After receiving his bachelor's degree in computer science from Visvesvaraya Technological University in India, Rahul Chandran joined Deloitte Consulting as a business technology analyst. It was there that he realized how much he enjoyed solving customer's problems. This experience motivated Chandran to further his education in a master's program that would best complement his professional goals.
Ultimately, Chandran chose the iSchool because it was a great fit for him. He appreciated that the MS in information management included several pathways, making the degree unique from other programs.
"The iSchool's curriculum offers a blend of courses, and there are many opportunities at the University of Illinois Research Park," said Chandran, whose iSchool experience prepared him well for a successful career.
Chandran's favorite class, Applied Business Research (IS 514), started his journey as a project manager. Taught by Associate Professor Yoo-Seong Song, this class focused on advanced techniques of business research by giving students hands-on experience with real-world clients.
"The ABR course allowed me to learn how to recognize user's problems, understand and predict the needs of my peers, and structure information into actionable insights," said Chandran.
During his time in the class, Chandran worked with Song to introduce new tools and workflows to help make the student consultants more successful.
"The unique experiences and appreciation from both clients and students brought tremendous exposure to the ABR course, nearly tripling the number of students who apply for the course," he said.
Chandran is currently a product manager at Yahoo!, where he leads the analytical platforms for advertising partners and works on complex problems faced by their users. For Chandran, it is very exciting to collaborate with different teams, synthesize user's needs and build innovative solutions.
"I feel extremely satisfied building and witnessing all our products being loved by customers. I also had an opportunity to file two patents for our work and complete several publications," said Chandran. "I am particularly happy with my decision to earn my MS/IM from the iSchool, which allowed me to completely tailor my degree according to my needs and interests."
His advice to students is to have an end goal in mind and to keep their focus on courses and external organizations that complement that goal.
When Chandran is not working, he plays soccer with friends, reads, and writes his ideas and views at rrahulchandran.com.