Programme: MSc Business Analytics (on-campus, full-time) 2016
Study mode: on campus, full-time
Undergraduate education: BSc in Economics, Maastricht University
Job after studying at Imperial College Business School: Data Scientist, King Digital Entertainment
Academic and industry experience before Imperial College Business School
What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
Prior to joining the Business School I completed two internships in Banking and Consulting for a total of ten months.
Why did you choose to study a Master’s in Business Analytics? Why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
During my Economics degree I enjoyed the more analytical subjects such as Econometrics and Finance the most. I also had the chance to take a few Computer Science modules which intrigued me. Towards the end of my degree the hype around Data Science started to take off and the gap between supply and demand of data professionals was emphasized in the media. Ultimately, the degree and a subsequent career in analytics seemed to be enjoyable and potentially lucrative. The MSc in Business Analytics was one of the first such programmes in Europe. This together with the Imperial brand made my decision easy.
Your time at Imperial College Business School
What skills did you learn on MSc Business Analytics?
I got an overview on all core subjects such as Statistics, Programming and Machine Learning as well as practical industry applications. Having completed the MSc in Business Analytics I feel like I could go and pick up any new topic by myself.
What were your favourite things about MSc Business Analytics?
I enjoyed the wide variety of modules, the diverse student body and the fact that it is located in London which is one of the big technology hubs in Europe.
Which module stood out for you?
The Optimization module was very well thought out and comprehensive, and the professor managed to address the different levels of prior knowledge in the classroom very well.
How would you describe your MSc Business Analytics cohort?
As diverse as it could possibly be. Students from all sorts of cultural and educational backgrounds. Our cohort consisted of students with business degrees all the way to math and physics degrees. People with no previous work experience as well as people with up to ten years of work experience. People from all over the world.
What was the Business School community like when you were studying at Imperial?
Personally, I was more engaged with the general Imperial community outside of the Business School. I really enjoyed this as it gave me exposure to a much wider student body than only Business School students.
How did you find living in London?
Very enjoyable, it is a great place to be as a student. On top of London being a great city it is also one of the great technology hubs in Europe and there are all sorts of opportunities in analytics.
Opportunities from studying at Imperial College Business School
Please outline your career path since studying at the Business School.
Immediately after the MSc I joined King Digital Entertainment as a Data Scientist in their Barcelona office. I am still in this position one year after graduation.
What do you enjoy most about your work and what are the main challenges that you face?
Working for a technology company with three hundred to four hundred million unique customers every month is a potential paradise for a data scientist. King has dozens of terabytes of data spread across a gigantic Hadoop cluster. Potential projects are endless. This poses a couple of challenges however. First, it is hard to see the forest for the trees. It is crucial to reduce potential projects to the ones which have the highest expected payoff for the business. Second, once you come up with a business case you have to find the data you need. You have to understand its nature and retrieve it efficiently. This is not trivial and takes a lot of time. These steps are usually skipped in the academic curriculum. Academic exercises have the data already retrieved for you, it is clean and unambiguously defined.
How has MSc Business Analytics contributed to your career success?
It gave me a solid foundation in all relevant areas and equipped me with the skills and tools to pick up anything I need beyond that by myself.
Did you benefit from the services provided by the Business School’s Careers and Professional Development Service? If so, please describe how they helped you.
I really appreciated the advice I received on writing my CV. The career consultants were very knowledgeable on writing applications in different industries and countries.
What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying MSc Business Analytics and a subsequent career in the sector?
Do not get lost in details and take a step back at times. Ask yourself what problem you are really trying to solve and then work your way up to the solution using your toolbox of techniques if and when appropriate. Always start with the hypothesis and then go get the data and prove or disprove it with your toolbox, not the other way around.
Have you stayed in touch with your classmates from MSc Business Analytics? How do you stay in touch?
I made some very close friends during the MSc. With some of them I am in daily contact and others I will meet here and there for a catch-up when in London or when they visit Barcelona. I stay in touch with them via the usual, WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook and LinkedIn.