Rahul Mohanani

Country of origin: India

Doctoral Researcher, University of Oulu (Finland)

Lancaster University Management School – consistently amongst the top 1% of business schools worldwide, and in the UK’s top 10, with a multicultural campus, world-class research and management-oriented courses – was one of the obvious choices for me to pursue a graduate course in IT-based management science.

My decision to accept LUMS for my Masters degree became one of the proudest of my career when LUMS was ranked 1st in the UK for ‘research power’ in REF 2014.

I had completed my undergraduate degree in computer engineering from the University of Mumbai, India and worked as a lecturer for the next two years in the Department of Computer Science. For my future professional growth and to expand my knowledge in the field of applied IT in industry, I was searching for a course different from mainstream MIS courses offered worldwide, yet providing a balance of business-related theoretical knowledge and implications for the ever-changing nature of IT in the global arena.

The MSc ITMOC with its integrated approach to IT and academic focus on management, technology and organisation, provided just what I was looking for. Also, as IT is now regarded as the most crucial factor in strategic decision-making in an organisation, ITMOC provides the knowledge base starting from the most basic management theory to using IT as an all-important tactic to influence the ‘change’ in an organisation. I couldn’t have found anything better. The individual modules were planned in a way to provide the most holistic view of using the IT to strategise the decision-making in an organisation.

Modules like Systemic Intervention and Consulting, Strategy and IT Management, Analysis, Design and Innovation, contributed immensely to build my problem-solving skills, basic research methodologies and encouraged a critical thinking approach. It also helped in changing my view of IT from just a standalone technological boost to something that can and should be modified to bring about a tailor-made organisational transformation. The teaching was world-class and lecturers always encouraged us to develop our own creative ideas to bring about an IT-induced change by considering the social and technological culture of an organisation.

The learning environment was excellent and I made lifelong friends from all over the world. Interacting with them during the group-work and reflective practice sessions improved me as a human more than anything else. The constant stream of guest lecturers, seminars, workshops and knowledge-acquiring trips just adds more value to this fantastic course.

The summer dissertation was one of the major highlights for me personally and for my career. We were given absolute freedom to choose ourown topic of empirical research or to work with the many collaborating employers with their in-house projects. I chose the former. Our course director sponsored my research without any hesitation and the non-teaching staff provided excellent support. Thanks to the ever-present support of my supervisor I produced a dissertation that won me the ‘Best Dissertation Award, ITMOC 2013’. It was later published at ICSE 2013 as a full research paper. ITMOC laid the foundationfor me to pursue my dream of doctoral research in software engineering. Learning the concepts of basic research methodologies would forever remain the building blocks of my career. Thanks to ITMOC and to my dissertation, I secured a place on the PhD programme at the University of Oulu in Finland, where I am now a Doctoral Researcher and Teaching and Research Assistant.

Life on the Lancaster campus was very convenient, fun and relaxing. Lancaster University is one of very few campuses around the world where you get to be a part of a global community, with students belonging to many nationalities that makes us adapt to different cultures, beliefs and ethics. There are huge numbers of social and cultural events organised by student groups and societies. In a nutshell, I feel proud to be an ITMOC alumnus and will forever cherish the time spent with the ITMOC family.