My Only Information System Elective

Digital Transformation is going to be my only information system elective for my MBA. In general, that is not super interesting. However, there are a couple of reasons why that is odd. First, I enjoy the other information system classes I have taken. Data Analytics 2, another information system class, is one the most enjoyable classes I have taken for my MBA. I find the intersection of technology, business, and data to be fascinating. It is also not like I do poorly in these classes. In general, they tend to be some of the classes I do the best in grade wise. So, why at the end of my MBA have I selected digital transformation? Also, why do I not tend to take information system classes?

The basic answer to this is my background. Prior to my MBA for a little under four full years I worked as a software engineer in the aerospace industry. See Figures 1 and 2 for some of the planes I have worked on.  My undergraduate degree is a double major both robotics engineering and electrical and computer engineering from WPI.  Electrical and computer engineering is one major, a fact I did not at the time realize with my double major I will probably need to clarify for my entire professional career. The main point of mentioning this is that I have an in-depth technical background and in general I am familiar with a lot of digital business topics.

Figure 1: A220 worked on the engine software as part of my first project.

Source: https://www.airbus.com/aircraft/passenger-aircraft/a220-family/a220-100.html

Figure 2: 777X worked on the flight control system software as part of my final project pre-MBA.

Source: https://www.boeing.com/commercial/777x/#/gallery

I am going to answer my second question first. That is why I do not tend to take information system classes. I tend to know a lot of the information they cover. To be clear these classes are the exception rather than the rule. Most other classes like marketing, or accounting I am learning a whole new world I have very little if any experience in. They can be really challenging, and it has had me think about busines and problems in a whole new way. That is why I have been taking a lot more additional marketing or operations electives once I covered my core MBA requirements.  My personal goal for my MBA is focusing on some of the non-technical areas of business.

So, getting back to the first point, why am I taking this class? The answer is people. Specifically, my classmates and anyone involved with the class. One of the most, if not the most, valuable part of my MBA experience has been interacting with and working with everyone at BC. Even when we have had to move everything online. From study sessions to social events, I have already learned so much from the interactions I have had in the program. One of my central ideas of going to BC was not only to learn about business but get the perspective of people who have worked or are currently working in business. I was very much in a bubble. WPI is heavily engineering focused as seen in Figure 3. My first job similarly had me interacting primarily with engineers.

Figure 3:WPI Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

Source: https://public.tableau.com/profile/wpi.institutional.research#!/vizhome/DegreesAwarded_15722293635880/DegreesAwarded

This class seems to be highly interactive and a lot of opportunities to learn from each other. That is why I am taking the class. This is not the sort of class I would take by myself. So, I am looking to understand about how people learn about digital transformation. I am also trying to get better at communication. One goal of my MBA has been to be able to present and write on technical topics. I want to gain insight from my classmates of how I can use my background to basically be helpful, particularly in a business setting.

 I have high expectations for Digital Transformation. The idea that the class will be strong enough to have me take an information system elective is high praise. However, I am also looking for a lot in this class. Given all my experience with BC I am not worried about that being met. I do know that to expect that I need to put in the effort on my end. I fully intend to and hope you will take the opportunity to do the same if you are in the class. I really look forward to this class and working with you all.

William

4 comments

  1. Very impressive and informative! Being an engineer, I really have similar feelings. I really enjoy the data analytics and information courses offered in the CSOM. All these courses provide me an opportunity to think about technology from a totally different perspective. Similarly, information transformation is also the only tech-related courses I’m taking in MBA besides required ones. I really need to understand how exactly companies utilize technology in their business strategies. What difficulties, costs, and benefits are in the whole transformation process? Under what circumstances can technology help a company to grow and what circumstance does technology make the business worse.

  2. I venture to say this may be the “right” IS class for someone like you to take. We’re not going to spend as much time delving into the technical details (although some students do choose do use their deliverables on those topics), as much as talking through the larger business and societal issues that these technologies represent. But, if you’re here to learn from peers, then this is ABSOLUTELY the class for you.

  3. shaneriley88 · ·

    Huzzah! Will this is great. I’ve had a recent academic situation like this over the summer two separate courses: Renewable Energy with Prof Raikar and Prof Adamson at BC and a course called Climate Change and National Security at the Naval War College. I found the experience to be very insightful, summative and memorable. Viewing through new a lens with new pier professionals was very enriching. Ready to dive in with you!

  4. William, I find it very interesting the mix of people BC brings together in the MBA program. It does make sense to me that you would not prefer to take ISYS electives considering your background, but it is amazing that you chose this one considering the interactions the class will have in this learning journey. I am completely new to this field and I agree that sharing different experiences and perspectives makes us grow. You will definitely see how people like me with very little knowledge learns about it. But I am also excited to hear your perspectives in class, considering your background.

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