Lisa Kruczynski appeared to be on a good career path, working as an associate director at the Rotary Club in Fort Worth. But she wanted more. So in January of 2008, she enrolled in the Master of Science in Information Systems Cohort program at the UT Arlington Fort Worth Center.
"Information systems provides a vital link between my undergrad degree and my work experience," she says. "In today's world, most jobs require at least a basic understanding of technology. Understanding the system of people, data and activities that process information within an organization will benefit both me and my employer in any career I choose to pursue."
The objective of the MSIS Cohort program is to provide business managers with the knowledge they need to interface effectively with Information Technology professionals and organizations. The program format allows the same group of students to take 2-3 courses per semester, but in accelerated five-week sessions so they take only one class at a time. Classes meet on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6-10 p.m., which means students can finish in 17 months.
"The camaraderie of the cohort format is essential when moving at such a fast pace through an intense program," Kruczynski says. "Working together enabled us to get to know one another and created a supportive environment in which we could turn to one another for guidance and advice."
Kruczynski received her degree in August 2009 and subsequently took a position as managing director of corporate connectivity at Innovative Developers Inc. in Fort Worth. "This degree has already been instrumental in helping me move to the next level of my career," she says. "It has given me the knowledge and skills I will need to be effective in managing today's technology for the maximum benefit of my employer and our customers."
Kruczynski offers this bit of advice to those seeking any kind of advanced degree in the cohort format: "Graduate level classes at this pace are intense and can be overwhelming. I recommend potential applicants give thoughtful consideration to their current schedules so they can allow for the adequate time and energy necessary to complete this degree in a 17-month period."
Still, she feels it was all worth it and is proud to be a Maverick. "I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment to have attended UT Arlington's Fort Worth Center and earned a graduate-level degree," she says. "The Fort Worth Center is a convenient, well-equipped facility and an excellent resource in the community."