Studying MSc Business Analytics
Why did you choose to study MSc Business Analytics and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
Using data to help companies grow their business is quite popular in recent years, and this programme combines data analytics techniques with real business cases, which makes it quite practical. What is more, the Business School’s MSc Business Analytics is a highly recognised programme worldwide.
What was the most important learning point you took with you from the Business School?
After studying at the Business School, I have realised the most important thing is never stop learning – it is important to develop new knowledge throughout your life. Because most of the post-gradaute programmes are one-year long, the actual teaching time is limited. The assignments and exams help you strengthen the knowledge you learn in class, but the knowledge itself is unlimited. If you dig deep into the things you are interested in, you will find there is great potential for continuous learning.
What was the most surprising thing about the programme?
I think the most surprising thing was the diversity of the programme. Students come from all corners of the world and have different education background and working experience. Communication between classmates broadened my horizons, and I started to understand things from other people’s perspective and felt more ‘inclusive’.
Career & professional development
How was your career transformed following your programme?
Before studying at the Business School, I worked as an HR coordinator for two years, but the repetitive work killed my passion bit by bit. I wanted a change, but when I searched available job positions, I found I lacked the hard skills on many of job descriptions. However, this programme gave me the opportunity to transform my career path. First, I found a three-month summer internship at Expedia London Office as Marketing Analyst. I now work as a data analyst at Pinduoduo, an emerging e-commerce platform headquartered in Shanghai. The work is very busy, but I feel fulfilled because I am doing my dream job and I can feel my progress every day.
How do you plan to use the skills and knowledge you gained during the programme within your career going forward?
As a data analyst, getting the complete and correct data for analysis is the first step. There were two specific courses on database management which help me a lot when I use SQL to get data from database, especially when the data amount is huge and the code needs to be optimized. Another course I find quite practical is data visualisation. When I reach some complicated data conclusions and want to explain to my audience, drawing a graph is a direct way to help others understand.
What do you enjoy most about your current work and what are the main challenges that you face?
I work as a data analyst in the business intelligent team in advertising department. My favourite part of work is using data to locate problems and influence development of business. For example, when advertising revenue drops, which part of business should be improved? A general question can be split into many small parts, monthly active users, average revenue per unit, cost per click, and so on. The main challenge I face is I do not always have enough understanding of computational advertising. To solve this problem, the best way is by asking colleagues.
What is your proudest achievement in the job so far?
My proudest achievement so far has been convincing the business unit to change one of their business strategies. I did this by collecting the right data and doing logical analysis. At that time, we gave coupons to our new customers because the retention rate was low. This seemed to be right, but after analysis, I found out the new customers left the platform because we didn’t provide the right items, it wasn’t about price. In this case, effective data analysis showed how it can help businesses.
The alumni network
In what way is remaining connected to your alumni network important to you? / What value do you get out of your Business School and alumni connections?
Although the programme was only one year, I share the same memories with many other students about Business School and London. Remaining connected to the alumni network is quite important for me, and I attend many different activities organised by local alumni associations.
Advice for future students
What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same Business School programme as you?
1. If you don’t know anything about coding, don’t be panic. Try to complete some online courses in python/R/sql to see if you are really interested in it. Most courses need you to write code and you will become more and more proficient
2. When you learn something new, try to think how this can help business grow and be applied in a practical way. For example, after using a model to predict customer retention rate in an online store, you should think further about how this can help improve store revenue or customer satisfaction.