Q: What do you do in your current job/what are your responsibilities?
A: I am a pre-sales Solution Architect working in Oracle’s Advance Customer Support division. My primary job is to translate business needs into project requirements. I accompany the field sales representatives to visit customers, listen to their business requirements, guide them on their Oracle initiatives, develop business and technical solutions, design the overall engagement, evaluate and present relevant options, scope and price the engagement, write and deliver proposals/statement of work, manage customer expectations and objections, and last but not least, close the deal.
Q: What skills did you build in the D'Amore-McKim MS in Innovation (MSI) program that you are applying at your current job?
A: The D’Amore-McKim MS in Innovation program taught me the language of business. I have been a technologist for a decade and when my role demanded more than technology and required more traditional business knowledge, I knew that I had to learn the lingo. The MSI provided a holistic view of the business world and how to innovate in order to thrive (and survive!) in an environment. My current role demands that I understand business needs and provide innovative solutions to the largest companies in the world. Part of my job involved talking to Fortune 500 leaders and the MSI provided me with the knowledge to talk to them with confidence. It enriched my leadership capabilities allowing me to now lead discovery sessions with Oracle.
Q: What would you say to a colleague considering enrolling in the MSI program?
A: I was born and raised in a small town in India. All my life I thought about technology. Don’t get me wrong – I still love it and that’s all I want to do -- but at a certain stage of my career, it demanded more than my knowledge of technology. The MS in Innovation is a unique program that teaches Finance, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and most importantly how to innovate all under one umbrella. It is a challenging year of study but the rigor helped accelerate my career. I changed my role from Technology Delivery to a Sales and Solutions consultant. The cohort had a great mix of students --a wide range of roles, industry, and age – which helped provide a rich classroom environment. The Saturday classes are so relevant that on Monday, you can apply the same knowledge that you gained over the weekend to your work.
Q: Why did you choose the D'Amore-McKim MSI?
A: The MSI program is unique due to the intersection of innovation and business. When I was searching for a business degree I realized that I had many great options in the Boston area but I was hesitant to commit to 2-5 years of class and a fortune to get an MBA while also managing a family that includes a 3-year-old. This program provided the solution. It was a hectic one year but I have a degree and the knowledge that I needed to get ahead in my career. I now also have the option to go back to Northeastern again to get my MBA and use all 30 credits of the MSI.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A: I love technology and started loving business in the MSI program. I aspire to have a role where I can use my leadership skills in both domains. I see myself leading an enterprise applications department or practice in the next 5-10 years. I would also like to see the class project that I started during the last semester of the MSI program, turn into a growing startup that provides value to the community.