Experiential / Reality-based Learning / June 11, 2024

Summer Serves up New Experiential Learning Opportunities for Smith MSIS Students

Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) students are diving into real-world projects this summer through a new pilot program. The opportunity is being offered under the Smith Business Consulting (SBC) initiative–part of the Office of Experiential Learning.

“Many companies have more projects than they do people [to complete them],” says Sindhu Rajan, MBA ‘01, adjunct professor of analysis and design. This inspired her to look for opportunities where students can supplement their learning and experience by working with companies needing support.

Rajan is launching an industry integration initiative where 10 students in the MSIS program will work on two projects with Hughes Network Systems over the summer. She is currently Vice President of Enterprise Systems & Service Delivery at Hughes. Rajan says the initiative’s structure is modeled after a capstone project, though this work is not associated with a specific course.

Each group of students will work with a Hughes liaison, with support from Assistant Dean of Experiential Learning Nicole Coomber as well as Clinical Professor Tejwansh Singh Anand. An undergraduate Smith student will also be working with the team as a student project manager. The initiative will include cloud-based projects, building a database with automation and launching services and applications for Hughes customers.

Rajan noticed that many students have technical strengths, but she wants to help them gain additional experience to “take best practices out into the world”. It will be “an opportunity for students to apply true cross-functional skills and create a project end to end,” says Rajan.

She hopes this pilot program will become a more structured experiential learning initiative working with more companies and even across programs at Smith, to give more students the chance to test-drive real-world projects.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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