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Studying at CMU’s Australia campus second choice but not second best

Posted 5th April 2019

When Zichen (Chen) Li discovered he ‘loved coding’ while studying electronic commerce at University in China he knew he’d have to go to graduate school to work on his technical skills.

“Technology is my passion. I just love coding and once I discovered this, I knew I wanted to become a software engineer,” said Chen

“But I also wanted to do something in business management.

Chen then embarked on a global search to find a graduate school offering a Masters degree with equal emphasis on technology and management.

Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Science in Information Management (MISM) offered Chen exactly the right mix of management and technology subjects that he was looking for.

In March 2017 he applied for a place in the 21 month MISM degree however due to over demand for places, Chen didn’t receive a offer to study in the United States.

Instead he was offered a place at the University’s Australian campus to undertake a Masters of Science in Information Technology with an exchange semester at CMU’s United States campus in Pittsburgh.

“Initially I was disappointed on missing out on a place in Pittsburgh as CMU is renowned as one of the best University’s in the world for technology”, said Chen.

“I knew CMU Master’s degree was the perfect course for me, and as I didn’t know the University had a campus in Australia, I hadn’t considered that as an option.

Zichen Li at the front of Torrens Building, home of CMU-A campus

“However, once I realized it was exactly the same degree, taught by the same faculty, culminating in a US recognised degree, I gladly accepted the offer to study at CMU in Australia.

“For me, I absolutely had to study at CMU because of the blend of technology and business. The fact that I’m doing it in Australia is not important”, he said.

Chen plans to do an exchange semester which will allow him to study at CMU’s Pittsburgh campus – something all MSIT students can apply for.

“So I am very happy to be studying in Australia. I get to study at one of the top universities for technology and business and spend a semester in Pittsburgh.

“And the added bonus, as a huge tennis fan, so I can go to the Australian Open in Melbourne – it’s only a one-hour flight from CMU’s campus in Adelaide”, joked Chen.

Chen began his studies in August 2018 and expects to graduate in August 2020. He has completed Telecommunications Management; Python, Object Oriented programming in Java and Strategic Presentation Skills. This semester Chen will study Linux operating system, database management, and data mining.

Zichen Li interacts with fellow international student at CMU-A

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