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Mandar Kadam

Mumbai, India
Information Technology and Management
Data Management
Graduation Year
May 2018 (Anticipated)

Mandar Kadam

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Why did you come to Illinois Tech?

I chose to come to Illinois Tech because it is a reputed professional and educational institute showing an increase in its ranking and quality education every year. I feel the diversity in students, the research-oriented coursework, and location of this university are also reasons for my choosing this university.

Why did you choose your major and specialization?

My major is Information Technology and Management with a specialization in Data Management. I have a special interest in data processing technologies and wanted to learn new things and enhance my area of interest. ITM offers 12 specializations and 100+ courses for its students. I chose Data Management because it provides data oriented courses like Data Analytics, Data Mining, Data Warehousing and much more. These courses cover the knowledge about practical applications of data. I believe this knowledge will be very useful for my future accomplishments.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Illinois Tech?

As a student, there are many favorite things about Illinois Tech. There is a good, healthy campus life, which includes Keating center, The Bog, the MTCC and library. In terms of academics, I like the video recorded lectures. This really helps for reviewing the concepts. Also, my favorite thing is to attend the multiple events organized by different organizations throughout the campus.

How has Illinois Tech helped you?

As an international student, Illinois Tech helped me greatly in my academic, personal and professional life. My academic advisor and department faculty helped me in selecting the best courses in my area of interest and provided proper guidance. My supervisor and staff members at my on-campus job helped me to learn the American work culture. My senior Illinois Tech friends assisted me a lot during my adjustment to a new education system.

How are the courses like? How do they help you? (Prepare for jobs/career)

A variety of courses is one of the best things about ITM coursework. It includes technical, system and business courses. These courses provide a practical approach towards problem-solving. Courses are well structured and challenging. Doing assignments, projects and preparing for mid-term exams empowered me toward a deeper conceptual understanding of my studies, which ultimately, built my confidence during technical interview questions when applying for jobs.

How is the academic experience? How does it compare to your previous educational experience?

The overall academic experience at Illinois Tech is great. As compared to my previous educational experience, ITM offers customized, flexible coursework within multiple specializations. Course syllabi and assignments sometimes seem challenging, but professors and teaching assistants are approachable. I experienced that professors would even reply to my email queries at. It is a great learning experience so far.

How is campus life? What do you like to do?

Illinois Tech has a vibrant campus life. As there are so many student organizations, there are always events happening around the campus. Open campus allows students to sit anywhere, connect with the network, and do stuff. One thing I like most is the library is open 24 hours on weekdays. Also, I like to visit The Bog for bowling, but it is hard to schedule times.

Thinking about the resources provided to you by your Department (labs, faculty, networking and career events, competitions), what do you find most valuable and why?

I feel faculty members are the best resources. ITM faculty are knowledgeable and always ready to help students, but students must initiate to ask for help when needed. Also, I believe academic advisors are doing a great job by helping students and resolving their doubts. Finally, Illinois Tech conducts two career fairs in each academic year, where many companies attend, yet it depends on the student to utilize these resources.

Career placement/assistance?

Career services of Illinois Tech provide career coaching for each student. This allows students to discuss resumes, cover letter formatting, professional social media design, as well as alumni networking. Also, there are many activities and workshops organized by Career Services, whom always notify students by email.

What were your concerns about coming to Illinois Tech?

Many international students prefer to stay off-campus before joining Illinois Tech. Personally, I received some negative reviews about safety in those off-campus areas, but after joining Illinois Tech, I came to know there are multiple commuting options. The university provides CTA U-pass for public transportation, and public safety (escort) drops off students at their off-campus living locations that are near campus.

Do/did you have an on-campus job? If so, what?

Yes, I worked as a Career Fair Associate for Career Services at Fall 2016 Career Fair. Currently, I work as a Graduate Assistant for the Office of Graduate Academic Affairs.

What is your proudest moment as a student?

I feel that there are two proudest moments for me as a student. The first moment was when I scored all “A” grades for my first semester and received 4.0 out of 4.0 GPA. After coming from a different education background, scoring all A’s was the best moment for me. The second proudest moment was being selected for the Graduate Assistantship position. I was the first student from Fall 2016 student class to be selected for this position.

If I could do 1 thing over again it would be.

There is honestly nothing that comes to mind. Whatever Illinois Tech has given to me, I am satisfied with that.

What is the biggest challenge you faced as a student?

A first and biggest challenge for most of the international students is to adjust to a new cultural and academic environment. For me, it took few weeks to adjust. Sometimes it is difficult for me to manage the time between personal life, my academics and work hours. Also, a few courses are challenging and require learning beyond the course work.

What do you want to do when you graduate?

When I graduate, my plan is to join a company where I can utilize and apply all my knowledge gained from Illinois Tech. Also, I would like to contribute to Illinois Tech’s growth (as an alumnus).

Advice for other students:

Never start assignments just before the deadline. Manage your time wisely. Always try to deeply understand concepts. Utilize all resources provided by the university. You will never get this graduate life again, so enjoy it and continue your journey forward. Love what you do, do what you love!

SmartLab Student Projects

As an Information Technology student and a person very much interested in Art, it was easy for me to be hooked by Digital Art. Project Aura was an idea that stemmed from my passion for Technology and Art.

The purpose of this project is to improve the current state of security devices. Today, most security companies use several guards for different tasks, but at least one guard has to monitor the cameras or other systems.

A smart mirror is a two-way mirror with an electronic display behind the glass. The display can show the viewer different kinds of information in the form of widgets, such as weather, time, date, and news updates.

Our team was given the task of develop an electronic prototype covering the elements learned in the Embedded Systems course. These elements are electricity, data collection, data transmission, and data presentation. To do this, we created an electronic version of the board game Go.

EcoTower takes Hydroponic farming to the next level by using technology to self-regulate plant growth. Hydroponics is the science of giving a plant the necessities for growth and longevity.