I worked in some interesting IT companies in India and while I was doing well at work, I always wanted to move out of my current work environment and profile in India, which I had for 4.5+ years (Software Development using Java/J2EE and open source technologies). I was looking for some breathing space to work on fresh ideas and new challenges.
When I first came across the Global MISM 21 Month Track, I was quite excited to hop on the board as the new journey could give me a truly global experience. I believe you learn so much more when you travel, meet new friends from around the world, and share your life.
I’ll keep this post relevant for my audience all those who wish to join this program and wish to get some insights. Let me begin saying that the 21 Month MISM track offered by CMU is quite unique in itself. It is definitely a huge investment (in terms of fee, approx. 90K USD including everything), but in my opinion, it is worth a shot if you are looking to take the leap forward.
While in CMU A, I was fortunate to participate in a few competitions like International Innovation Challenge in Canada (November 2016) and Hilti IoT Competiton 2017 in Malaysia (March 2017) and travel to the finals. CMUA encourages students to participate and students get ample opportunities to participate in such competitions, which is apart from your core curriculum at CMU. This helped grow both as an individual and learn more in the process. Travelling is exciting of course and that’s the best use of the Global MISM Program. A few other competitions to explore are GovHack, Teradata challenge where CMU A students have won laurels in the past.
So starting with the courses, so far I’ve taken the following courses in Australia:
- Professional Writing
- Strategic Presentation Skills
- Telecommunications Management
- Organisational Design and Implementation
- Strategic Planning (Elective)
- Text Analytics (Elective)
- Database Management
- Financial Accounting
- Principles of Finance
- Digital Transformation
- Statistics for IT Managers
- Data Mining (Elective)
Next, some FAQs:
Here are some FAQs compiled during Fall 2017:
Some of the common questions that might be useful for everyone in general:
What courses should I take?
It depends on you, there are possibly three career streams that I could think of (but not limited to) that many students opt for.
- Software Engineer / Developer / Researcher (suggested electives – Cloud Computing, Linux, Python etc.)
- Data Analyst / Scientist / Consultant (suggested electives – Data Mining, R, Text Analytics, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Computer Vision etc.)
- Management Consultant / Marketing / Finance (Corporate Finance, Negotiation, Lean Entrepreneurship etc.)
The best part about the Global MISM track is that it is quite flexible on how you can shape your degree into the area of your interest. The end goal should be clear – right from taking the elective courses to your internship and full time.
How to choose / look for an apartment near CMU Australia?
CMU Australia is in Victoria Square and some of the apartments are very close to the university – 500 meters to 2 km and it is recommended that you live nearby to reduce your daily travel time although it may be slightly expensive to live in the CBD Area compared the Suburbs in Adelaide.
Suggested places to stay:
- Towers Apartment (65 King William St. Adelaide SA 5000, Australia)
- Carrington Gardens Apartments (188 Carrington St, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia)
- Prince’s Apartment (39 Grenfell St. , Adelaide SA 5000, Australia)
- Unilodge (https://unilodge.com.au/)
- Urbannest (urbanest.com.au/adelaide/)
In Adelaide, the way you book apartments normally is by contacting local agents or visiting the reception of student accommodations like Unilodge, Urbannest etc.
I would recommend everyone to visit the local classifieds site – gumtree.com.au and look for the apartment listings there. Sometimes you can get really nice apartments and town houses at good prices directly from landlords. Be on time if you book the appointment by calling anyone 🙂
How to get a SIM Card and which one to choose?
You can choose from a variety of SIM card and plans from Vodafone, Optus, and Lycamobile which offer yearly, month on month postpaid and prepaid plans. I initially opted for Optus but later shifted to Lyca mobile as it offered a better plan. You can buy a SIM from the Vodafone or Optus store at the Airport or I would recommend buying it once you’re in the CBD Area by walking in the stores.
If you choose to have a cheaper student friendly option, you can get a Lyca mobile SIM from any convenience store for 1-2 AUD and then recharge online for 29.99 AUD with the first month free if you’re lucky 🙂
Documents Required: CoE/ Student ID, Passport
How much cash to carry, need a FOREX card?
You may be able to carry up to 10K AUD, but always check the exact figure before doing so. I would recommend taking either a FOREX card and 2-3K AUD cash. Alternatively, you could also carry a VISA debit or credit card for meeting your expenses for first few weeks.
How can I get a bank account?
You can walk into the nearby ANZ or Commonwealth bank with your passport, CoE, copy of Australian student visa and get an account created within minutes. The welcome kit will have your debit card and the account normally activates within a day.
There is also an option to open your bank account online by visiting the bank websites but you may still need to visit the bank once you’re in Adelaide to submit your documents.
What will be my average monthly living expenses?
The average could be anywhere between 700 AUD to 1500 AUD per month if you wish to live on a student budget. There is no upper limit though.
Can I carry food items and medicines?
You can carry some basic food items and common OTC medicines. It is good to have a first AID kit handy for use while you’re in Adelaide. However, you may need to declare what you are carrying once you land so its good to visit http://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/immigration-and-visas/customs-clearance and find out what is allowed.
You should DECLARE what you bring to Australia on the immigration form you get at the Airport once you land to avoid any delays and questions by the immigration because your luggage will be scanned anyway.
Some student friendly information?
Subway and a few other joints have student discounts. You can search for to Subway Eat Fresh and avail weekly offers. There is also an app called Pokitpal in the Appstore which gives you nice offers.
There are a number of restaurants which provide Chinese, Korean, Thai and Indian food around Adelaide CBD area, especially in China Town / Central Market. The ideal meal would be 5-30 AUD per meal. Dominos opens till 11:00 pm and is located at Pulteney Street, and also offer cheap options.
Coles and Woolworth super markets are the places to get the groceries. Coles may be slightly cheaper than woolies. You can get some Asian food there including Chinese and Indian. There are also a few Indian Stores in Adelaide like the Indian Plaza (1, 224 Henley Beach RD, Torrensvillee SA 5031, Australia) where you can travel by bus.
You can get a student travel card for the trams and buses using your student ID which you will get during your orientation. The RFID card can be topped up some money and used to travel around.
Now we come to the most important question, which may be useful for all the students. Finding an internship while you’re in Australia, especially when you need to intern for 7-12 weeks (minimum 280 hours for Global MISM) in the Summer.
In my opinion, you can find a good number of internship offers if you are clear, focussed and apply to many places. In words of a few seniors at CMU, its all a number game, the more you apply, the better are your chances. There will, of course, be good help and resources that you will get from the career services in CMU, but you should always apply independently as well.
You should follow a structured approach in your internship search.
Firstly, narrow down on the position you wish to intern for, Software, Data Analyst or a consultancy. Your previous experience may help you in finding a good offer but it isn’t a limitation when you are fresh out of your Bachelor’s degree into the Global MISM program.
Secondly, choose your locations, to be specific – a countries, cities, and list of companies you wish to apply for, and start reaching out to them via LinkedIn or their career portals to start with. Having an employee reference always helps as well.
Thirdly, before you start to apply, make sure you reach the CMU Career Services to get your CV, Cover Letter and material reviewed. You could also take advice from the amazing professors at CMU Australia if you wish to.
You should begin your search by December to start from around 15th May (that was the tentative date for us in 2017). Reach out to as many places as you can, interview as much as you can, its alright to not get selected in the process as you always learn something new 🙂
I’m sure all of you will land great internship offers!
1. Barossa Valley
2. Mclaren Vale wine tour
3. Mt. Lofty
4. State Library (walking distance, also offers a place to study)
5. South Australian Museum (walking distance)
6. Kangaroo Island (weekend trip possible)
Suggested trips on your study breaks:
1. New Zealand (1-2 weeks)
2. Gold Coast / Great Barrier Reef
3. Great Ocean Road (Road trip to Melbourne)
I will keep posting more details that are useful for everyone. You can reach out to me if you have any questions. Have a great time in CMU Australia and Adelaide !
Photo Reference: 2017 Batch at CMU Australia, Carnegie Mellon University, Australia