Sai Sireesh Pachava: 10 Reasons I Enrolled in IKNS

M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy program student Sai Sireesh Pachava, the global head of investment value chain risk at Russell Investments, shared with us 10 reasons he enrolled in the M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy program, a master’s program that focuses on information management and collaboration.

10 Reasons I Enrolled in IKNS

Sai Sireesh Pachava, completing degree December 2015

  1. Earn an Ivy League master’s. I wanted an Ivy League master’s in a program that was interdisciplinary and offered current information that would be relevant to my industry.
  2. Learn online – and on campus. I currently work as a risk management executive and can’t take a break from work. But I also value the campus and cohort experience. In choosing a program, a key factor was whether the curriculum included both campus residency and online options. Very few programs offer this type of hybrid program.
  3. Define your own context and future options. Other programs often restrict themselves to a narrow subject matter, which, in turn, limits students’ future options. I didn’t want to be constrained in that way. I was looking for a strategic, rather than tactical, lens. I wanted to be able to define my own path and to gain ‘portable’ cross-industry skills such as business analytics I could use the skills at my current role or at a totally different one, in a new industry or in a new entrepreneurial venture. This program is for someone who seeks flexibility.
  4. Gain real-world skills. The curriculum is grounded in concepts that help you build skills that are in demand at your company or in your industry – and even do assignments on today’s workplace issues. You gain tools and techniques that you can apply right away or add to your portfolio.
  5. Go beyond strategy. I had earned an M.B.A. prior to enrolling in this M.S. program. I was already familiar with the “what” and “why” of strategy, but what I sought was the “how” of executing that strategy in knowledge economy. The courses give you a chance to roll up your sleeves and start to execute strategy bit by bit using knowledge frameworks and information technology tools. This was one of the most valuable aspects of the program for me.
  6. Get the best value. This program offers the latest insights on today’s knowledge economy – at about half the cost of comparable offerings at similar top schools.
  7. Stay relevant in the digital economy. Knowledge-driven digital enterprises are the ones to watch. The program content helps students understand the digital transformations required to combat or lead disruptions and disintermediations by the new economy companies. This program is forward-thinking and perhaps one of the top Ivy League programs for staying relevant in the digital economy.
  8. Meet well-connected and high-achieving peers. You meet, share ideas with, and make connections with over 100 industry professionals and high achievers – not only in your student cohort but among your professors, your guest speakers from the industry, and your Capstone sponsors. This is a program for people who enjoy collaborating with others, contributing to a team, and helping each other reach your goals.
  9. Put theory into practice. The IKNS program focuses on tools and techniques alongside theories. You gain exposure to new concepts, frameworks, and strategies. I like the fact that the learnings are immediately applicable in different industry scenarios.
  10. Push your skills further. IKNS has an impressive roster of Capstone sponsors: industry leaders, development agencies, nonprofits, research firms, and start-ups. The Capstone project is a great chance to try out a totally new industry beyond your comfort zone.