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An Opportunity to Take a Deep Dive Into the Field of Technology Management On Columbia’s Campus

By Abhijit Rajkumar Patharkar, candidate for an M.S. in Technology Management

Every semester, the Columbia University School of Professional Studies M.S. in Technology Management program hosts a four-day residency on Columbia’s New York City Morningside campus that gives students in the executive cohort the opportunity to come together, further relationships developed in the program, and take a deep dive into the field of technology management. For the Executive M.S. students who choose to take courses online, this residency offers opportunities for in-person interaction with faculty, insightful sessions and panels featuring industry leaders, and collaborative activities such as group discussions and debates that enrich the overall learning experience.

“Our residencies are a cornerstone of our program. It’s all about our community,” said Art Chang, associate program director. “Residencies build the social fabric of our student community and extend it to other important communities. They also help students envision their future selves, as represented by successful alumni and leading professionals who use technology innovation to advance business and society.”

Throughout the last residency, held in January, participants explored a comprehensive array of topics spanning strategic advocacy, leadership through storytelling, cybersecurity, product-market fit, artificial intelligence (AI), and data engineering. The experience ended with a session in which all executive students delivered pitches about their innovative business ideas to a distinguished panel of evaluators, including lecturers Stephano Kim, cofounder of Qonsent; Trace Wax, AI product and engineering trainer; and Dawn Barber, the program’s industry liaison.

The diverse curriculum provided a holistic perspective, equipping the participants with a multifaceted skill set essential for navigating the complexities of technology management. Each of the four days focused on one theme related to the ever-evolving field.

Day 1: Shaping Digital Leaders

Conrad Fernandes, a program lecturer who teaches Accounting & Finance, provided a refresher on course concepts. He urged students to delve into daily business news amidst the advancing tech landscape for a holistic understanding of the field. Art Chang talked about digital strategy and leadership, emphasizing the power of storytelling in leadership. He also explored the lean startup principles and stressed the importance of empathy. Alexis Wichowski, program director, challenged students with a simulated scenario, prompting 60-second elevator pitches evaluated by the faculty members. 

Day 2: Crafting Product Molecules

Janice Fraser, lecturer in the program, led the Executive Seminar 2, guiding students through "the product molecule." Hands-on work involved perfecting pitches on product market fit and a group critical thinking activity. Lecturer Amy Radin delved into strategic advocacy and navigating critical concepts, while Art Chang offered a tech introduction on infra origins, monoliths, distributed systems, N-tier architectures, and Open-Source.

Day 3: Unveiling Legacies and AI Insights

Lecturer Lauren Goodwin, Ph.D., explored the question "What's your legacy?" prompting students to share their aspirations. “AI does not replace our creativity,” said Goodwin. “It empowers it.” Focusing on machine learning (ML) and AI, she shared practical applications, including AI in construction, and talked about data engineering and cloud concepts, along with hosting a session on how to effectively choose a cloud ML platform.

Day 4: Business Ideas Take Center Stage

The final day featured students presenting their pitches  to a panel. The presentations on topics including finance, security, data engineering, marketing, and AI illustrated the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit within the Spring 2024 Executive Residency.

“In the swiftly evolving business landscape of the 21st century, visionary technology leadership stands at the forefront of innovation,” said student Michael Nicholas Colella. “Our residencies are a chance to unite some of the world’s most forward-thinking technology leaders and practitioners in the same room to ideate on how to turn challenges into triumph and help businesses thrive responsibly.”


About the Program

Columbia University's Master of Science in Technology Management is designed to respond to the urgent need for strategic perspectives, critical thinking, and exceptional communication skills at all levels of the workplace and across all types of organizations.