The Brandeis GPS blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Category: GPS News (page 1 of 20)

Project and Program Management

Project and program management can make or break the success of any initiative, and leaders in the field know there are proven ways to get the job done right. According to the Project and Program Management Institute and the Anderson Economic Group, by 2027 employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management-oriented roles. Project and program managers are valuable to any business as they utilize methodologies and practices that are efficient and cost-effective.

The Master of Science in Project and Program Management at GPS prepares professionals to strengthen their skills and employment credentials in the actual application of cutting-edge project management best practices, going beyond a singular focus on the theoretical concepts required by PMI testing. The fully online master’s degree, which is consistent with (though not bound by) the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®), helps provide students with a competitive edge in the field of project management. Upon degree completion, students are equipped to:

  • Successfully lead and manage projects across all phases of the project lifecycle.
  • Align project objectives with strategic goals while managing risks.
  • Manage communications and expectations of project stakeholders.

When we asked Amyntrah, an MS in Project and Program Management Graduate, about the program, this is what she said,

“Obtaining a master’s degree in Project and Program Management at Brandeis University was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The structure of the online courses was quite flexible and fit into my crazy work schedule. I found each class very valuable not only to my profession, but I’m also able to use the skills acquired from the courses outside of work.”

The GPS community extends beyond our online classrooms. Students have the opportunity to expand their professional circles and build meaningful connections with our faculty, program chairs, and advisory board members. In addition, our programs are designed to help students balance a graduate education with a full-time job and other professional, academic, or personal commitments.

For more information on the Project and Program Management program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Why I Chose Brandeis GPS

We know that pursuing a master’s degree can be overwhelming, particularly for students who work full-time and are already balancing professional and personal commitments. We also know that every student has a unique reason that drives him or her to return to school and complete their degree.

 Hi, I’m Zanefa Walsh, a Brandeis GPS alum. I’m usually a private person but decided to share my why for pursuing the MS in Digital Marketing and Design because little did I know that the decision would be a stepping stone to where I am today: a digital communications and social cohesion consultant.

The fully online program, which consists of courses such as digital marketing strategy, writing for digital environments, and multichannel marketing campaigns, appealed to me during a time when I wanted to expand my knowledge to better meet the increasing marketing needs of my employer, which at the time was Brandeis. As soon as I learned that employees received 100% tuition remission, I started to explore courses even though I worried that adjusting to online learning would be challenging. I was delighted to learn that GPS offers the opportunity to take up to two courses before deciding to apply to a graduate program. After taking the two courses, I felt invigorated by the high-quality instruction and collaborative environment, that I applied.

I already had a master’s degree from another school, but the second time around as a graduate student differed from my first experience. I was now a mother, married, and working full-time. Finding ways to balance these conflicting responsibilities was essential. Yes, there were times when stress levels were high,  but it was my discipline, an invaluable support system, and effective time management that got me through the three-year journey. 

While expanding my knowledge was a major reason why I pursued this degree, deep down, it was so much more. My why was to prove to myself, and possibly other women of color, that taking on new opportunities and challenges leads to growth, whether you succeed or fail. No one else is as invested in your personal and professional growth as you. A year after completing the degree, I grew so much so that I had the confidence and determination to start my own consulting business in 2019.

With the knowledge gained from my GPS courses, along with over 15 years of work experience in the digital space, I now know what it takes to successfully conceive, produce, and execute a diverse range of data-driven multichannel marketing and communication strategies that build awareness, drive engagement, and foster a sense of belonging/community. Without a doubt, my decision to pursue a graduate degree at Brandeis GPS had an immediate and life-changing impact on my life.  

For more information on the Digital Marketing and Design program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Analyze the Big Data of Bioinformatics Research

Biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations are increasingly viewing bioinformatics as an integral part of their research processes. They make use of vast amounts of genomic data and produce more complex and accurate biological models. Essentially, they are relying more and more on bioinformatics’ mathematical, statistical and computational methods. With the big data being generated across sectors, there is high demand for professionals versed in bioinformatics. In fact, professionals specializing in bioinformatics excel in applying information technology and complex computational approaches to the particular problems of contemporary biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations.

The Master of Science in Bioinformatics at GPS prepares professionals to analyze the big data of bioinformatics research. Students are equipped to:

  • Process, store, analyze and model large volumes of biological data from multiple sources.
  • Independently provide insights into complex biological systems through data synthesis and application of a wide range of computational biology approaches.
  • Effectively communicate and present bioinformatics analyses to multidisciplinary project teams.

When we asked Kristina, an MS in Bioinformatics graduate, about the program, this is what she had to say,

“I have become a more well-rounded bioinformatician with exposure to other areas of the field. I learned to challenge myself to produce better code and present and communicate more effectively.”

Our program empowers professionals in the field to be innovative leaders. They take their expanded invaluable knowledge to biomedical organizations that are experiencing an increase in computational technology needs and make sense of the big data. As a result, these particular biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations have employees who drive innovation and growth while simultaneously impacting the company mission.

For more information on the Bioinformatics program or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.

Tips for Writing Your Statement of Goals

I have worked with applicants for over five years at GPS and many of them have told me that they struggle with writing their statement of goals. More often than not, this is the section that most applicants leave for last. Their resume, letter(s) of recommendation and transcripts have been received, but they just can’t get over the hurdle of the statement of goals. 

Here are some tips to help you get started:

Tell us your WHY: Why have you decided to pursue a graduate degree? Are you looking to change careers or grow in your organization? The statement of goals is your place to speak directly to the admissions committee and tell them why you want to earn your master’s. 

Use your voice: Let your personality shine through! The statement of goals doesn’t have to be overly formal. The admissions committee wants to get to know you. Explain your passion for the field in which you are interested or aspiring to enter through the master’s program.

Provide additional explanations: At GPS, we don’t have a minimum GPA requirement, however, the admissions committee will review your transcripts. Is there something that happened that affected your undergraduate grades? This is your opportunity to shed light on unexpected complications or what happened at that time.

Ask for feedback: Ask a colleague, friend, or family member to read over your statement of goals. Make sure to check for spelling and grammar mistakes.

Just start writing: The hardest part of writing your statement of goals can be not knowing how to begin! But just the act of simply writing something down can help break your writer’s block. Start out with a rough outline or a list of bullet points. If you find yourself stuck, take a break and come back later.  

Start your GPS application

Please feel free to contact our enrollment team any time. We understand the commitment it takes to apply for a master’s degree, and we’re happy to walk you through the steps and answer any questions that you have. To speak with an enrollment advisor, contact gps@brandeis.edu or 781-736-8787  

Student Spotlight on Shawanda Legall

Meet this week’s student spotlight – Shawanda Legall!

Shawanda is from Charlotte, North Carolina, and is enrolled in the MS in Project and Program Management (PPM) program.

She currently works as a Sr. Project Manager at Medidata Solutions, and she hopes to “seek a leadership role within her organization”.

When discussing the content she has learned throughout her courses, Shawanda explained how she utilizes these new PPM tools to help reach her personal goals and achieve professional success:

“This program has provided me with the necessary tools to improve my writing, researching, and analyzing skills as a Sr. Project Manager.  Due to this program, I can now tackle extremely complex projects in a different way and it is all manageable”.

Fun facts about Shawanda

Movie theater or Netflix?

  • Netflix

Favorite ice cream flavor?

  • Butter Pecan

If there were 25 hours in a day, how would you use that extra hour?

  • I would become a volunteer coach again for the boys basketball team at the church, implement self-care as part of my regular routine, and learn how to play tennis.

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Shawanda thrived at Brandeis GPS – and so will you! Learn more today about your area of interest, admissions and registration deadlines, and upcoming events.

Student Spotlight on William J. Hiraldo

Meet this week’s student spotlight – William J. Hiraldo!

William is from Orlando, Florida and is a candidate for a MS in Strategic Analytics. He currently works as a Workday ERP Consultant at Huron Consulting Group, and his professional goals are to “become a Chief Financial Officer for a major corporation”.

Fun facts about William

Movie theater or Netflix?

  • Movie Theaters

Favorite ice cream flavor?

  • Caramel Pecan

If there were 25 hours in a day, how would you use that extra hour?

  • I would go shopping

 

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William thrived at Brandeis GPS – and so will you! Learn more today about your area of interest, admissions and registration deadlines, and upcoming events.

Student Spotlight on Anthony Nguyen

Meet this week’s student spotlight – Anthony Nguyen!

Anthony is from Orange, California and is a candidate for a MS in Health Informatics. He currently works as a Senior Clinical Learning and Performance Consultant at BD, and his professional goals are to “help to grow and effectively use pharmacy automation across the country”.

Fun facts about Anthony

Movie theater or Netflix?

  • Netflix, but I gotta have my movie theater popcorn!

Favorite ice cream flavor?

  • Cookies and Cream

If there were 25 hours in a day, how would you use that extra hour?

  • I’d make sure that I always make it to the gym. No excuses now that there’s an extra hour!

 

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Anthony thrived at Brandeis GPS – and so will you! Learn more today about your area of interest, admissions and registration deadlines, and upcoming events.

Fall Semester Update

Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,

Brandeis University has announced a comprehensive plan to safely reopen campus for the fall semester. The COVID-19 Task Force, which included faculty, staff, and students, consulted with local, state, and national public health and medical experts to develop this plan for the university’s fall semester. Below we have highlighted important plan information that is of particular interest for our students here at Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies.

Available Facilities

While all Brandeis GPS classes are online, there are facilities available to our students on the Brandeis University campus. These include the library, gym, and mailroom, among many others. While these are available to the Brandeis community, there are strict health and safety measures that are required for all of those who enter campus. Access to these facilities are subject to change, and we will keep our students updated as the semester progresses.

Health and Safety Measures

Based upon public health best practices and accommodations for individual community-member needs, the university is implementing the following policies and procedures to create an on-campus environment that is as safe as possible:

High Frequency, Universal Testing: Brandeis will provide high-frequency, mandatory COVID-19 testing to all on-campus community members.There will also be mandatory testing multiple times per month for all students, faculty, and staff who either live on campus or who come to campus several times per week, regardless of symptoms. This will enable us to quickly identify and contain any instances of infection on our campus.

Public Health Protocols: The university will institute a suite of public health measures, including symptom monitoring, mandatory face masks/coverings indoors and outdoors, public hand-sanitizing stations, and mandatory physical distancing. We will also ask all individuals who return to campus to sign a community commitment to follow such protocols.

Cleaning Enhancements and Building Modifications: The university is also taking actions, such as enhanced cleaning protocols and changes to foot-traffic flow through buildings and on-campus pathways, to ensure that all campus spaces and buildings support the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

These are just a few of the many health and safety measures that are being implemented across campus.

Resources

For more information regarding the reopening of Brandeis this fall semester, please visit the following links:

Letter from the President

Campus Health and Safety Measures

Fall 2020 Plans Webpage

COVID-19 Task Force Report

Open source micro-courses that provide the foundation you need to give back to the community

One of the biggest benefits of this partnership is that while the OSI ensures access to open source technology leaders who design and facilitate each course, Brandeis University provides years of experience ensuring that the courses are designed to their standards and that each facilitator is prepared as a teacher as well as an OSS expert. – Ken Udas, program chair of the Open Source Technology Management program

The online Open Source Technology Management program at Brandeis is dedicated to enhancing and supporting the OSS community through content that is founded in the principles of software freedom and collaborative development. The program, a partnership between Brandeis University and the Open Source Initiative (OSI), provides the foundation for open source professionals to expand their skills and give back to the open source community and beyond.

Watch Ken Udas, program chair, explain why the OSI/Brandeis partnership is unique and how professionals benefit from the micro-courses experience.

As program chair, Ken oversees course content and helps ensure that the courses and program remain relevant. He has served in a variety of teaching and management roles at a number of esteemed universities. Ken is also the co-founder of the Educause Constituency Group on Openness and the Jasig 2-3-98 project that are focused on the emergence and adoption of open and agile practices, policies, and initiatives.

When you sign up for one of the program’s offerings, which consists of micro-courses, digital badges, a certificate, or graduate credit, you’ll benefit from Ken’s expertise as well as from leading experts in the field. You will also receive top-notch instruction from known leaders in the open source industry. In addition, you’ll engage with a curriculum that has been influenced and shaped by instrumental advisory board members. Ultimately, the micro-courses and program provide a rewarding experience as you meet, collaborate with, and learn from fellow open source professionals who will impact how you decide to give back to your community.

Join Ken in a live chat on Thursday, June 18 at 12 p.m. EST.  He will be available to answer questions pertaining to the upcoming micro-course, Cultivate an Open Source Community (starts July 6), and the other program offerings. Please register for this free online chat.

UPDATE (6/25/20): Join Ken for another live chat on Monday, June 29 at 12 p.m. EST.  Again, he will be available to answer questions pertaining to the upcoming micro-course, Cultivate an Open Source Community (starts July 6), and the other program offerings. Please register for this free online chat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandeis GPS Class of 2020 celebrates graduation virtually

“Over the past 70 years, the university has remained committed to providing access to competent and curious students from all walks of life, including those who could not give up their careers and families and come to campus full time.” – Dr. Lynne Rosansky, Interim Vice President for the Rabb School of Continuing Studies, in her opening address.

The Rabb School of Continuing Studies honored 111 Graduate Professional Studies (GPS) graduates with a virtual celebration on May 26, 2020. Student speaker, Charlie D’Angelo, a graduate of the MS in Digital Marketing and Design program, addressed the Class of 2020, along with guest speaker, Sarah McEneaney, Partner and Digital Talent Leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In her opening address, Rosansky congratulated graduates on their hard work and dedication during their master’s degree programs. “It’s a great accomplishment, and you should be very proud of your success,” said Rosansky.

She went on to add, “I would like to note that for most of you who have reached this milestone, you have not done so without support and encouragement of others. So, for family and friends who have stood by you over the years of your graduate studies, here’s a tribute to them.” She looks forward to when the community can come together in-person to celebrate and greet graduates, their family, and friends.

Rosansky honored Project and Program Management instructor Nadeem Malik as the recipient of this year’s Rabb School Outstanding Teacher Award. “Nadeem has a reputation for going above and beyond for students and for being responsive to the changing needs of the PPM program,” she said.

Dedicated instructors, such as Malik, shape the learning experience for GPS students. D’Angelo talked about the various benefits of studying at Brandeis GPS, including his appreciation for the faculty.

“I can honestly say every class I took I applied what I learned, and often immediately at my job; and the knowledge has helped me immeasurably to succeed.”

The direct correlation between D’Angelo’s coursework and his job, his insightful classmates, and learning from outstanding faculty, provided opportunities for him to excel in his professional life.

D’Angelo went on to encourage his fellow classmates to be lifelong learners: “Don’t lose your curiosity for learning.”

Similarly, McEneaney stressed the importance of continuing to learn. “A continuous learning mindset removes barriers and perceived constraints from where your potential and opportunities overlap. And, developing varied approaches to problem-solving and gathering rich experiences, those are the capabilities that make you unstoppable.”

“Each of you can be a force in leveling the opportunity field for so many others,” McEneaney informed graduates, “by helping out others who don’t look like us; who don’t think like us. Those that don’t have natural connections or relationships opening doors for them.”

“The most successful and effective leaders in the future are the inclusive ones,” said McEneaney.

Graduates’ names were read by the chairs of each program. The full breakdown of diplomas awarded is as follows:

  • MS in Bioinformatics (8 graduates)
  • MS in Digital Innovation for FinTech (1 graduate)
  • MS in Digital Marketing and Design (10 graduates)
  • MS in Health and Medical Informatics (16 graduates)
  • MS in Information Security (2 graduates)
  • MS in Information Security Leadership (3 graduates)
  • MS in Information Technology Management (3 graduates)
  • MS in Instructional Design and Technology (1 graduate)
  • MS in Project and Program Management (30 graduates)
  • Master of Software Engineering (8 graduates)
  • MS in Strategic Analytics (17 graduates)
  • MS in Technology Management (6 graduates)
  • MS in User-Centered Design (6 graduates)

You can view our virtual graduate celebration until June 8, 2020. Congratulations to our graduates!

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