Programme: MSc Business Analytics 2018
Undergraduate education: BA in Business Economics & Business and Management, University of Glasgow
Job prior to studying at the Business School: Business Intelligence at HotelQuickly Ltd
Job after studying at the Business School: Associate Consultant, Bain & Company
After completing his undergraduate degree, Petr began his career in business intelligence at HotelQuickly Ltd., a travel startup based in Bangkok. He decided that he wanted to upskill in line with the changing business environment in terms of data and analytics, and the MSc at Imperial offered what he was looking for – a challenging one-year programme focused on applications of data science based in rigorous theory.
Your time at Imperial College Business School
Why did you choose to study Business Analytics and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
With the increasing importance of data and analytics, I wanted to upskill myself and ensure that my skill set was aligned to what’s needed and sought after in today’s world. I tried to do that via self-study, but felt it would be too difficult to catch up on a part-time basis. Imperial offered exactly what I was looking for – a challenging one-year programme focused on applications of data science yet based in rigorous theory, providing graduates with the skills they need to add value in analytical roles.
What was the most important learning point you took with you from the Business School?
Probably the fact that you can get up the learning curve on using Python and R for data analytics surprisingly quickly. I was a bit scared of learning how to code from scratch and the beginnings were a bit painful, but the progress was fairly quick. I think that also made me more confident that it is possible to learn anything if one dedicates enough energy to it.
What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same programme as you?
I highly recommend the programme to anyone interested in analytics. To make the most of it, I’d suggest applicants get really comfortable with linear algebra and statistics before they start. There will be time to catch up on the basics, but with the heavy workload in other subjects, I personally didn’t have time to go as deep as I’d like to on the maths behind machine learning.
What was the most surprising thing about the programme?
I’m not sure if it was the most surprising one, but what I loved was that I could choose which parts of the programme I dedicate my energy to. Most of the assignments were designed in a way that you could choose how deep you want to dive – it wouldn’t take too long to put something decent together, but you could also spend weeks perfecting your approach. I was also impressed by the programme team and general student-first mind set, as everyone was very accommodating and trying hard to make sure students can combine their studies with extracurricular activities.
Tell us about your current job
How has your programme contributed to your career success?
The Imperial brand makes a big difference in terms of getting interviews - I was actually surprised by how much difference. My career wasn’t transformed too much – I was considering roles in data science but in the end, I went with a strategy consulting job, planning to specialise on big data projects. All consultancies are trying to build capabilities in this area, so having an analytics degree has definitely differentiated me from other applicants in a positive way.
How do you plan to use the skills and knowledge you gained during the programme within your career going forward?
Historically, consultants have mostly used Excel for analysis and I’d like to leverage the knowledge from the programme to drive analysis that goes beyond Excel, both in cases when the datasets are too large and when more sophisticated analytical techniques are required. I’ve attended additional training at Bain focused on advanced analytics and I aim to continue advocating the use of advanced analytics in our projects.
What do you enjoy most about your current work and what are the main challenges that you face?
I most enjoy the fact that I always have lots of things to learn. Working on projects across industries and functional areas, I get a chance to learn how a new industry works every few months. In addition, by working with senior leaders in our clients’ organisations I’ve been able to get a valuable inside look on how companies are run.