Aayush Sharma, Engineering Management Graduate Program Alumnus, came to UMBC as an international student from India. He has since led a successful career in Project Management in the Washington, D.C. metro area. We sat down with him to discuss his coursework, international student experience, and involvement in student organizations.
Choosing the Engineering Management Graduate Program
Aayush came from a technical background. While he wanted to expand on his technical skills, he also wanted to build interpersonal skills. He decided on pursuing the Engineering Management Graduate Program to meet the current demand of professionals with both technical and management experience. He found that the program was exactly what students needed to prepare for careers in a variety of types of companies.
“The industry needs a person who is good in the technical skills and who is good enough to come and communicate and talk to them and understand what they’re requiring. It’s about the communication, and it’s about managing relationships. “ – Aayush Sharma, Alumnus, UMBC Engineering Management
Aayush’s courses offered real world experiences, including trips working with firms in the Baltimore and D.C. areas. These types of events allowed the chance to see classroom concepts play out in person. Students could also network with those in the industry. Additionally, he credits the location of the campus as a main reason why he chose UMBC, as it is close to many job opportunities in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Aayush found that the flexibility of the Engineering Management Graduate Program let him tailor his degree with courses that applied to his career goals and job opportunities in the area.
“If you are from Computer Science majors, you can take courses from Computer Science. If you’re from Information Systems, you can take from that. Or if you’re interested in Health Informatics, you can actually take courses from Health Informatics.” – Aayush Sharma, Alumnus, UMBC Engineering Management
Specifically, the courses that Aayush highlighted as most valuable to him were in Project Management and Management, Leadership and Communications. While taking Project Management courses, he participated in real projects with the Project Management Institute (PMI). After working in depth with organizations for about four months, Aayush and his team presented their findings and what they learned. In his time at UMBC, Aayush secured an internship and an on-campus job. He also earned certifications and credentials, becoming a Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Product Owner, and more.
An Exceptional International Student Experience
After being accepted to the program, Aayush received support from UMBC and information about living locally. A week of orientation events, including a crab fest and swing dance, let him adjust and meet other students in similar situations. Aayush became involved in various campus organizations, such as the South Asian Student Organization.
More Than a Degree
Aayush describes those around him throughout the program, such as his advisers, peers, co-workers, and faculty, as family. Furthermore, he cites Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of UMBC, as a great leader. Aayush recalled meeting Dr. Hrabowski and reflecting on his time at UMBC as a fond memory.
“I think the whole journey was really memorable. And, it’s not the destination that matters. It’s the journey as well.” – Aayush Sharma, Alumnus, UMBC Engineering Management