Hot Young Engineers: Grad Engineers Big Data Career
Engineer Pradeep Bhat sees potential in big data analytics at tech corporation IBM
Pradeep Bhat, a hot young engineer, is betting on big data. A mechanical engineering graduate, he began his career working at Infosys, India’s second-largest software exporter, as a senior software engineer.
To move into senior management roles, he bgan an MBA at MIP Politecnico di Milano, a top Italian business school, which is his way of bridging technical and business capabilities.
A specialized course at MIP paved a path for him work at global US technology corporation IBM, a leader in big data solutions, as a business analytics intern.
IBM is pushing into analytics and cloud computing and Pradeep sees much potential in the data field. A KPMG survey last month found that analytics skills have leapt to the number-one most-needed skill, skyrocketing to almost six times higher than the next-most-scarce talent.
Why did you decide to begin an MBA at MIP?
After working with one of the top IT consulting firms for almost four years, it was time for me to dig deeper into the functional side of my profession. An MBA was the perfect way to transform my career with a blend of business skills and technical capabilities.
The scholarships and extra-curricular opportunities offered by MIP also influenced my decision.
What are the key benefits of the MBA?
I was able to analyse business concepts while keeping my prior professional background in mind.
This approach helped me get in touch with many engineering-based companies, and finally landed me project work at IBM. Additionally, I believe the MBA will give me an added advantage when I shift gears and take up more responsibility in future.
What value do you place on international study experiences and engagement with international students?
As one of my professors used to say: “International education is not just an option, but a must if you aspire to do something breath-taking.”
An international experience provides a fresh view of the outer world, pushing you to think outside of the box, and helps you to explore new possibilities and opportunities.
International education is an experience in itself, an opportunity to refresh one’s thoughts and make one creative and innovative.
In addition to the MBA, you’ve applied to a specialist master in business analytics at Arizona State. What will the master add to your skill-set that an MBA hasn’t already?
I see business analytics as a specialization [compared] to my MBA. To take advantage of this specialized course, it was necessary to be familiar with both [the] technical and functional sides of business, [which I got from the MBA].
Business analytics is evolving, and is expected to grow at a very rapid pace. I will be prepared to ride the wave.
What career opportunity do you see in the field of data analytics?
Data analytics is projected to grow. McKinsey & Co predicts the analytics field will create about 1.5 million jobs by 2018.
It is exciting for me to be a part of this field and start from the very beginning of a new era of computing systems.
What does your role at IBM involve and how important was the big data analytics course at MIP in securing the job?
The big data analytics course at MIP, presented by Proffessor Guido Gerlotti, has been a real turning point for me. The content was well designed to introduce the concept of analytics, even to candidates with non-IT-based backgrounds.
The course included [the] involvement of various, well-known guest speakers from IBM, who spent time interacting [with students] and delivering the core concept of data analytics.
A company visit was also organized, which familiarized us with IBM’s workplace, and showed the work culture at the world’s leading analytical firm.
The course played a very important role in my life and helped me to shift my [career] direction towards big data analytics. Today, I work on creating higher value propositions for IBM and its clients, by brainstorming possibilities in the field of data analytics to enrich consumer value and drive sales.
What further potential use does big data and analytics have in business?
Big data and analytics are still in their evolutionary stage. But with proper analysis, one can precisely predict events in future, and take evasive action today to survive and grow in the competitive economy.
You mentioned that you had a business plan and had secured funding from angel investors. Tell us about this venture and where it’s at now.
The business plan was a part of the Lean Launchpad program, a first-of-its-kind course aimed at the development and execution of a business idea.
The three-month program — organized by MIP alumni Artem Karida, Stefano Barazzetta, Simon Maccioni and Daniele Di Maiuta — was for only a select few MBA candidates.
The course was designed to push us; to extract the best entrepreneurial skills from us; and to make us realize and learn from each of our mistakes.
After the completion of the program, our work was pitched in front of Polihub, the business incubator of Politecnico di Milano, which was pleased with our efforts and presented us with an investment opportunity.
Unfortunately, due to my project work at IBM, I had to turn down the business incubator opportunity. But two of my very capable teammates have opted to continue their work at Polihub.
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