A few years ago, Neha Majety G’19 was living in her native India, working for Amazon as a transaction risk investigator. She had completed an undergraduate degree in business administration and a master’s degree in human resource management but wanted to add a new dimension to her career. “I saw the potential of technology and data-driven decision-making and realized that I was on a pure management track,” she remembers. “I wanted to learn about technology so that I could keep pace with the times.”
The decision to continue her education triggered an even bigger life change. Majety resolved to move to the U.S. and find a college that would help her retain her business background while adding the technology expertise she sought. “Most of the schools I looked at leaned one way or the other, but Syracuse University had an impressive balance in its curriculum,” she says. “The School of Information Studies is one of the best in the country, and it allows students to customize learning to align with individual preferences.” Syracuse seemed like a good fit, and even the dramatic change in climate didn’t dampen her enthusiasm. “I was actually looking forward to the snow! It played a major role in solidifying my decision.”
Navigating the Options
Majety enrolled in the iSchool’s information management master’s degree program, focusing on project management to utilize both sides of her skillset. “When I started, I knew I didn’t want to completely move toward a tech role,” she says. “But because there were so many options to consider, I needed guidance to find the path that fits me best.” She reached out to her professors for support and found a powerful network of well-informed mentors. “One of the things I love most about Syracuse University is the quality of the student-teacher relationships. They are truly available for us inside and outside the classroom, and never hesitate to go the extra mile to help. Coming from a business background, taking core data science subjects at a master’s level was not easy. But I always had people to turn to, which I think is the best part of the whole college experience.”
One of the things I love most about Syracuse University is the quality of the student-teacher relationships. They are truly available for us inside and outside the classroom, and never hesitate to go the extra mile to help.
As she became more proficient with core data science subjects, the opportunity to gain an extra credential was something Majety couldn’t pass up. She decided to complete a certificate of advanced study in data science along with her master’s program. “I really wanted to learn how to leverage data and its applications and combine that with policy and decision making,” she explains. “Being able to pick and choose the courses that would boost my portfolio was invaluable. I would recommend that anyone who finds a course that interests them but doesn’t perfectly fit their profile should take that leap of faith. You’ll be surprised to find how often seemingly disparate technologies intersect or can be used together to amplify their impact.”
Skill-Building with Passion
One of the most rewarding experiences Majety had at Syracuse was an internship working with the iConsult Collaborative , which helps students build skills and gain experience through real-world client projects involving digital transformation. “I can confidently say that it was here that I found my love for project management,” she says. “We were a team of five project managers, all working toward master’s degrees at the iSchool and all extremely passionate about the job and about creating a change. We had great supervisors who treated us like family and encouraged us to take risks and make decisions for the organization. It was a great learning experience, and I’ve found myself constantly using those experiences in my work.”
Innovation and change are the foundational principles of what I do at work, and the courses and work experience I gained at the iSchool have given me the confidence to take on challenging projects and perform well. I’m learning something new every day.
The iSchool’s reputation for job preparation, strong job placement and competitive starting salaries is a result of an exceptional student support system, Majety believes. “We had numerous resume and cover letter review sessions, interview preparation sessions, campus placements, networking events and more,” she says. “Syracuse graduates are well-respected around the country and often land high-paying jobs, but it does depend on the role, the city and the company itself. Project management is a field that requires a lot of work experience even for entry-level roles, so it was an uphill task for me. Since then, there has been a significant rise in job opportunities for management roles.”
Change and Innovation
Majety is now a data program manager for the City of Syracuse’s office of accountability, performance and innovation. “I implement formal project management practices across the city administration, bring in standardization and governance, and improve processes,” she explains. “I’m also implementing an enterprise project management office that acts as a central governance body and helps to execute change. Innovation and change are the foundational principles of what I do at work, and the courses and work experience I gained at the iSchool have given me the confidence to take on challenging projects and perform well. I’m learning something new every day.”
As a recent Syracuse University graduate, Majety looks forward to being part of the engaged network of alumni who are willing to help current students with career advice, contacts and internship opportunities. “The Orange spirit is truly in the air at Syracuse, and it’s important to show your Orange pride wherever you go,” she says. “We work hard, play hard, and try to be there for people.”