In less than two years, Swechchha Tiwarihas achieved more than she ever thought she could when she embarked on a Master’s in Information Technology programme.
The software engineer became confident using Python, Django, GIT, Linux as well as Google Cloud Platform and ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) tools such as Pentaho data integration and Tableau Prep. She gained social skills in collaboration and communication that are highly valued by employers today. She took courses in analytics, using it to analyse and visualise data effectively.
All of this was possible thanks to the University of New Hampshire (UNH).
“All the professors helped me a lot regarding any of the questions I had even after the class. Overall, I feel very confident after completing my Master’s degree from UNH,” Swechchha said.
UNH is a public research university that offers a campus in Manchester, a city in southern New Hampshire with a burgeoning start-up scene. It provides experience-driven, comprehensive and high-quality undergraduate and graduate programmes. Expert faculty deliver these distinctive programmes in small, dynamic classes with a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio and fewer than 30 students in 97 percent of classes.
Preparing students for one of the most rapidly growing fields today is its Master of Science in Information Technology programme (MS IT). It covers all technological aspects of the modern world, from mobile applications, social platforms and virtual reality to data centres, high-speed networks and automation.
Students learn how to develop, adapt, integrate and manage computing technologies that solve complex problems and enable innovations.
The MS IT programme combines learning activities with authentic project experiences and the use of cutting-edge tools and platforms. Capitalising on its location in New Hampshire’s largest city and the state’s corporate and financial centre, the programme centres on applied, real-world learning in the field.
As Swechchha discovered, all of that was very much true to her experience.
Her most memorable classes at UNH were Full Stack Development and Data Communications and Visualisation taught by Dr. Mihaela Sabin and Professor Karen Clark, respectively.
In the former, Dr. Sabin helped her enhance her programming skills and become confident in using software engineering technologies.
In the latter, she learned SQL, how to analyse data and how to present visualisations in front of a general audience. With the help of Professor Jin, she became well-versed in using the business intelligence tool Tableau, leading to an invaluable internship at Allegro Microsystems.
Allegro MicroSystems is a Massachusetts-based company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets analogue and mixed-signal semiconductors. It offers magnetic sensor integrated circuits (ICs), dual element switches, micropower switches, single output drivers and LED drivers.
All MS IT students are required to enrol in at least one credit of its internship course after their first semester of study, to apply knowledge and skills learned during coursework to address problems identified by the internship employer. Students are expected to contribute to the company’s IT products, processes and services, under the guidance of a faculty advisor and workplace advisor.
Swechchha got to do all of the above as an intern at Allegro Microsystems during the summer of 2019, where she was taught by senior business analyst Karen Clark.
In a LinkedIn review, Clark highly recommended Swechchha for the value she brought to the company during her internship.
“During the course of her internship, Swechchha provided a lot of support to our Tableau community, providing her expertise to end-users while also maintaining management dashboards,” she wrote. “Though our data is not always well defined, Swechchha did well to independently learn the data and draw valuable conclusions.”
Part of the credit for this has to go to UNH’s career and professional services, which are available to all students. For example, students receive help to review their resumes, conduct mock interviews and tips for approaching job fairs. There is a course to prepare students for internships too.
“I would say UNH helps its students as much as they can,” Swechchha said. “Not just technically, but also in improving their social skills, which is very much beneficial for international students.”
Being in Manchester is a big plus as well. The university is linked with many business, technology and non-profit organisations which sponsor internships. It’s a relationship that bodes well for students as they get to gain authentic professional experiences in their academic coursework early in the programme.
The many IT companies around the area was one of the reasons Swechchha chose to pursue her MS IT at UNH. It’s a decision she was glad she made.
“Manchester has a good accessibility to Boston which is a technology hub, so it becomes easier to apply for jobs and internships,” she said, adding that Manchester is a beautiful city and just an hour drive from Boston, the beach and beautiful White Mountains.
When asked what advice she would give any international students that are considering UNH as their study abroad destination, she said: “UNH Manchester is a good school to get into.”