Denise Eng, MSc Business Analytics 2019-20, student at Imperial College Business School
MSc Business Analytics

National University of Singapore Double Degree in Biomedical Engineering and Economics

About you

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

Prior to starting the MSc Business Analytics programme, I was working in a healthcare startup in Singapore for about two and a half years. As an Associate, I supported projects to invest in healthcare delivery services and to improve care models and processes in healthcare facilities in both Singapore and China.

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

In my previous job, I had the opportunity to gain exposure to the use of analytics in improving operational processes in healthcare facilities. From there, I developed an interest in data science and its application to business problems. I wanted to further develop my skills and knowledge in this field in order to better apply them to my future career. I found the MSc Business Analytics programme to be very interesting and highly applicable across industries. The opportunity to acquire a good mix of both technical and business skills made the programme a very appealing choice.

Did you receive a scholarship?

I received the Technology and Innovation Scholarship from the Business School. This has enabled me to focus on maximising my learning opportunities during my year in the College and to experience the culture and environment as much as possible in London.


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

I really enjoyed the hands-on portion of the programme, in particular programming and learning how to use different tools such as Python, R and Tableau. It was interesting to see how programming could be used in various situations and to solve different business problems through our coursework. The experience gained is also highly beneficial for a future career in this field.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

Data Structures and Algorithms is my favourite module so far as I enjoy programming and the lessons were very interactive and hands-on. We were able to build up our programming skills in Python very quickly through a series of in-class practice exercises and assignments, which were challenging but great fun.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

It has been extremely rewarding to apply the concepts and skills we have been acquiring through the programme to real-world problems and to observe how they are often critical to improving business processes. Knowing that these skills which we are acquiring are highly relevant and placing us in a good position for the future is very motivating.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

Managing multiple individual and group assignments and projects concurrently during some of the terms has been the most challenging part of the programme. Given the fast pace of the programme, we are constantly learning and absorbing new information and skills while applying them to projects and coursework.


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

The diversity of my cohort is impressive, my classmates represent a big range of nationalities with very different undergraduate backgrounds and work experiences. Everyone is highly motivated and passionate about learning and developing their skills in business analytics. They are also very friendly and open to sharing their knowledge and resources, which makes the learning experience much more enjoyable.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

I really enjoyed the Data Structures and Algorithm modules taught by Heikki Peurra as they were very organised, clear and effective. Heikki was passionate about the topics taught and delivered his lessons in a very interactive and engaging way. He also ensured that the module was very hands-on in nature, which allowed me to significantly improve my skills in Python.


What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?

The greatest opportunity that I have had at Imperial is to learn and collaborate with a group of very diverse, international students who are highly driven and friendly. I have been able to learn a lot beyond the field of business analytics and the content taught in lectures by interacting with my peers and working in different groups for projects. My time in Imperial so far has been nothing short of exciting.

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

Recruitment talks by various corporates at the School have enabled me to gain insights into some of the opportunities that are available and relevant to my field of studies and interests. There have also been events such as those organised by the Imperial College Data Science Society which have been great in developing my skills and knowledge in data science.

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

I have taken part in a few events organised by the Data Science Society, such as workshops on various data science methodologies, and I will also be participating in my very first hackathon, which is organised by them. As someone who is very active, I have also been involved in trainings organised by the Imperial College Cross-Country and Athletics Club.

Do you hold a student leadership position?

I took up the role of a Student Ambassador and have participated in a few recruitment events organised by the Business School, where I helped prospective students gain insights into the MSc Business Analytics programme.

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

I have had a few opportunities to meet and interact with students from other programmes, such as through a scholarship ceremony for the scholarship I received from the Business School, networking events for prospective students and a Leadership Day which was organised for Student Ambassadors.

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

Being in the Business School has meant that we get access to the resources offered by Imperial College London as well, including career fairs and recruitment talks. We can also join in the many  events and activities organised by the wide range of clubs and societies in Imperial College London, which is a great way to meet others who have similar interests and hobbies.


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

Post-graduation, I would like to take on a role such as that of a data analyst or business intelligence analyst, which brings together both technical and business domains in a business. Being at Imperial has prepared me well for my future career as through the programme, I have been able to build a strong technical foundation by regularly using tools such as Python, R and Tableau. With the electives, I am able to learn the application of these technical skills to various business functions and this is very relevant to my future career goals.

How did the services from Careers help in your professional development?

There are a wide range of services provided by Careers, including recruitment talks, mock interviews and career counselling. I have been able to find out more about various opportunities through attending recruitment events by companies and to improve my CV and cover letters with the help of career consultants.

London Location

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

London is a very vibrant city with numerous events such as meet-ups and networking sessions where students can discover a wide range of career opportunities and meet people in industries that they are interested in. I attended a few data science-related events through Meetup, where I was able to find out more about latest happenings in the field and also interact with people who have work experience in data science and are able to share plenty about their experiences and perspectives. I also took part in a DataDive organised by DataKind UK which was a great way to apply my skills in data science for a particular social cause while meeting like-minded people who were passionate about using data science for social good.

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

I live in Earl’s Court, right by the tube station which is on the Piccadilly line. Besides having the convenience of travelling to College, which is a 20-minute walk away, I have a good selection of food and beverage outlets and supermarkets in the neighbourhood. Being in central London also means that I can easily head to places to meet-up with friends or check out new places during the weekends.

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

During my free time, I enjoy exploring London and going bouldering with friends in climbing gyms around London. I also do regular runs around the neighbourhood, such to Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, to explore more of the surrounding areas while training for the upcoming Paris Marathon which I have registered for.

What have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London? What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?

It is exciting to move to and live in a different city and there is much to learn about the culture and environment. I have been able to explore new places, interact with people from many different countries and try out new activities. Living expenses in London are higher than in Singapore, but the scholarship which I received has helped greatly and I manage my expenses by preparing my own food very frequently as well. For someone who is thinking of joining the programme and moving to London, come with an open-mind to explore and focus on gaining new experiences and meeting new friends!


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

As the programme is technical and involves a significant use and application of programming and statistical methods, I would encourage prospective students to assess if the programme suits their interests by trying out relevant online courses to gain some exposure to what the programme involves. It would also be helpful to think about their long-term career plans and how the programme would fit into that. Having a chat with people who are currently in the field could provide valuable insights as well. Finally, apply with an open mind and the curiosity to learn and experience as much as possible through this programme!

MSc Business Analytics

National University of Singapore Double Degree in Biomedical Engineering and Economics