “exceptional experience.” “I know of five student startups initiated while I was in the programme that went on to build multi-million dollar, thriving companies,” he says.
These examples of the return on investment of an iSchool degree are priceless, which is precisely why iSchool makes its MS/IM programme as customisable as can be. Students are welcome to choose a longer timeframe for degree completion, which allows them to gain real-world experience that can lead to a job after graduation.The iSchool is also committed to supporting the financial needs of its students.
Numbers prove that all iSchool routes lead to impressive outcomes that are certainly worth the investment. A majority of MS/IM graduates succeed in landing employment post-graduation — to be specific, 96% of survey respondents have secured a first destination. They can currently be found adding value at Goldman Sachs, KPMG, IBM, Syngenta, TikTok, Amazon, Yahoo!, Boeing, Microsoft, Tencent, Uber Technologies, and various other esteemed organisations.
Sold? Fast-track your journey to iSchool today, and you’ll be well on your way to joining them. More on admissions to the MS/IM programme here.