Graduate Student Spotlight: Mo Zhou ’13

Eller PDC Alumni Stories

Mo Zhou graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Eller College of Management in May 2013. He is now pursuing a Master of Science in MIS at Eller.

Mo Zhou

Why did you decide to pursue this program?

I earned my undergraduate degree in MIS from Eller. I had considered going elsewhere for my master’s. Then, I found out about the Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP), for which an Eller undergraduate student would be qualified if he/she met certain qualifications and received approval from several professors. I applied successfully and transitioned directly into the master’s program without going through the regular application process.

As an AMP student, I was allowed to take courses during my senior year, which allowed me to complete the master’s program in one year, instead of the typical one-and-half years. This is why it is known as the “4+1 Program.” Getting two degrees in five years sounded like a good deal to me.

Finally, the master’s program offers great classes in business intelligence and data analytics, which I would not have been able to take as an undergraduate student.

What has been your favorite part of the experience? Most challenging?

I have only been in the program for two months, but so far I really enjoy working with the high-caliber students and the insight and experiences they bring. The majority of my peers have had at least two years of work experience so they bring really different perspectives to the classes, and I enjoy learning from them. What’s challenging for me is that some of the content I am learning seems a little repetitive since I went through the undergraduate program here, so I sometimes have trouble paying attention in class. However, it does help strengthen my existing knowledge and skills, which lays a foundation for the advanced concepts.

Do you have any advice for students looking to pursue the same program?

  1. Gain some work/internship experience first if possible. Real-world experience will help you see the gap between academia and the real-world, and it would give you the ability to look at problems in a more mature way. I think it would be more rewarding as you would get more out of the classes.
  2. Financial assistance mainly comes from teaching/research assistantships, and these positions are very competitive. It would be advantageous to network and establish relationships early with the faculty members.