Swathi Somanchi wanted to find an affordable university with a good Master of Information Sciences program that would stimulate a thriving career. She found exactly that in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Today Somanchi is a product manager at Acxiom Corporation in Little Rock.
In that role, she takes responsibility for the entire life cycle of new products, including envisioning and planning products, overseeing development, marketing, sales, customer support, and amassing feedback.
Somanchi credits UALR for the knowledge and experience that prepared her for her current responsibilities. Two of her favorite courses have proven to be strong foundations in her professional career.
â€śIn Dr. Varelaâ€™s Team Development, we formed teams and worked on projects, tasks, and assignments, and in Dr. Woolridgeâ€™s Project Management course we regularly listened to highly experienced project manager guest speakers,â€ť she said.
In addition to attending great courses, Somanchi gained valuable work experience through extra-curricular activities.
â€śI started my first job at UALR as a teaching assistant in the mathematics department,â€ť said Somanchi. In her interview, she taught business calculus in front of all the math professors. â€śI was both nervous and excited. I was given the chance to share my knowledge with 100 students in four classes.â€ť
As a graduate assistant in computing services, Somanchi worked as a business analyst. In that role, she became familiar with cutting-edge products.
â€śI got to know a lot of new products and companies, as well as how to get needed information from websites. Interim Vice Chancellor of Information Technology Services Nathan Nolen always made me research and present new technologies and offer recommendations about using the technology at UALR.â€ť
According to Somanchi, UALR steered her towards a great professional career right from the beginning of her student tenure.
â€śIn my first semester, I attended a resume workshop and then a career fair for business students.â€ť
At the career fair, Somanchi met potential employers and accessed job listings. A little later, she accepted an internship as a business analyst with her current employer. Going full circle, she represented her new employer in a later UALR sponsored career fair.
As an established project manager, Somanchi gives the nod to UALR and displays her Trojan spirit by occasionally wearing her UALR Trojan shirt to the office.
Though she thrives in her professional role, she looks back to her student days nostalgically.
â€śI was sad to leave UALR so early,â€ť she said. â€śIâ€™m planning to come back to school next year to get another degree.â€ť