SILS alum understands what it means "to consult"

November 17, 2010

Sayan ChakrabortyDuring his time as a student at SILS, Sayan Chakraborty (MSIS 2006) realized that he loved solving complex questions related to information—particularly those that called for him to pay close attention to the needs of information users.  As a senior consultant at Deloitte, a major international accounting and consulting firm, Chakraborty has had the opportunity to do just that.  Since his graduation in 2006, Chakraborty has lived and worked in Pittsburgh, PA. During his time with Deloitte, he has also worked on company projects throughout the United States—including the Houston, TX, and Washington, D.C. areas.
As a consultant, Chakraborty is charged with developing IT infrastructure strategies to help companies improve their net worth—while also making those companies more efficient and better able to adapt to future technology trends in the process.  In the fast-paced climate of today’s business world, jobs like Chakraborty’s, which may be unfamiliar to many college students, are in increasingly high demand.

When asked how SILS prepared him for a job in the competitive field of business consulting, Chakraborty related that the most important thing SILS taught him was “being able to answer the right questions at the right time.” Chakraborty pointed out that his clients at Deloitte “need help to determine what they need or why they need it, so it’s important to know what questions to ask before the consulting process ever begins.”  At SILS, courses like “Human Information Interactions” (INLS 500) and “Management for Information Professionals” (INLS 585) Chakraborty learned the skills necessary to help him anticipate and react to clients' needs.

Chakraborty also noted that courses he took at UNC’s Kenan-Flager School Business and UNC's School of Journalism and Mass Communication helped him better understand the perspectives of current Deloitte clients—who often come to him with strict deadlines and the pressure associated with a financial bottom-line.  Blending the skills he learned in business and communications classes with those he honed at SILS helped him become the sort of 21st-century information professional the United States, with its currently stagnant economy, so desperately needs.

Although he now works full time as a consultant, Chakraborty looks back fondly on his time at SILS, during which he was mentored closely by SILS professors Paul Jones, Diane Kelly, Stephanie Haas, Gary Marchionini, Deborah Barreau, Barbara Wildemuth and Brad Hemminger.  He had the opportunity to work for ibiblio as a student, as well as be part of a number of additional projects.  When asked if he had any advice for current SILS students, Chakraborty advised that they take advantage of any opportunities to collaborate with faculty or students outside of class and that students should "keep an open mind when they sign up for a course." He emphasized that UNC at Chapel Hill provides a world of opportunities—one that began, in Sayan Chakraborty's case, at SILS.