Kirti Balagopal ’17
MS Management Information Systems
|Describe your current position. As a Technology Risk Consultant, I am part of a team that helps clients prevent and manage risk-related issues while creating significant value to their business. My work involves many areas including security, privacy, reputation, and control. I help clients across many industries flag, analyze, evaluate, and manage strategic and operational risks while discovering opportunities to create value.
What was your favorite course at A&M? My favorite course was ISYS 630 – MIS Project Management and Implementation. The major factor for this was our professor, Dr. Dwayne Whitten. He is one of the wittiest and charismatic faculty of the INFO Department. He not only knows his material but also understands his students and their diverse cultural backgrounds. He gives realistic and practical examples to convey his lessons and thus easily makes a connection with his students. He also too up a creative and hands-on approach to help students learn the course, which was a driving factor in helping us better understand the material. It is an overall effective and relevant course for MIS students who aspire to work in the IT and Consulting fields.
What was the most beneficial course you took at A&M? The most beneficial course I took was ACCT 648 – Accounting Information Systems. It helped me learn multiple modules of SAP, including finance, controls, sales and distribution, and materials management. Moreover, the course also focused on the basics of IDEA, Tableau, and SAS. This was an elective course but my interest in accounting coupled with my desire to learn SAP led me to take this course during the third semester of my program. Professor Christopher Wolfe is a task master but his classes are among the most intellectually challenging and demanding courses in Mays Business School. He coaxed us not to merely learn the material, but to question every step in the business process of an ERP system. We also came to understand the implications of the presence or absence of each parameter that contributes to a business process. Thus, the course resulted in a holistic learning experience of one of the most relevant tools in the technology industry.
Describe your career to this point and what led to your current position. Before enrolling at Texas A&M, I had been working for four and a half years as a Business Consultant with Tata Consultancy Services, the world’s 10th largest IT services provider. During this period, I helped clients streamline their business processes in the Identity and Access Management area. I also had the opportunity to lead an initiative to migrate a suite of 250 business applications in the investment banking side. My zeal for constant learning, understanding the customer’s business and providing technological solutions to solver their business problems helped me gain real-world consulting skills and experience along the way. Besides my project activities, I also handled the responsibilities of being the Information Security Coordinator (ISC) and Learning and Development Coordinator for my business unit. These additional roles helped me become adept at multi-tasking while helping me thrive in a high-pressure work environment. The strength of my communication within my team as well as those outside the team was crucial to my success at work. Thus my love for interacting and networking with people, coupled with my background of computer science engineering and my master’s degree in MIS, led me to Deloitte and the role of Technology Risk Consultant.
What advice do you have for current students? I think the most important thing a student in Mays Business School should understand is to learn to prioritize. Texas A&M offers a world of opportunities, but students need to understand that they can’t be a part of all of them at the same time. So, learn to choose and make the the best of all you’re a part of, be it a student organization, a volunteer event, a festive gathering, or even an on-campus job. Try to network and make connections with the people you meet. You never know how much you can learn from each individual who crosses your path! Be proactive and grab the chances you get as a student at A&M. Being an Aggie is one of the most blessed and wonderful feelings I’ve had in my life. Always be proud of being an Aggie and work hard to achieve your dreams. There’s no place like Aggieland and it’s truly an honor to be a fighting Texas Aggie!