Saint Mary’s University Science: Extended family

With the proper support, you can do anything

Kanngi Mahajan enrolled in her MSc Computing and Data Analytics Program at Saint Mary's University as one of the youngest people in her class. Moving to Halifax from India, she felt nervous about her transition, but within the first few steps into her class, she was comforted by the environment around her at SMU.

"I still remember the day when I had received acceptances from all of the top universities, SMU being one of them, and I had to choose one," Mahajan says. "My family and I were moved by the way Dr. Pawan Lingras defined this program at SMU, and I'm so happy to have gone the direction that I did. Dr. Lingras, along with the graduate program manager Keith Bein, have always been a big support to me throughout this program."

Mahajan speaks to the quality of the program at SMU and how the instructors work day in and day out to ensure that you are feeling prepared. "Right from the beginning they lay down the course structure and extend their open and flexible schedules to you. If you're not satisfied, you have tutors to assist you at just a call or email away," she says.

Along with the help and open discussions she received from her provided mentor, Sreejata Chatterjee, many of her classmates came from different backgrounds, and Mahajan felt she had a lot to learn from everyone around her. "It was amazing exposure to come across such in-depth knowledge in different subjects," she says.

Mahajan gives credit to her teachers and classmates at SMU for their support, and with their help she completed her course – which usually takes 16 months – in just 11. Prior to her graduation, she already had a job waiting for her at IBM.

"Everyone was such a big help, and it advanced smoothly and quickly. I worked really hard and it felt so rewarding to get there," says Mahajan. Working at IBM is an incredible achievement, as Mahajan is working directly on innovative projects to help find solutions to contemporary challenges as an IT Specialist.

IBM provides Mahajan with new learning opportunities every day, where she works with experienced team members and amazing new technologies. "When I was first placed on the Data Analytics project, I was nervous about working with people who had 20 years of background. But while I sat in that meeting, to my surprise, I was an active part of it and could understand everything," she says, thanks to her Data Mining classes. It was in these classes with Dr. Lingras that they performed case studies that served as real-world problems, and eventually came in handy for Mahajan.

Mahajan says because of her long-distance support from her family and her friends, in conjunction with the faculty at Saint Mary's, she was able to manage everything and end up where she is now.

"Everything seems hard from the outside, but once you get started the path becomes clear and you realize that you can really do this. This program helped me, not only by progressing my career but it has given me one of the best gifts in being at IBM today."