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Spring 2021 Advisory

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The Value of Intangibles: Yousuf Ahmad on IKNS

Yousuf Ahmad, a student in Columbia’s Information and Knowledge Strategy program, speaks on why IKNS is such a valuable field of study for professionals looking to the future. He highlights his favorite parts of the program, and provides meaningful advice for current and future students.

What prompted you to study IKNS, over other graduate programs? Why did you decide to return to school after already completing a terminal degree?

I was not necessarily looking to pursue another graduate degree. I am blessed to work in the healthcare industry. However, it is fraught with endemic problems that need systemic solutions. Its players (hospitals, physicians, pharmacies, and payers) need to collaborate better, so that the consumers of healthcare can better afford it, can better access it, and can better experience it. The IKNS program is the only program I found that didactically and experientially teaches you to achieve outcomes through collaboration.  

You spoke recently at the Project Management Institute’s Global Executive Council. How was that experience?

It was an engaging, learning experience speaking at the PMI Global Executive Council. To hear how people across the globe have been affected by this pandemic (at varying levels) and to realize that we all have a lot more in common in our struggles than we may think was a unifying experience. The engagement not only allowed me to share what I learned, but also to learn from the experience of the other participants.

What have been some of the highlights of the program for you so far?

My professors, my fellow students, guest speakers, course content, and class projects have all been highlights of the program for me. I love the fact that the professors act more like consultants and guides than traditional professors.

How do you explain IKNS to someone who might not be familiar with it?

I explain it like this. Over seventy percent of investments being made in the world today are on intangibles, like knowledge and social capital, yet most people do not know that. In a highly digitized era, where knowledge will become the most marketable asset, if it is not already, the program teaches you the art and science of information knowledge and strategy.  

Do you have any advice for current and future students of the program?

You will get out of the program what you put into it. My organization, AssureCare, has directly benefited from what I have learned from the IKNS program so far. For future students, I encourage them to talk to Dr. Beth Semaya and Michael Karbowiak, who are both tremendously helpful, and they will be able to guide you in your decision-making. I am so glad I chose to pursue my degree in IKNS!

Learn more about the Information and Knowledge Strategy M.S. program.