As long as she can remember, Manogna knew she wanted to pursue work in a technical field.  Thus, when considering graduate studies, she gravitated toward a Master of Science in Information Systems. After being exposed to various specialties in the technology domain, she chose a career as a data scientist. She credits Northeastern’s College of Engineering for offering her the right blend of courses and skills that allowed her to achieve her dream. She highlights the school’s innovative coursework and the Multidisciplinary Graduate Engineering (MGEN) faculty that provided her with the resources to build a strong foundation and expand her horizons.

Now, she’s been accepted as a data scientist intern at Schlumberger Limited, the world’s largest oil field services company. Read more about her journey below.

Why Northeastern?

Manogna Mantripragada

Manogna shared that Northeastern University was, in fact, her first choice. While looking for MIS programs and hunting for colleges, she came across Northeastern and was impressed by what they had to offer.

Manogna’s computer science background and experience as a business analyst did not align well with any technical jobs in India, she shared. However, she was sure she wanted to work in a technically “heavy” role. After she read the course curriculum, Northeastern was a clear match.

“That was pretty intuitive. I realized that it’s more technically heavy on the subject, as compared to the other MIS programs. That piqued my interest and I started going through the coursework. The courses were good, the elaborate way in which they were teaching each subject was nice.”

She also wanted to combine her technology education with complementary business knowledge and management skills. Northeastern’s co-op program provided this opportunity, only furthering her decision to apply to the reputable university.

Experience at Northeastern 

“Initially I assumed that professors wouldn’t be that approachable because there are almost 400 students in my course,” she said. “It’s very difficult for a professor to remember you and personally guide you. However, Professor Nick Brown, he was one person who noticed my effort, motivated me, and helped me in understanding not just the technical aspects of data science, but also the logic which we apply behind it. So, I think holistically he made me a better person in the subject and a better person at tackling problems.”

Apart from academics, Manogna found herself busy with extracurricular activities that kept her inspired. She is currently undertaking research projects that require her to work directly under her professors. She posited, “This has put me in good light with the professors and has introduced me to more opportunities.”

Manogna joined “AI Skunkwork”, a club started by one of her professors who wanted to introduce a research environment for students pursuing master’s degrees. In the data science world, it is necessary to have experience in research work in order to apprehend how the process works. This club provided this opportunity to work on individualized projects.

During her time at Northeastern, she even started a club of her own designed for graduate students. The Husky Systers Code club gives graduate students opportunities for hands-on technical learning working closely with the College of Engineering. She said it was exciting to develop a club from inception, but it required a great deal of work.

Along with a few fellow seniors, she outlined a plan, created agendas, and targeted various student audiences. Now, she serves as the vice president of the club. She is proud to have organized workshops that serve versatile audiences from different branches of engineering.

Services at Northeastern

Manogna said she felt the university to be extremely safe, thanks to the Northeastern University Police Department (NUPD). She also lauded other various security services provided by the university like the RedEye bus service, although she pointed out it was difficult to access during winter months due to its popularity among students. She referenced her first semester when she had to wait almost an hour for the bus to pick her up from the Snell Library and drop her at her housing which was within a one-mile radius of the university. She added, “This is not to blame them—they have so many students to pick-up and drop-off and with snow all over the place during the winters, it gets really difficult.”

She also revered the library services at Northeastern and highlighted the many rooms available for interviews. It was there that she also worked with Northeastern’s ITS department, dealing with technical aspects of the university. It was during her interactions with ITS that she realized how much time and effort the university dedicates to make sure the students, faculty, and staff are comfortable.

Advice for Prospective Students

“I would recommend Northeastern to the students who are aspiring to come to the U.S. I would also extend my suggestions that one must not only stick to their curriculum but explore more courses.”

She believes that looking beyond academics may pave the way to broaden students’ horizons and open the door to wonderful experiences. She emphasized that Boston is an awesome place to live. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with like-minded people from MIT, Harvard, and different universities, which can provide a variety of views about the workings of U.S. society.

Quick-Fire Questions with Manogna

Q. Describe Boston in one word.

A. Colorful.

Q. What is your favorite food that you miss from back home?

A. Pani-Puri!

Q. What are your favorite pasttimes?

A. Reading books and singing

Q. What are your favorite places on campus?

A. The Snell Library and the pond behind the Curry Student Center

To learn more about the Northeastern experience, please visit the Office of Global Services site or explore more about applying as an international student.