Developing flexibility to move forward: Mastering IT

Photo illustration of CSU's College of Business and PayPal's headquarters
PayPal’s San Jose headquarters and the College of Business at CSU. (Photo illustration)

“Everybody is different,” said Deepak Mirani, a 2015 College of Business graduate who has spent over a decade in the IT industry.

At PayPal’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, Deepak manages quality engineering teams to deliver complex software development projects, serving as a coach and a mentor to the people he works with.

The path ahead

When it came to finding a way for himself to grow and build on his years of experience, Deepak wasn’t immediately sure where to turn.

He started thinking about pursuing an advanced degree that could expand on his skills. But with two young kids, carving out the time for an in-person program wasn’t practical, so Deepak set his sights on distance education.

Deepak Mirani
Deepak Mirani, Quality Engineering Manager, PayPal

He knew he needed the flexibility and found CSU’s online Master of Computer Information Systems degree to be a natural fit.

“I didn’t have to spend time driving to the college and attending the lecture when it was happening. It was on-demand content,” said Deepak, who was able to accommodate his work schedule, watch course lectures, and study when it made sense for him.

At first he worried about the physical distance from professors, wondering whether he would have the support he needed. But once he started the program it was easy to communicate with people and access to all the same information as on-campus students.

Section coordinators, who each have graduate degrees and business experience, also worked with students in the courses to help to clarify difficult concepts, answer questions and facilitate interactions with faculty.

A new perspective

San Jose at night
San Jose at night, via Wikimedia Commons

The program also approached topics from a broad view, said Deepak. It was less about diving deep into a couple of areas, and more about taking a strategic view of the information technology field.

The College of Business degree provided the practical knowledge to develop a stronger understanding of how different IT operations functioned together.

“I could relate what I studied in the two and a half years,” said Deepak, applying what he learned to his work for PayPal.

As a busy manager, he didn’t have the time to experiment with many of the projects he was able to tackle and learn from as an MCIS student.

“I’ve done some CIS; I’ve done some hands-on coding; I’ve done some development projects. It gives me an edge,” he said of the new experiences, “I really enjoyed doing that, that also changes your perspective.”

After studying in the College of Business, having discussions with project engineers has become more rewarding for Deepak as he’s been able to ask deeper questions that can better move projects forward and help his teams grow.

“It’s a mix of everything,” said Deepak, describing the master’s program, “and this degree has helped me a lot.”