Associate UX Designer/UX Designer Intern at WellSky
"Since I came from a background that has nothing to do with design or research, the MSIS program certainly helps me build a strong foundation in doing design research and creating user-centered designs."
I usually start my day with a daily scrum meeting with an offshore engineering team in India. Then I will have several follow-up meetings with some of those developers to go over the details of the tasks they are working on right now. After that I usually spend my time on building our company's design system, and refining it's documentation website and component library. Since I came from a background that has nothing to do with design or research, the MSIS program certainly helps me build a strong foundation in doing design research and creating user-centered designs. There are various courses in iSchool that will provide you chances to practice the design thinking process, which is very important since most people in our roles will be seen as subject matter experts in UX/Design Thinking by other people in the company.
People usually join the MSIS program with different backgrounds so it's hard to give one-size-fit-all advice. I would suggest current iSchoolers to spend time honing the skills that you feel you are less familiar with, and decide which roles (UX Researchers/UX Designers) you want to do the earlier the better. If you happen to look for a position in a company that is doing web app development, then some knowledge in front-end web development will help you a ton (I believe many of my peers, including me, learned this the hard way).