Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business
Srikanth-Rajamani

Lessons Learned

Information Systems Student Discovers Experience Is the Best Teacher

When Srikanth Rajamani stepped to the front of the lab section of Introduction to Information Systems, thirty Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS students stared expectantly at him. As a first-year graduate student and teaching assistant in the College of Business Master of Science in Information Systems (MS-IS) program, Srikanth knew he had his work cut out for him. “I had to gain their faith in the initial phase of teaching,” he says. Before long, he was looking forward to class each week and the opportunity to instruct this exceptional group. “It was an absolute pleasure teaching the honors students,” he recalls. “I was amazed by their quality and passion.”

Initially attracted to UC because of the MS-IS program's popularity, flexibility and excellent faculty, Srikanth was impressed with the extent of faculty engagement outside, as well as inside, the classroom. “[The faculty] have been of immense help to me from the time I first learned about UC until I arrived,” he recalls. “I felt responsible to give the same kind of support and help [to other MS-IS students].”

In addition to his teaching duties, Srikanth provides information and assistance to prospective and incoming students via edulix.com, an online forum that he describes as “the touch-point between the universities in the U.S. and students in Asian and African countries.” At the site, Srikanth answers questions about everything from the UC information systems program to student life in Cincinnati.

The IS department greatly appreciates Srikanth's work as an online representative and recently nominated him for the Outstanding International Graduate Student Award. “He has earned a reputation in the online communities as a person who is friendly, helpful, and fair forging bridges between our program and students worldwide,” says Alex Lopes, assistant professor and MS-IS program director.

Online and offline, Srikanth praises the MS-IS program for including course material that is directly relevant to today's business world. He appreciates that the program prepares students for the pressures of the workplace. “The IS program is extremely challenging and pushes you to the limit in terms of academic coursework,” he explains. “This kind of pressure is something that one would expect in corporate life.”

Srikanth is no stranger to real-world business. He gained two years of work experience before coming to UC with Infosys Technologies Limited in Bangalore, India, where he worked as a software engineer on projects for companies such as Mitsubishi and BMW.

Currently, he is putting his graduate coursework into practice by completing a Business Processes and Solutions group internship in Philadelphia with SAP America. The internship is helping him explore his future career goals—he plans to work as a business analyst after graduation in March 2010—and is exposing him to the cultural differences between working in the U.S. and India. “There are so many people who are ready to help you, and these people are experts in what they do,” he notes.

Lopes looks forward to having Srikanth in class for one more quarter: “He is inquisitive but highly respectful, asking probing questions that bring new insights to lectures.”

For Srikanth, his time in the classroom at UC has been invaluable. “When the MS-IS department says the courses are industry-oriented, they really mean it!”