Chandra Shukla: Expanding horizons with a degree in IOE

Chandra Sulka shares how receiving his master’s in Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan helped prepare him for success in many industries.


Chandra Sulka

Why did you choose to study Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan?

After graduating with my bachelor’s degree I worked in a variety of positions. I found I wanted to expand my horizons and getting a master’s degree allowed me to gain the knowledge that could properly supplement my education and give me a strong position in the marketplace.

I specifically chose the University of Michigan for a variety of reasons. First of all, it is a top-ranked program that provides in-depth coursework from top professors in their field. Secondly, it has a lot of flexibility in the curriculum that helped me tailor my graduate program to my future aspirations. Lastly, I was able to take courses in the College of Engineering as well as the Ross School of Business which gave me the diverse course load I was looking for.

How do you feel the U-M IOE master’s program uniquely prepared you for work in industry?

It helped me accurately identify the gaps in my knowledge and experiences that I had when I started the program and provided ample opportunities and mentorships to bridge those gaps. 

After graduating in December 2018, I successfully launched a career that I believe is at the intersection of my natural strengths, interests and market opportunities.

How was your time at the University of Michigan?

Chandra attending a football game at the University of Michigan

When I joined Michigan, I was so excited by the plethora of opportunities and diversity of coursework inside and outside of the department. I wanted to do as much as I could! I held multiple board positions such as the Vice President of the Michigan Graduate Consulting Club, a member of the IOE leadership board, and I actively engaged with the Graduate Student Advisory Council.

Even though I graduated and am no longer at the University of Michigan, I still feel Michigan has become an integral part of my life. I remain actively involved with the University by working as a Board member and a Member of the Distinguished Alumni Award Committee for the Michigan Engineering Alumni Board.

What would you tell current U-M IOE master’s students to do while they’re in school to help them stand out after they graduate and are looking for jobs?

U-M IOE provides high-quality opportunities to hone skills needed to succeed in the future, but academics is only one component of the learning. Connect yourself to the people in the industries you’re interested in to remain cognizant of the skills needed in that job market.  

Interacting with students from different places that have different perspectives and being part of clubs or volunteering groups teaches you things that you cannot learn in just a classroom. Try to utilize these opportunities and learn from people, course work and fellow students.