Q&A with Rahul Tulsyan, TMMBA student

Rahul TylsyanRahul Tulsyan, senior test manager at Alaska Airlines, shares his experiences in the UW Foster School’s Technology Management MBA program.

Why did you choose the Technology Management MBA program at the Foster School?
A few reasons that attracted me to the Technology Management MBA program:

  • The 18-month condensed program was particularly appealing as it fits with my schedule and fast enough to keep me engaged.
  • The fact that the average work experience of students coming to this program was around 10-15 years. I wanted a program where my fellow students would have good industry experience. This has helped me draw a lot of parallels with them and also made my interaction with them more meaningful.
  • TMMBA faculty.
  • The TMMBA alumni are very close knit. They are peers from similar work environments in the Puget Sound area. Having such a great network is one of the best qualities of this program.

Could you describe your experience in the program thus far?
My experience in the program thus far has been excellent. The TMMBA staff are the best. They take a genuine interest in the students. The faculty are also terrific. They all understand the challenges students in this program face such as having a full-time job, family, and then also being a student. I feel everyone involved in this program helps each other get over the difficulties and have a common goal of ensuring the students in the program are successful.

Could you describe the classroom environment?
The classroom environment is very engaging. The faculty are well prepared and keep their sessions very interactive. From my perspective, that is the best way to learn. This has helped me overcome my fear of public speaking—I feel more confident taking part in discussions.

How has your TMMBA experience enabled you to see your industry differently?
I joined Alaska Air Group just as I was starting the TMMBA program, having never worked in the airline industry before. Through the TMMBA program I am able to be effective at my job as I look at the various functions in my company in a different light. I am in the strategy and planning division, through the various case studies I am able to draw parallels in my company and think outside the box to ensure that my team is effective in helping the company attract the right resources and take on projects that align with the company’s goals. We also did a case study on my company, which helped me understand it better as I was able to view it through the eyes of the professor. I took back a lot from our class discussion and shared it with my team, and that proved to be very useful in my job.

What strategies do you use to balance work, life, and the TMMBA program?
Coming into the program I felt my biggest weakness was procrastination. I made a commitment to myself and team that I will work on this and ensured that I tackled the week’s workload upfront. This helped me immensely. After a Saturday class I would get started on next week’s work on Sunday and plan to be finished with it by Tuesday evening in time for our scheduled team meeting. This allowed me to have Thursday and Friday nights free to spend with family as I was done with all my work in advance.