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Student Highlight: Thomson Lukose

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in India. During my early years (after college 1996), my career revolved around Web analysis and design. This was the time when HTML was the primary markup language!thomas-lukose

I came to United States in 2002. During the past 10 years, my career has spanned all over the map – I have worked on consulting assignments with Wachovia Bank, JPMorgan Chase, McGraw-Hill, State Auto Insurance, and United Health (Ingenix). In Dec 2010, I eventually joined JP Morgan Chase as a full-time employee (Business System Analyst). Currently, I am working on multiple projects aimed at improving business processes.

Being as BSA has been challenging but fun. Fortunately for me, the technology know-how and the business skills has helped me to succeed gracefully. The drive for me has been my paramount interest in writing system logic and algorithm – making the given process come to life! Making it more fun is when I am challenged to think about system usability when involve myself with the system UI design.

Ah, Hobbies! Well, I like reading books (thrillers or otherwise). I also enjoy running. I ran my first ½ marathon in 2010 (Columbus Marathon). This year I plan to run in North Carolina, Kentucky and Indiana.

Who was the greatest influence on your decision to further your education?

My greatest influence has always been my mother. She has always been a very hardworking and determined woman. After our father passed away in 1982, she dedicated her life for us. She made sure that we (sister, brother, and I) got the education we deserved. She toiled every day to ensure that we got equipped with the basic necessities to succeed in life. A devout Catholic, she lived for us and not for herself.

At times, I think about the challenges she went through and how she went about facing them – makes my problems look smaller. She always had big dreams for me. During my school days, she wanted me to become an Engineer (well, in Indian culture every father and mother wants their son/daughter to be an engineer or a doctor!) However, I chose a different path. At times she used to worry about where I might end up.

My mother’s hard work and determination is the source of inspiration for all my siblings, especially me. Her attitude towards life made me realize that I should never give up on anything and should keep on trying till I achieve the goal.

She is proud of my accomplishments and even today, whenever we talk she makes point to always ask me this “how are you doing with your studies; are you done yet?” For her I am still a kid who goes to school!

And for me, well I am here because of only one reason: my mother.

You’re in your final year at CALUNIVERSITY. How has the experience been so far?

Final year! It seems like yesterday when I took my first orientation course with Dr. Inserto. To be honest, while I did not expect that pursuing a doctorate degree would be an easy journey, my experience at California Intercontinental University has been more challenging than I’d imagined. It requires lot of hard-work and lot of creative thinking. It is definitely not a walk-in-the-park experience. The weekly deliverables of mini-projects (requires high level of creativity), case study analysis (requires analytical skills) and term–end exams did not leave me much time to breathe! It was constant reading, researching and making sure that I meet the weekly deadlines. The constant juggling with work and school has been challenging, but so rewarding.

Now, in my final leg of journey, I have an excellent professor (Dr. Fields) who is the Chair for my thesis. She is creative, understanding, and an excellent guide. Her responses are always quick and to the point. I am glad she is Chair because her subtle critique (in a good way!) has helped me think beyond books. Dr. Fields is able to tinker with my thought process, enabling me to clearly focus on the application of my thesis to contemporary real world problems in software development projects.

Which is the class you’ve found most useful/fulfilling so far? What classes are you looking forward to taking?

The entire course has been fulfilling. Every course was aimed at solving problems. For me, the most useful has been the subject of strategic planning. I believe the functioning of the world as a whole is based on certain strategic plan. Every company and every individual is knowingly or unknowingly is involved in strategic planning. Strategic plans provide a roadmap for success. Even my pursuit of the DBA was based on my own strategic goal – the plan to succeed, grow, and prosper over the years to come.

Any advice for people thinking of furthering their education?

Determination and Consistency are two words that a student should never forget.

You have to be determined that when you start something, you will finish it – in a timely manner. Every individual should have the determination to create and sustain fire in the belly to push forward. And to elevate the level of determination there should be a desperate quest for consistency. You set goals and you will meet goals on consistent basis. Set new goals and begin a new quest and reenergize yourself. Stay focused and don’t limit yourself to a tunnel vision. Consistency is not easy but it is also not impossible.

The day a student considers education to be fun, that very same day, education will feel easy. Of course, there are no short–cuts and there should not be.

It is always important to maintain consistency when you are in the pursuit of knowledge. Be consistent and be eager to gain, be consistent and be eager to learn something new, and be consistent to translate that learning in a concrete idea that can help you to propel into the world of possibilities.

Finally, in the world of Jean Jacques Rousseau – “Plants are shaped by cultivation and men by education. We are born weak, we need strength; we are born totally unprovided, we need aid; we are born stupid, we need judgment. Everything we do not have at our birth and which we need when we are grown is given us by education.(Emile, On Philosophy of Education)

What are your future plans? How are you working to fulfill your future goals?

I am not done yet! I plan to study and continue my education. The continuation may be going back to school taking up courses as it relates to human factors design and usability or cognitive science and how it shapes the world we see. Education is always in my future plans. I want to keep going and not stop. The more knowledge you have the more equipped you are to deal with the modern problems that you encounter every day.

Yes, I love learning but at the same time I want to impart the knowledge as I move forward in life. I want to make a difference for a person, for a project or for a company. Education for me is sharing game. You learn and you share.

After completing my DBA, I plan to add more goals and objectives and will just keep going…maybe forever.

You started the CALUNIVERSITY Student Faculty Lounge (CSFL) on LinkedIn. What motivated you to do this?thomsan

The sole motivation was to meet like-minded students and or faculty from our University. As I said earlier, I like to share knowledge and at the same time I like to hear what others have to share. The perfect medium for that was a networking group and LinkedIn provided that platform – a platform to have open discussion.

Personally, I admire the concept of networking. It is fulfilling and rewarding. The CFSL group has 30+ members but I expect it to grow for years to come. It will provide platform for all the current and more importantly prospective students to seek out information when they are faced with difficult times during pursuit of their degree at CalU.

The group will be there forever; it will store knowledge for years to come for students and faculty alike. I am tempted to look down the line – say 10 years from now and visualize the amount of knowledge the group will create, is mind-blowing. More importantly it will be an open platform – and never to forget “open platform” is the magic word for spreading the wealth of knowledge.

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