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MI Student Anusha Muralidharan: Building the Next Generation of Products at ADP
During her 10-week summer internship at ADP, Muralidharan’s team was responsible for creating and storing ADP’s global data.
MI Student Anusha Muralidharan: Building the Next Generation of Products at ADP

“ADP was looking for enthusiastic and passionate out-of-box thinkers to build the next generation of ADP’s products. The prospect of being a part of a company-wide transformation was motivation enough for me to apply for the role,” SC&I's Master of Information student Anusha Muralidharan said, explaining the reasons she pursued ADP’s Global Product Development and Technology Summer Internship program.

The internship turned out to be even more than she had hoped: through the experience she was assigned to ADP’s Service Logistics team in End-User Computing (EUC) group, where she and her team were responsible for creating and storing ADP’s global data. ADP used the reports to analyze the performance of employees and ADP office locations and create actionable insights in terms of staffing, Muralidharan said.

An extremely successful intern, ADP has offered her a full-time job after she graduates from SC&I. “If I take the offer,” Muralidharan said, “I will be a part of the Global Product Development and Technology Class of 2020 and my designation will be Associate Application Developer. The first six weeks of this program involves classroom training and will take place at the ADP office in Parsippany, NJ.”

Obtaining her MI degree in Data Science, Muralidharan said she chose the MI Program at SC&I because it “has a variety of technology as well as non-technology courses for me to choose from. This gave me flexibility in selecting the course load for each semester as well as the areas I would like to concentrate on. The MI program also has excellent faculty who have been recognized for their research by organizations like Amazon. This serves as a great motivator and encourages students to envision great things.”

Read our Q&A with Muralidharan and discover more about why she enjoyed her internship and what she learned, the value of her MI studies, some of the challenges she faced during the internship and how she managed them, her studies as an undergraduate in India, and what she loves the most about living in New Jersey.

What was your title and what were your job responsibilities during the 10-week internship at ADP?

ADP had hired about 150 graduate and undergraduate students for their country-wide Global Product Development and Technology program. The designation of all the interns in this program was GPT intern. During my internship, I worked on two projects. In the first few weeks, I was responsible for migrating a few of these dashboards from Excel to Tableau and automate the dashboard generation process. Following this, I was a part of a Machine Learning project that was aimed at automatically classifying Service Desk tickets using Natural Language Processing and rerouting to self-service tools wherever applicable.

What did you enjoy the most about working at ADP?

The people at ADP and the projects I worked on were the two most enjoyable aspects among many others. ‘The people at ADP’ includes my manager, my mentor, Senior Directors, VPs, the CEO, and the other GPT interns. ADP holds a positive and enthusiastic vibe that is reflective of the energy of the management and employees of the company. The support offered by mentors and ADP’s trust on the interns were instrumental in the success of the program. While the people at ADP created the environment to thrive, the projects I worked on kept me intrigued and motivated throughout the ten weeks. Each project had its challenges, and this lack of monotony inspired me to do better every day.

What were some of the challenges you faced, and how did you manage them?

The biggest challenge I faced was towards the end of my internship. I was working on a Machine Learning project with a team, and we were in the data processing phase. We had underestimated the amount of manual work and repetition that went into ML projects and had to rethink strategies every time a special case or an outlier was discovered. We realized that for any ML project to succeed, data preparation is the most crucial and time-consuming step. We were able to move forward by communicating our pain points amongst the team members, researching on similar case-studies, and getting a fresh pair of eyes to consult whenever possible.

What are your career aspirations for 5 and 10 years from now? 

My short-term goal is to become the best and up-to-date with the advancements in the field of Data Science and contribute to the field. My long-term plan is to involve myself in research either as an academician or as a part of an industry. I am relying on the experiences of my 5-year plan to drive me towards my long-term plan.

What did you study as an undergraduate (and where) and what inspired you to apply to the Master of Information program at Rutgers?

I did my undergraduate in Bachelor of Technology majoring in Biotechnology in India. I worked for Tata Consultancy Services upon graduating and discovered my passion for technology and programming. Towards the end of my fourth year at this organization, I started reading about the exciting innovations in the field of Data Science and decided to pursue a data-oriented master’s degree. Rutgers offered a variety of programs, but I chose to apply for the MI program because of the program structure and the flexibility provided to the students in building their own pathway.

 What are some of the things you like about living in New Jersey, and the things you miss about India?

I found a great bunch of friends in New Jersey, thanks to my husband, who make me feel right at home. I am also in touch with my friends from back in India who remain my constant support system. There are a lot of places to explore in the NJ/NY area, including restaurants that have authentic Indian food. The only thing I miss about being in India is my family. Although I try to visit my parents more than once a year, I still miss them, particularly around the holidays.

 What advice would you give to college seniors considering the MI program? 

I would confidently recommend the MI program to seniors thinking about pursuing a master’s. This program has a lot of exciting courses to offer, and I have met a few students from other departments choosing our courses. The MI program also has a DIY pathway, which lets a student take courses from any concentration and design their own major. I think this is an interesting option for students who like learning a little bit of everything. The electives and special topics offered in the program are top-notch and make SC&I stand out from the rest of the departments.

For more information about the Master of Information Program at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information (SC&I), please click here

Photo: Courtesy of Anusha Muralidharan


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