Alana McIntosh Clark-960x576
MSc Business Analytics
Undergraduate education:

BSc Economics with a Year Abroad, UCL

Job after Imperial College Business School:

Associate Consultant, Bain & Company

About you

What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?

Before beginning at Imperial I had interned at several places during my undergraduate degree. This includes an energy consultancy as an analyst, a pharmaceutical company as a health economist, and a sustainable coffee company as an internal consultant.

Why did you decide to study an MSc Business Analytics at Imperial College Business School?

Imperial exemplifies excellence and spearheads innovation in the field of sciences, thus I felt as though Imperial was the right choice to blend business and data science for the best quantitative and technical business school experience. I was also very attracted to the diversity the programme boasted and the exit opportunities of many of the past students.


What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?

I think the best aspect of the programme has to be the cohort. The members of the cohort were so well selected, everyone is extremely kind and collaborative, and I could not have imagined a more productive and engaging environment to study in.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

My favourite module so far has been Optimisation and Decision Models taught by Wolfram Wiesemann. The professor was extremely compelling and did an extremely good job of breaking down complex concepts in a simple and practical way.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

For me personally, the most rewarding part of the programme is how applicable all the modules are to what is genuinely done in the workplace. For example, on my internship and while using real client data for one of the course modules, Retail and Marketing Analytics, I was able to create business value for the company whose data I was given permission to use, while applying techniques learnt in the course. I found it really rewarding to know and see first-hand how useful the programme has been, and how practical all the methodologies are in a real business context.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme? 

I think the most challenging part of the programme can be both the workload and the steep learning curve if you don’t come from a programming background. That being said it is not too bad to catch up, and my course-mates were always extremely willing to help! The workload in terms of coursework can also be quite dense, but it’s a great exercise in time management. I would also add that another challenge has been working in a team with people who may not have the same work style as you and thus always having to be very malleable when it comes to assembling coursework to meet deadlines.


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

I truly believe we are so lucky with our cohort at Imperial. This is without a doubt one of the best aspects of the course. Everyone is very kind, hardworking, energetic and cooperative, and no-one likes to see another fail. Outside of the working environment, I would also say that we get along very well and it is really nice to know that you can grab lunch and have a nice conversation with anyone in the room.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

I did! It was probably Wolfram as mentioned above. He brought so much energy, life and joy to a course which if taught in a different manner could have in fact been quite boring and dry, which I think is really a testament to his teaching ability and how much he cares for his students.


Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?

In Retail and Marketing Analytics, we had a guest lecturer who was one of the head digital analysts at FarFetch, an e-commerce fashion platform. It was incredible to hear her personal experience as a woman in a male dominated field, and to see how what we had learnt in the lectures could be applied to address a real business problem.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?

I am currently a member of the Social Impact and Responsible Business Club. They always host really great events with inspiring speakers which I truly enjoy as this is the sphere I hope to find myself in a couple years into the future!

Do you hold a student leadership position?

Yes, I am currently a Student Ambassador. I found this to be really rewarding and a great way to give back, as I certainly found chatting to the Student Ambassadors at the on-campus events one of the most influential aspects that made me rank Imperial as my top choice. It was also great to get an unfiltered opinion of how other students experienced the course, and the kind attitude they displayed towards us.

Have you had opportunities to work/socialise with students across programmes within the Business School?

I have interacted with other students mainly through my membership in the Social Impact and Responsible Business club.

How have you benefited from the Business School’s connection to the Imperial College London community?

I think it is really great to observe and read about the amazing research coming out of Imperial and the opportunity to attend talks and lecturers from the different institutes at the college.

How have you found the unprecedented switch to remote delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

While the shock of moving home and the abrupt departure of my classmates and our lovely day to day interactions has been quite saddening and stressful, I have felt that Imperial is well positioned in terms of digital infrastructure for online learning. The transition was relatively smooth, and the lecturers have been quite accommodating. While group work has been a challenge, especially working across time-zones, I have still found this to be rather seamless as I have great teammates! It is also a great way for us to remain collaborative and check in with one another in these challenging times.


What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?

In the future, I hope to be the head of sustainability and sustainable business practices at either a global consultancy or do this as an in-house role either in the private or public sector. I believe that data science in business can truly highlight and indicate sustainable business solutions and prove why they are practical and meaningful, not only for the company, sector or country but for the society and environment as a whole. I believe Imperial has helped me take these steps in getting a grip on the data science end of things, as well as how to bridge the gap between data scientists and business leaders. Since being at Imperial I have secured a job at a management consultancy which will help me to continue to learn about the quantitative technical solutions behind business problems and communicate these to business leaders in a down-to-earth and realistic manner.

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?

I have a job offer at a management consultancy in London, where I will be joining as an Associate Consultant.

How did the services from Careers help you secure employment/in your professional development?

Members of the Careers team were quite helpful in helping me with my interviews which I had pretty early on in the course. They were super accommodating even though they were extremely busy at the time. They did some mock interviews with me which were really useful.

London Location

Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities? 

Yes definitely! I was pretty lucky to secure a job quite early on in the course, but the central London location made travelling to interviews extremely easy, and there were always numerous insight days and presentations on offer.

Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?

I live about 20 mins walk from Imperial, just between Earl’s Court and High Street Kensington. I chose to live there because of the proximity to the park, and of course the proximity to Imperial as I was warned the workload could be heavy and that evenings were often spent meeting groups for coursework (which is true!) so I wanted a short commute.

When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?

I love cooking, travelling and really enjoy going to exercise classes! I find exercise classes a great way to de-stress but also a fun and different way to socialise. Since London is positioned so well, this also makes for really amazing weekend trips and is a great way to bond with new course-mates too!


Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions? Did you find these a useful part of the recruitment process? 

When applying for Imperial, I actually attended both the coffee chats and the on-campus information session. I would highly recommend that students attend these, the on-campus information session in particular, as I got an amazing feel for the course and could openly ask any questions I had about the programme or the application process which I found really valuable. I also really enjoyed the opportunity to hear from current Student Ambassadors and to see the facilities which I found very impressive.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?

I would definitely say to get in touch with someone from the Admissions team or a Student Ambassador to talk to someone first-hand about the course as I feel this is really the only way to do it justice. This degree so far has been extremely rewarding and definitely worth it, so anyone considering applying should definitely give it their best shot. I would also say, that if successful in your application to really brush up on some basic programming skills, as it makes your life a whole lot easier and gives you more of a chance to enjoy learning the topics rather than scrambling to learn coding concepts!

MSc Business Analytics
Undergraduate education:

BSc Economics with a Year Abroad, UCL

Job after Imperial College Business School:

Associate Consultant, Bain & Company