Abhilash Rao Nagoji was one of two MBA applicants shortlisted for an IBM-sponsored scholarship to study at Italy’s MIP Politecnico di Milano.
His task was to write an essay on the importance of big data in the current business world. He aced it, got the scholarship, and started a full-time MBA at MIP in 2016.
This summer, he interned at IBM in Milan, exploring the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics, and developing a business strategy for a new cutting-edge cognitive solution—think IBM’s supercomputer Watson.
MIP’s tech-focused MBA program was designed in collaboration with over 30 official partners including Microsoft, Amazon, and Fortune 50 tech giant IBM.
Abhilash learned how to use Watson Analytics—IBM’s advanced data analytics tool—during an MBA seminar at MIP. He spent a week in San Francisco’s Silicon Valley, meeting leading execs from global tech giants like Google.
Abhilash worked as a software engineer for Accenture in his native India prior to his MBA. Now, he’s looking to land leadership roles in Europe at the cutting-edge of tech.
MIP provides the perfect platform to do so. 96% of MIP MBAs find jobs within six months of graduation. The school lists top tech giants like IBM and Amazon among its biggest graduate recruiters
What does your role at IBM involve?
I’m working broadly on market analysis, competitor analysis and go-to-market strategy for IBM’s new SaaS offering. The project involves working with industrial customers to deliver the new IoT-based offering.
It’s here that I can leverage my learnings from the smart manufacturing and entrepreneurship classes at MIP to deliver value to IBM. MIP helped me get a clear picture of how companies make use of IBM’s technology in conjunction with theirs.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at MIP?
My focus was to choose an MBA which would provide me a quick transition into the business domain without forcing me to be out of my job for too long. MIP’s one-year MBA was a perfect option.
The diversity of the program was quite prominent. Although I had previously worked with people from different countries, this was a totally different experience. Our class had students from 26 different countries.
The curriculum was also on par with industry expectations with emphasis on emerging technologies like the Internet of Things, blockchain, and artificial intelligence.
How did the scholarship with IBM come about?
I was contacted by MIP’s marketing and recruitment personnel to apply for a scholarship which was aligned with my prior experience. The process involved writing an essay on the importance of big data in the current world.
I got the results couple of weeks later and was lucky to be shortlisted as one of the two candidates for the IBM scholarship. Furthermore, as I was staying away from Milan that time, MIP supported me with the initial contract signing with IBM without any hassle.
What are your plans for the future?
With the advent of technologies like machine learning, big data analytics and blockchain, it’s evident that the manager of the future must have a diverse set of skills to not just survive but thrive. With that in mind, I want to work in a leadership role within a company in Europe which will give me ample opportunity to learn and utilize my MBA knowledge and skills.
Thanks to my MBA at MIP, I picked up people management skills through my various interactions with people from different backgrounds. Plus, working with senior executives and thought leaders at IBM means I understand the responsibilities of leaders and the decision-making process.