Gaining Global Experience at Eller: Nitish Bugalia ’13 MS (MIS)
Jan. 24, 2022
For Nitish Bugalia ’13 MS (MIS), family has always been a top value. His parents both had government jobs in India and were often transferred from place to place, so he grew up moving frequently and maintained a close relationship with his family members.
But he also longed to travel and gain global experience. A master’s degree in a foreign country was the perfect opportunity, as it would allow him to “understand how different cultures come together,” he says.
After obtaining his bachelor’s degree and starting a job at Infosys, Bugalia began preparing for the GRE and TOEFL exams. He knew he wanted to study business, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to leave technology behind. “All my life, I was the guy who fixed everyone’s computers,” says Bugalia.
After deliberation, he selected the Eller College of Management due to its highly ranked Department of Management Information Systems and accomplished faculty.
Though he had never heard of Tucson, he immediately felt welcomed to town and to campus by the current MIS students. During his time at Eller, Bugalia enjoyed his business intelligence and analytics, entrepreneurship, and business communications classes. But it was about more than the coursework.
“It’s not just the curriculum. It’s the relationships and the friends,” says Bugalia, noting that he formed strong bonds with his peers and academic advisors.
Bugalia worked hard to obtain a full-time position, applying and interviewing for numerous positions. The last interview he had lined up was with Capital One, where he ended up landing a role as a data analyst. After two and a half years in the role, he started to rethink his path. “I needed to get into product management,” he says. “Not just because it’s an up-and-coming term, but I realized I have sharper business acumen than technology acumen.”
A connection led to him interviewing for and snagging a new role at Capital One in his desired field of interest. He was passionate about his work, earned more money and was promoted three times within a three-year span.
Yet the immigration journey is challenging. Bugalia wanted to be closer to his family and find better professional challenges. Additionally, he was tired of all his discussions with friends revolving around green cards. “I don’t want my life to be just around these immigration discussions,” he recalls thinking at the time.
Thus, he and his wife opted to move back to their home in India in 2019. With assistance from his professional network, Bugalia met with multiple companies and received about 40 job offers. Ultimately, he accepted a role as head of product and strategy at Myteam11, a fantasy sports company based in Jaipur.
Not only did the move to India allow him to be closer to his family, but it also enabled him to grow professionally. He is now an angel investor and an advisor to several startups.
“Eller and Capital One have been phenomenal,” he says. While he plans to stay in India, Bugalia enjoys receiving homecoming emails and other communication from the University of Arizona. He’s happy to share his insights with current students who may be interested in altering their career trajectory or learning about a new field.