Cornell University
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Matt Green, InfoSci MPS '13

Where are you working and since when?

I am currently working at General Electric (Corporate) in Fairfield, CT for the ERP Data Archival team where I am the lead architect/technologist for the solution.  I started with the GE ITLP program in June of 2013 so I’ve almost arrived at my one year GE anniversary!

Why you selected the MPS program at Cornell?

Selecting the MPS program at Cornell University was a no-brainer for me. While doing my BSc in The School of Hotel Administration at Cornell I always wanted to broaden my technical depth and knowledge – I concentrated in Information Science through the Hotel School but wanted more hands on knowledge and exposure to technologies and how they were morphing our world. I met with Carl Lagoze and bluntly asked him if it even made sense for me to apply for the program given my limited technical background; after seeing my enthusiasm and passion for IS and by extension CS he told me that he would be upset if I didn’t apply.

The most important thing you learned and/or course you took?

Choosing a most important thing or course is very difficult in this context especially so because the MPS is a “handcrafted” program – every course is important! If I had to choose though I would definitely say that Web Information Systems (INFO 4302) from a technical standpoint and then Advanced HCI (INFO 4400) from an HCI standpoint were the most important courses for me because they laid the foundation for me to fully understand and appreciate the delicacies of Information Science and how it is really different from Computer Science. But, aside from the coursework, the most important thing I learned from the MPS was to challenge myself and step outside of my comfort-zone, doing so matured me greatly and afforded me the opportunities to always be the victor in challenging courses/situations.

What skill / tool you are currently using that you took away from the program.

Unequivocally – ADAPTABILITY! My two semesters doing the MPS taught me how to learn new technologies quickly and how to challenge others to help you to get up to speed. Working in IT means that while you have your favorite technologies and strong skills in that one niche technology, but every single day you are challenged with some “next best tech” that no one knows about but you need to ASAP. The MPS taught me how to be flexible and how to learn new things quickly – in fact, within my first month of the program I went from knowing nothing about Python to using frameworks and writing algorithms (Information Retrieval INFO 4300) because I had to. I loved that push because it helped me to learn new technologies, but more so, it helped me to learn that I could in fact learn new technologies even though I thought I couldn’t.

Advice you would give to incoming students

My advice to any student entering the MPS program is plainly, challenge yourself. This program is a difficult one especially because you get the flexibility to make it what you want it to be. I used the MPS to stretch myself thin and to purposely expose myself to things that I have never heard about or thought I would have use for (Architecture Of Large-Scale Info Systems INFO 5300), one year into working with GE, I use these principles daily and the knowledge that I got from building and breaking things practically (for example, Rapid Prototyping INFO 4320) helps me to be more creative about my approaches and solutions. However, most importantly and probably the most obvious piece of advice is to leverage your network! No one wants to see you fail and if you ask for help, its seldom that people will refuse – that’s the beauty about the MPS community and more so Cornell at large.