AN EDUCATION THAT GIVES STUDENTS A NEW CHANCE IN LIFE – Ryan’s Story

FROM TOXICOLOGY TO SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

Ryan Lindsey grew up in Bossier City, Louisiana, and studied Toxicology at the University of Louisiana. He’s currently a student in MIU’s Master’s in Software Development program (MSD). It may seem like a huge jump from toxicology to software development, so let’s learn more about Ryan and his journey, and why he feels this education can give students from around the world a new chance in life.

CA: Tell us a little about your background, Ryan.

Ryan: When I graduated with my Bachelors in Toxicology, I didn’t know what to do with my degree. Toxicology is a cross between biology and chemistry, and I would need to go to graduate school and specialize in order to advance in my field. So, I decided to take some time to do some soul searching and part of that process led me to learn the Transcendental Meditation technique, and that led me to find out about the Master’s in Software Development (MSD) program.

CA: What specifically influenced your decision to apply to MSD?

Ryan: We’re in a big tech era, where software development and IT technology are exploding. I started messing around with coding for about 6 months and it clicked for me. Once I knew how much I loved coding, I started looking for the best education I could find in software development, but my options were limited because I didn’t have a background in computer science.  When I heard about MSD and that they accept a Bachelor’s degree in any subject, and don’t require a background in computer science, I jumped on it. I was especially happy to find a university where everyone practices TM.

CA: Is your TM practice helping with your studies?

Ryan: With my regular TM, it doesn’t feel like work, even if I’m working and studying day in and day out. TM is the key to my ability to do this rigorous program and succeed. I can’t manage the workload if my mind isn’t clear and if I’m unable to manage the schedule. There are days when I spend 10 or 11 hours on the computer. For a lot of people that would be unimaginable, but when you have clarity of mind you can go as far as you want but never lose track of yourself.

CA: What are your ultimate goals? What do you hope to achieve from this program?

Ryan: Actually, I have three goals.

The things we do day in and day out have a huge impact on our health and mental space.  I want to be in a place where I can wake up each day and not dread what’s coming – to greet each day with an attitude of enjoyment. When I am working with computers I can go home at the end of the day and feel perfectly fine. So, my first goal is to improve my quality of life.

My second goal is to be financially secure, in a place where I can thrive and prosper, and not worry about paying bills or having enough food to eat.

My third goal is to have a new chance in life. MIU is a unique experience because we are cultivated on a holistic level rather than a purely intellectual level. If we allow that to happen it can change our life. A lot of people are solely focused on getting good grades but aren’t setting themselves up to succeed in all areas of their lives. We can get good grades and that’s fine, but this education is structured in a way that we can see inside and explore more of ourselves and discover what great human beings we are. We miss out on that if we only focus on surface success. By exploring the inner self, we see more deeply into the subject, which will make us more successful in our lives and in the workplace.

CA: That’s a beautiful understanding of the education at MIU, Ryan. How do you feel the faculty contribute to the scope of education?

Ryan: All of our faculty are interested and invested in how we are doing in the program. They look out for each of us on a personal level and challenge us intellectually. They make us think. Some students think MIU will be less challenging than other universities, but the academic program is just as challenging here as it would be at any top university.

CA: How do you feel about the unique structure of the MSD program?

Ryan: The great thing about MIU is the block system. I’ve never seen anything like it before. We focus on one subject for an entire month and spend 6 days a week on that subject. The class lectures are more conversational and we can go deeper into the fine details of the subjects we are learning. It makes for deeper understanding and we learn more than we would if we only spent 50 minutes twice a week in a class.

I like that the courses constantly build on top of each other so we never lose what we are learning. By the time we come out of the program, we use every bit of knowledge that we learned in our classes. MIU really nailed this, it’s such a huge advantage in learning. Exposure and constantly using the knowledge through class projects also solidifies it in our minds. It’s not memorizing, it’s studying in order to use these tools.

CA: If a friend asks if they should apply to the MSD program what would you recommend?

Ryan: I would tell them it’s intense. Be sure to know what you’re getting into and what you want. This isn’t going to college just for another degree; you come for a career-focused degree in software development.

I would also tell him or her that if you come here to get your master’s degree, be sure to learn TM. It’s not a religious thing or even a lifestyle. It will help you so much during the whole MSD program if you can touch base with yourself, and that silence inside. Then your learning will take you to more than just a nice job, it will take you to a beautiful life.

 

Ryan is currently enrolled in the Master’s in Software Development program and will begin applying for JavaScript web developer positions when his courses finish in August 2021. We wish him the best of luck and promise to keep you posted about his next adventure in the world of IT!

The Master’s in Software Development is a 12-month accelerated track or 18-month standard track training program for U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Asylees, to become software developers. Previous software development training or experience is not necessary to enroll in this program and any bachelor’s degree in any subject is eligible for admission.

This article was written by Christine Albers, Freelance Writer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selamawit Develops Confidence at MIU

Selamawit Shibru had an interesting journey from Jimma, Ethiopia to Atlanta, Georgia, and then on to Fairfield, Iowa to attend the Master’s in Software Development (MSD) program. Let’s hear why she chose MSD instead of a boot camp and how she grew in confidence while studying at MIU.

CA: Can you tell us a bit about your background, Selamawit?

Selamawit: I grew up in Jimma, Ethiopia, and earned my Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering.  I came to the USA in 2018 and landed in Atlanta, Georgia where I attended an Ethiopian community meeting to help professionals find jobs. They presented MIU and boot camps as good opportunities. Since I had some background in C++ and IT, the idea of training as a JavaScript developer was appealing.

CA: Why did you choose MSD instead of a boot camp?

Selamawit: The one-year Master’s program at MIU looked rigorous, but it wasn’t as intense as the boot camps. MIU’s financial aid package was better than boot camps because I wouldn’t have to work to support myself while going to school, and the Tuition Refund Guarantee gave me a feeling of security. Also, while living in the Ethiopian community in Atlanta, we only interacted with each other, so I liked that MIU was multi-cultural.

CA: How did you enjoy the culture at MIU and the Master’s program?

Selamawit: In Ethiopia, I came from a culture where women in my generation could be shy to speak up and ask questions.  As a result, when I arrived in the USA, I was afraid to talk to people. However, my professors and classmates at MIU were very friendly and helpful. We had lots of discussions in class, where I was encouraged to speak up and ask questions. And we worked together in teams on projects, which made it easier to learn. I made lasting friendships with people from many countries and cultures and improved my communication skills during that time.

CA: How do you feel now that you’ve graduated?

Selamawit: I’m happy because I worked hard and completed the course, got my Master’s Degree, and grew a lot from my interactions with everyone at MIU. I developed my self-esteem and confidence and now I feel that I have everything I need for my new career.

 

Selamawit is currently working as a Front-End Software Developer for Code the Dream in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Masters of Software Development is a 12-month accelerated track or 18-month standard track training program for U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Asylees, to become software developers. Previous software development training or experience is not necessary to enroll in this program and any bachelor’s degree in any subject is eligible for admission.

This article was written by Christine Albers, Freelance Writer

 

From Farming to Software Development – Kasahun’s Story

EVERYTHING KASAHUN LOVES BEST ABOUT MSD

Kasahun Tehone grew up in a farming culture in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. His dad was a farmer and he and his 4 brothers and sisters all helped on the farm while they were growing up. And here he is in America, pursuing a Master’s degree in Software Development. Let’s hear his story and how he came to study at MIU.

CA: Kasahun, I understand your father was a farmer. What else can you tell us about your parents?

Kasahun: My father was a soldier and he was permanently injured while protecting his country. He went through many struggles but still sent all 8 kids to college and made sure we were cared for, had good attitudes, and became professionals. Both my father and mother taught me to stay strong in times of challenges and motivated me to be a good person and a patriot, and to achieve my dream of a successful career.

CA: How did you hear about MIU?

Kasahun: I heard of MIU while I was an undergrad student at Addis Ababa Science and Technology University in Ethiopia, where I studied Computer Science. MIU is famous in the IT sector in Ethiopia, so I knew that it was the place for me.

CA: Why did you choose the MSD program?

Kasahun: I had three reasons for choosing MSD: 1) the high market demand for JavaScript web developers, 2) the MSD courses are well-organized for targeting the market, and 3) with the tuition refund guarantee I don’t have to worry about what might happen if, for some reason, I can’t find a job within a year of graduating.

CA: Are you concerned about getting a job?

Kasahun: Not really. We are in contact with the recent graduates who are getting good jobs in big corporations, so I am confident, but it’s nice to have that security. It’s a big change to live in a different country, so having the guarantee made it easier to commit to the program.

CA: How do you like the campus?

Kasahun: What I like is the environment, because it’s a green and peaceful area with a diverse community. I like that we don’t have to worry about paying rent or cooking meals, so we can focus on our classes. It’s important that the campus is COVID-free. We are careful to wear masks on campus and in the classroom, and we were all tested when we arrived.

CA: How are your classes?

Kasahun: I like the modular system of offering one subject at a time. It’s better than taking many subjects at the same time because we can go deeper into each part and digest that knowledge, and then progress to the next course.

CA: How is the Transcendental Meditation program working for you?

Kasahun: TM was a new thing for me but I discovered it is valuable for learning. Morning meditation gives me the energy to follow attentively in class, then the afternoon meditation clears up any tiredness in my body and mind and helps me stay alert and focused on my studies at night.

CA: What inspires you most about MIU?

Kasahun: As one who came from a different culture and background, I was happy to find that MIU is a place where you can shape yourself socially, academically, and spiritually while working to accomplish your dream.

CA: Would you recommend this program to your friends?

Kasahun: It’s a great program for anyone who wants to study coding. And for anyone with a professional background who is working an hourly, low-paid job I would tell them they have the potential to change their lives rather than spending it in the same cycle. They should take a chance – come to MIU and create a better future.

Kasahun is currently enrolled in the Masters of Software Development program and will begin applying for JavaScript web developer positions when his courses finish in August 2021. We wish him the best of luck and success in his future career in software development.

The Masters of Software Development is a 12-month accelerated track or 18-month standard track training program for U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Asylees, to become software developers. \Previous software development training or experience is not necessary to enroll in this program and any US equivalent bachelor’s degree in any subject is eligible for admission.

 

This article was written by Christine Albers, Freelance Writer

 

Professor Asaad Saad featured on “Adventures with Angular” podcast

Angular vs React: What Grad Students Pick 100% of the Time

Professor Asaad Saad, Program Director for the Master’s in Software Development program and Professor of Computer Science, discusses why learning Angular creates a better software engineer, and why we teach it at MIU. Listen to podcast here:

 

Making the Right Decision Leads to a Master’s in Software Development

An Interview with Shawn Daudi, 2020 MIU Graduate

By Christine Albers

In 2014, Shawn Daudi had to decide between a first-class ticket home to Los Angeles or pursuing an education at MIU. Six years later, with a Master’s Degree in Software Development, Shawn knows he made the best decision in his life when he decided to take his education seriously and commit to some hard work. Let’s hear his story!

Christine (CA): How did you hear about MIU, Shawn?

Shawn: My sister, who teaches Transcendental Meditation, tried to convince me to go to MIU, but I wasn’t about to leave Los Angeles and go to the middle of nowhere. I was thinking, LA is where it’s at, but my mom said, “Just go try it out for 6 months and if you don’t like it, I’ll buy you a first-class ticket and you can come home.” So, I thought I would try it for 6 months and go back home. I didn’t think I would ever graduate from college.

When I got here, I was thinking, oh college life, I’ll just relax with my friends and have fun. But one day, after finishing my third year, I was sitting at Caribou Coffee and it hit me, “Am I actually going to get a Bachelor’s degree?” Something shifted inside me. I decided to take my senior year seriously and I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2017.

CA:   Why did you choose the Masters in Software Development?

Shawn: After I graduated with my BA in Business, I realized that being an executive or supervisor is not my thing. I had an interest in computers and thought I might prefer to be the person developing something on the floor. Ironically, after resisting coming to Fairfield, I didn’t want to leave, so when they launched the new Masters in Software Development program, I was all over it.

They say that all the information you need is on the internet, but some people do better in a classroom setting and I’m one of those people. I felt this program was a calling for me. Although I had no background in software development Luke (MSD Director) said I was the perfect candidate and it worked out perfectly.

CA: How did your family feel about the new program?

Shawn: My family was a huge help. Without them, I don’t know what I would have done. My sister introduced me to MIU, my mom encouraged me to go, and my dad was a disciplinarian so he pushed me. His attitude was to work hard and accomplish something. So, in my mind, if it was a challenge, I needed to go for it, and that came from him.

CA: What did you like best about the MSD program?

Shawn: I liked that it was difficult, challenging. I had lost sight of how to work hard for something, and I discovered the merit in finding yourself through hard work. My dad once told me that when someone earns something, and they know they’ve earned it, that’s the best possible feeling.   With the MSD program, I worked hard and felt I had earned my Master’s degree. It was by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my entire life, but it was worth every single minute. I didn’t think I would finish high school, let alone get a Bachelor’s Degree, so when I got my Master’s Degree it was emotional for me.

CA: Were you able to stay balanced during the 12 months of courses?

Shawn: At the beginning of the program I told myself I would stay up until 2 am every night and study, study, study. After 6 months I realized I needed sleep. Sleep for a programmer is like mental steroids. I learned very quickly to stop at 11 pm or midnight, get some sleep and start again the next morning. The meditation also helped me handle the stress and fatigue.

CA: How do you like the international setting at MIU?

Shawn: It’s great! Before I came to MIU I didn’t know anyone from Africa. Now I have so many Ethiopian friends.  I’ve eaten Ethiopian food; I know a few phrases of Ethiopian and I get along with them so well. It can be a bit scary at first because you don’t know exactly what their culture encompasses. But when you get to know them you realize you have a lot in common. My Ethiopian friends have such a sense of community amongst them and that’s the type of social life that I wish we had more of in the United States. We don’t have it on the level that they do. They are light years ahead of us in this way.

CA: How were the classes? Did you get the knowledge you need to go into the job market?

Shawn: When we finished the course, our professors said, “Now you know the basics and you’re good to go,” but I was nervous. The nature of the computer industry is that there’s so much information that it’s impossible to know it all.  So, I talked to my friends who work in the industry and when they looked at the curriculum they said, “You are way ahead of this.” That was a big relief and boosted my confidence.

CA:  How is the Career Development program working for you?

Shawn: I can’t believe how valuable it is, I didn’t know how great it was until I got into it. The director (Kay Hazen) is absolutely phenomenal. She is such a good coach. If I’m in a weird funk, she just outlines the next steps and I’m back on track.

CA: What do you think of the faculty?  

Shawn: The faculty members are incredible. I think that teaching computer science is an art. There’s a bit of a gray area between teaching and making it so we can understand. It’s hard to zero in on it and they did great because they understood the art of teaching the subject. You can be the most expert developer in the world but not know how to teach, and I made it difficult for them.  I was constantly asking questions and complaining that it was too hard but they put up with me and we’re all buddies.

CA: Would you recommend the MSD program to other students?

Shawn: I absolutely recommend this program. Whenever I have an opportunity to meet a potential student or candidate, I always tell them to check it out. Especially now with the 18-month standard program, it’s easier to learn everything at a comfortable pace. That was a great addition to the program.

For me, enrolling in the MSD program was the best decision I ever made in my life. I love the faculty, and even though it was challenging, I’m proud that I pushed through and got my Master’s in Software Development.

 

Shawn graduated from the Masters of Software Development program in August 2020 and is currently working as an Admissions Representative for Maharishi International University while pursuing a remote position as a JavaScript web developer. We wish him the best of luck!

The Masters of Software Development is a 12-month accelerated track or 18-month standard track training program for U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Asylees, to become software developers. Previous software development training or experience is not necessary to enroll in this program and any US equivalent bachelor’s degree in any subject is eligible for admission.

 

 

 

 

 

A Masters in Software Development Program that Exceeds Expectations

An Interview with Michael Fitzgerald, MSD Student

“The culture at MIU is truly an internationally-diverse one. We hear about the need for people to come together and experience other cultures to broaden their perspective, but at MIU, it’s automatically the reality. And it’s just so beautiful to see many different cultures overlapping and co-existing. Even students from countries with a conflict between them interact joyously and peacefully here. It’s incredible and very uplifting.”

Michael Fitzgerald is finishing his course work for a Masters in Software Development degree at Maharishi International University (MIU) and will be seeking a job as a JavaScript web developer.  In this article, he shares his experience of the program and why he thinks it may exceed many students’ expectations.

Michael, how did you come to join the MSD program in 2019?

I graduated from MIU in 2016 with a Math degree and accepted a digital marketing position with a Fairfield company.   Two years later my friend Luke Hillis suggested I might like the new computer science program, which he was managing. I knew I needed more education if I wanted a career in computer science and it seemed like a good wave to catch and ride because the world of web development and JavaScript is exploding in demand.

How did your Math background prepare you for software development?

Most anything computer science-related has its basis in math, and ultimately, math is an exercise in spatial and logical thinking. So, the two disciplines go hand in hand.

What are your career goals?

If I find the right position on the entry-level, I hope to build a solid career with room to grow. I see lots of potential roles in the software development arena, such as Product Management, DevOps, etc. I’d also like to explore staying in Fairfield, using the education I get from the program, and building a software development firm here.

Why Fairfield?

The people here have qualities that you may not find in other places. The best way I can describe it is the ability to connect on deeper levels and a certain level of awareness that makes it a safe space to have a natural and effortless exchange of ideas. Maybe it’s due to going deeper inside during the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program and experiencing more inner happiness that makes people here so open and caring.

How has your TM program helped you during the course?

What suffers the most when you’re in school is having enough time in the day to fit everything in.  I have to choose how many hours I can sleep, how long to study and when to study, and when to stay up late.  I’d be worse off and further out of balance if I didn’t prioritize my meditation twice a day. If I only get 5 hours of sleep, I still make sure I fit my meditation in before the morning lectures so I feel rested and alert. It’s a technique for maintenance and I notice if I neglect that aspect.

The students on the MSD program represent 40 to 50 countries. What’s it like, being with so many international students?

It’s great. I’ve made lifelong friends from other countries and had unique and unforgettable experiences, like listening to a traditional Ethiopian singer while working on projects with Ethiopian students. We may be from many different countries, but we’re all on the same trajectory, taking our classes together, so there’s a cool group feeling that we’re in this together. The whole program and curriculum are laid out, so it’s like riding a train, and there’s this sense that the train will take you to totally new heights.

What do you think of the Faculty?

I’ve enjoyed connecting with the faculty; they are compassionate, helpful, and smart. We’ve come a long way when you consider it was the first year of this program and it doesn’t require previous coding experience. We had to trust that the faculty had done the best job of planning and organizing the course and we would be successful. Now that the 12 months are coming to an end, I realize how much I’ve learned.

How is MIU different from other universities?

MIU is the only university I know of that encourages its students to stay rested and have a healthy lifestyle. For me, that’s as important as knowledge. Many of my classmates noticed they didn’t have as much stress and had greater clarity and focus in school, and it came as a surprise to them. They didn’t think much of the meditation before coming here but they were impressed with the results.

Would you recommend this program and why?

The tech world has many different streams and careers which this program prepares us for, so even if someone has no experience in computer science but wants to learn software development, this is the best road to take. And if the idea of self-development appeals to someone, they will gain so much more than they ever expected from this program.

The Masters of Software Development is a 12-month accelerated track or 18-month standard track training program for U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Asylees, to become software developers. Previous software development training or experience is not necessary to enroll in this program and any US equivalent bachelor’s degree in any subject is eligible for admission.