By Christine Albers
CA: You’ve lived in many different places, Jyoti. What and where did you study before you came to the Master’s in Software Development?
Jyoti: I gained my Bachelor’s Degree in Science, with General Microbiology as my major, in Nepal. Then, with a government scholarship, I studied in China and received my Master’s in Social Medicine and Health Management. The university was in the southern part of China, Changsha City in Hunan province
CA: Did you need to be fluent in Mandarin in order to study in China? How was that for you?
Jyoti: During my first year of college, I had to learn Mandarin Chinese, and after one year of studying Mandarin, I was able to start my major. It’s very difficult to learn the Chinese language but all of our classes were part Chinese and part English, so I had to learn it. English was easier because we studied in English when I was growing up in Nepal.
CA: Congratulations on mastering Mandarin! What was it like when you landed in the United States?
Jyoti: I arrived in Sacramento, California in August 2019. It was a great starting place for me as I have 3 sisters in Sacramento. I lived with my elder sister who is a nurse, another sister works at Wal-Mart and the other works in a nursing home. We all lived close to each other and often gathered to celebrate our Nepali festivals, like Dashain and Tihar, which are the two biggest festivals in Nepal. Dashain is related to receiving blessings from our elders. Tihar is related to the festival of lights and also about brothers and sisters wishing each other prosperity. We also celebrated Christmas and Thanksgiving.
CA: What kind of work were you looking for when you arrived in the US?
Jyoti: I was looking for a job in the health management sector, but I found that I needed a US degree. I worked at a grocery store owned by my brother-in-law while I searched for a US university that offered a Master’s degree in the health field, but then I learned about MIU.
CA: How did you hear about MIU? And why did you decide on software development?
Jyoti: My friends suggested getting into IT as it’s booming in the U.S. and my cousin told me about the Computer Professionals Master’s program (ComPro) at MIU. He graduated from ComPro in 2015 and has a good job, working and living in Texas. I didn’t have any background in computer science, so I couldn’t apply for ComPro, but when I heard about the Master’s in Software Development (MSD) program, which doesn’t require any background in computer science, I felt that was the best program for me.
CA: Why did you think software development was a good fit for you? How will you use it in the future?
CA: Is your Transcendental Meditation practice helping with your studies?
Jyoti: TM helps me stay calm and peaceful. I feel silence inside, so I’m not troubling myself because I have to work hard. Normally in college, we are always worried about what will happen if we don’t do well in our courses and if we won’t get results, and worrying just gets in the way. TM keeps me calm and efficient, and focused on my studies, without the stress.
“TM helps me stay calm and peaceful. I feel silence inside, so I’m not troubling myself because I have to work hard. TM keeps me calm and efficient, and focused on my studies, without the stress.”
CA: Will it be easy to continue your TM practice when you start your new career?
Jyoti: Yes, because it’s easy, and you can do it anytime, anywhere. You can relax and don’t need anything special. Just take the 20 minutes.
CA: How are the MSD faculty?
Jyoti: I respect the faculty because we are students who started the program without knowing anything about IT, and they have to make us knowledgeable. We are starting from nothing and working hard, but there are challenges because we are so new to everything. The professors have to catch up with us and we have to catch up with them. The faculty have to understand us before they can teach us. They have to work harder than us, and we appreciate all that they are doing.
CA: What do you like best about MIU’s system of education?
Jyoti: Here at MIU we start with the basics, and with the block system we learn a whole subject in one month. That helps very much because when you focus on one subject at a time, you grasp that knowledge and it helps you with the next course. It’s a great way to help you learn.
CA: What would you tell a friend if they wanted to apply for the MSD program?
Jyoti: I would tell them, you have to work hard, it doesn’t depend on the university, it depends on you. If you don’t focus and do your homework properly it will be hard. But if you do a good job during this time, then this is a platform for you to have a good future, and this whole life is yours.
Jyoti is currently a full-time student in the Master’s of Software Development program and will graduate in August 2021. We wish him all success in finding a great job as a software developer in his field of health management.