ai and machine

Learners across the globe from different walks of life take up professional programs to achieve their career goals. The Post Graduate Program in Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning: Business Applications (PGP-AIML) by McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin has empowered such learners with skills required to power ahead in their professional domains.

The biggest inspiration for someone planning to get into the AI And Machine Learning domain is to hear from a successful fellow learner on how he/she achieved career goals by upskilling with a program with structured learning. We bring to you the inspiring story of Ashok Magadum, an alumnus of PGP-AIML who successfully transitioned his career and got into entrepreneurship after taking up the program in March 2020. 

This article is an excerpt from a conversation with alumnus Ashok Magadum who took up a PGP-AIML program and is the Director in Research & Development at Yaana Technologies. He is an engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), who went on to study management from The Lake Forest Graduate School in Chicago. Currently, in Silicon Valley, he’s previously worked in engineering leadership roles at GE Healthcare, Lucent Technologies, and Dialogic Research. 

This webinar focuses on the journey of an individual who wanted to upskill himself and in this case, Ashok, who decided to understand the concepts of AI and Machine Learning. He transformed his professional journey after successfully completing the program, and now wears 2 hats: being the Director of R&D at Yaana Technologies and the Founder of a Healthcare startup that uses AI. Ashok’s startup journey began when he was working with GE Healthcare, trying to work on the software modules to build a portable X-Ray machine. 

As he moved to California, he worked at various healthcare startups as a part-time project worker. During this time, he also spoke to his brother who is an orthopedic surgeon and they discussed the problems that the healthcare domain is facing. Then they started by making a tool for orthopedics and down the line, he incorporated AI and machine learning in his startup to fill the gaps in the healthcare domain. He is now working on applying the AI and machine learning models in analyzing X-Ray films and more.

Let’s know more about Ashok’s journey now.

He speaks about his biggest motivation behind taking up this program. He talks about how he did his side of research to find a suitable program for getting into this domain. While there were many online programs that offered courseware, projects, and some of them even offered one-on-one mentorship, he figured out that there was no structured format in these courses.  And according to him, it is very important to have a structured format in any program that aims to teach you a new skill.

The second deciding factor for him was the driving force, someone who could help him sail through the program by keeping a constant check. As he learned more about the program, he realized that the Program Manager support was exactly what he was looking for!

The final deciding factor for him was the course’s credibility. He wanted to learn from the knowledgeable faculty and discuss ideas with industry leaders. Offered by Texas McCombs in collaboration with Great Learning, the PGP-AIML gave him the perfect mix of structured learning, program support, and mentored learning.

Though initially, he was skeptical about his learning journey, as the weeks passed by, he learned the concepts from the root and interacted with people, his confidence grew, and then he became certain that this was the right program for him. Ashok shares his experience working with peers in a cohort group. He explains how the mentoring sessions played a key role in bringing a camaraderie amongst peers. When each individual who came from a different industry, spoke about his implementation of concepts learned during the course, it sparked a conversation and led to a collaborative study environment. They discussed industry trends in AI, the new tools that were being used by different industries, and shared insights from the same. This peer-to-peer learning helped him get an idea of how AI was being leveraged by multiple industries.

Additionally, he goes on to talk about the role of the Program Manager, the one who would help facilitate the online sessions. He believes that his program manager was responsible for keeping him on track with the learning process. With a professional and personal life that was equally demanding, Ashok says that he did struggle with the assignments, and keeping up with the pace. But after a few weeks, he was able to manage his time, work, and get the most out of the program.

More explanation on the curriculum, theoretical VS practical application of concepts that can give a good idea about the program, prerequisites before signing up for the program, self-paced modules have also been discussed. Watch the full video and begin your journey towards transforming your career now! 

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