Akshay Chavan

Country of origin: India

Group Account Manager, XIOS Media Solutions

I had a technical bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. However, I wanted to gain an insight into the management aspects of information systems. I looked at the websites of many courses offered at different British universities. However, most courses offered degrees in MIS systems, which erred on the technical rather than on the management aspects.

When I came across the MSc ITMOC, I was extremely impressed by the way the concepts of technology, organisation and management were explained. I felt that this was what I was looking for. The fact that Lancaster University Management School is well reputed and is world-leading in research also influenced my decision to apply for ITMOC.

My initial reaction after coming to Lancaster was that of bewilderment and fear. For the first time, I was in a completely different cultural and academic environment. The concepts of academic papers, referencing techniques etc, were very new to me. With classmates from different countries, it was very difficult to adjust initially. I almost had a panic attack for my first essay! For a moment, I did wonder whether I had made the right decision.

If anyone were to ask me, what is the best thing about ITMOC, or indeed about LUMS, I would answer it in just a word – the faculty. It is impossible for me to quantify the help and support I have received from the faculty. Our tutors were always there to help me through the most difficult times. The faculty do understand the problems and needs of foreign students and lend a helping hand. And we received training in how to write academically, to give presentations and a host of other things, things which many overseas students are oblivious of.

Things which initially looked liked problems turned out to be blessings in disguise. I understood for the first time how people form different countries think differently. I think it has given me a platform for learning business across boundaries and cultures. ITMOC also offers a wide range of modules from Project Management to Human Resources Management and International Marketing, which I would have never been exposed to, coming from a very technical background. ITMOC is all about tools to find solutions. This, I believe, is ITMOC’s greatest strength, because though solutions may change over time, you may always find a new solution if you have the right tools to do so.

The knowledge gained through ITMOC also helped me gain a job at one of the UK’s leading e-commerce solutions companies, Business1st, where I worked as a user experience consultant. I was fortunate that I was able to implement a lot of things which I learnt through ITMOC.

Since 2008 I have been Group Account Manager with XIOS Media Solutions in Mumbai.

One question which I am asked frequently, especially by Indians: is ITMOC relevant to India? My answer is definitely yes. India, despite being a major technical power, is still oblivious to a lot of socio-cultural complexities that surround IT systems. India is still a virgin territory as far as management of IT systems is concerned. Hence I feel that ITMOC is very relevant to India.