Samuel Park

M.S. in the Management of IT 2024


Where are you currently located?

Alexandria, VA

Job title and/or industry:

Director of Information Technology, On Demand Pharmaceuticals Inc.

What is your academic background and motivation for pursuing the M.S. in MIT degree?

In my undergraduate years, I majored in Math, with minors in Computer Science and Theater. I was interested in becoming a teacher, but I ended up working for an educational technology cooperative during summer and winter breaks, where I was exposed to the organization’s IT team. I was a part of their new network design for several rural school districts across upstate NY and developed a love for designing and implementing networks. I gave up on teaching but stayed with math and computer science, and have been working in IT ever since! Over the years, I always had an interest in pursuing an advanced degree to help me expand my leadership, IT strategy and business skills, as I had found those skills hard to focus on, given my responsibilities in roles where I had to be extremely technical. With work and a growing family over the last 10-12 years, I also found it extremely challenging to make the commitment to completing an advanced degree. Now that my kids are older (seventh/third grades), and with lots of support from my wife, I finally felt that I was ready to move forward.

What appealed to you the most about the M.S. in MIT Program?

I was extremely interested in the M.S. in MIT Program for many reasons, but at a high level: the reputation of the University; the program’s focus on leadership, strategy, and business skills for IT professionals; and the opportunities to connect and learn from/with a diverse group of classmates from many different backgrounds. Combined with the fact that the program is designed for working professionals and would be completed in one year, that really helped make my decision to move forward much easier. I also was fortunate to have a few mutual connections with former M.S. in MIT graduates who loved their time in the program, and strongly encouraged me to join (and I’m glad I did!).

What are you looking forward to or have you enjoyed most so far in the M.S. in MIT Program?

I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming December 2023 Mendoza trip with part of our cohort! So far, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the M.S. in MIT team and my classmates and developing new friendships/connections. I am constantly leaving class sessions with tons of new technology ideas, leadership perspectives, and strategy considerations that I bring to work the next day.

What are your interests and hobbies?

I love sports (especially hockey, basketball, soccer and golf), cooking, and spending time with my family. With three kids (ages 12, 8 and 8), weekends for my wife and me are much more of a full-time chauffeur service than they used to be, but I absolutely love to be there for my family. I also love learning about our solar system, deep space, and generally all things related to the physics and science of the universe. I was always fascinated by the planets as a kid, and in another life I think I’d have loved to have been an astrophysicist.

Where is your favorite place you have traveled?

Japan! I was lucky to have multiple friends who were working in Japan at the same time, and because of that I was able to visit many places there in one two-week trip, including Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Koyasan. I was able to experience a wide range of Japanese culture, including staying overnight in a Buddhist temple while in Koyasan, seeing the Golden and Silver Pavilions in Kyoto and the Great Buddha Hall in Nara, and experiencing the Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival in Tokyo. The food was fantastic, and there was so much culture and history everywhere I went. Bucket list trip, for sure!

What is your favorite thing to do during residencies?

Finding great places for amazing food! When I think back to so many places where I have been lucky to travel to and experience, I can always think back to the fantastic food experiences I had and the people I was able to share those memories with (can’t wait to experience that in Mendoza!).

  • Undergraduate Degree Mathematics
  • Undergraduate Institution Hobart College
  • Hometown Wolcott, NY
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