Fawaz Wael, MSc Business Analytics (online, part-time) 2020-22, student at Imperial College Business School
Programme:
MSc Business Analytics (online, part-time)
Nationality:
Kuwaiti
Education:

BA Mathematics, University of Colorado Boulder

Role:

Consultant, Tri International Consulting Group

About you

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

I am a consultant in the public sector with a suite of deliverables ranging from orchestrating mitigation strategies for CFOs to structuring nationwide fiscal reforms. Prior to that, I interned with a key United Nations Development Programme figure that provided me with a front-row seat as they drove initiatives for the UN’s sustainable development goals.

Why did you decide to study MSc Business Analytics (part-time delivery, online) at Imperial College Business School?

It is essential to befriend data in today’s world to make meaningful contributions to real-world problems. With a mathematics degree under my belt and daily exposure to articulate strategists, I turned towards MSc Business Analytics (online, part-time). I was drawn to Imperial’s reputation with data research and education coupled with its flexibility to allow me to study remotely. I spotted an opportunity to gain a much-needed education while maintaining a work-life balance.

Programme

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

The constant and rapid support from our module staff has been stunning to say the least. The entire cohort have individualised time zones that build upon their unique schedules, yet the faculty have been proactive in answering our queries and challenges which made the remote experience even more enjoyable to learn.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

I am not exaggerating when I say all my modules are candidates to be my favourite module. This is partly due to my fascination with acquiring key technical core skills that have been explained in business settings and which align with my goal of pursuing impactful changes in my industry. The adjacent part is that each module has a structured knowledge transfer that mimics a top-down approach, starting at high-level articulation and finishing off with hands-on applied task work to sharpen the acquired skills.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

This programme’s focus on practical learning has turned out to be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. Almost all modules have hands-on projects that mimic real-world situations and simulate a sense of impact creation, which makes the experience of learning even more exciting.

Also, the calibre of the student body is Imperial’s great strength. The well-balanced mix of academics and industry professionals in our team projects intensified the experience of acquiring knowledge and developing soft skills, which are both vital elements for succeeding in the real world.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme?

I feel I have control over my studies and can study on my own timetable. The programme allows me to keep a good work-life balance and make time for family while gaining a world-class qualification. There are times this delicate balancing act can reroute, very quickly, right around times of tight deadlines. However, these stressful times allow me to increase my work endurance which is a positive impact on my work.

People

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

Every one of us longs to make an impact more than anything. The unique set of backgrounds that defines our cohort means that each one of us will make an impact in different ways, and I am eager to understand and learn more.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

Despite the complexity of the programme content, all my professors displayed a top-notch transfer of knowledge. Their constant reminders and rapid answers to my enquires elevated the learning experience.

Opportunities

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

Without a doubt, the greatest opportunity I have had at Imperial is online learning. Imperial allowed me to break the barrier of learning thousands of miles apart from my classmates and professors by enabling us to swiftly connect and learn together. It has done so with a refreshing learning environment and structured knowledge transfer that I can safely state mimics top-notch consulting knowledge transfer with busy clients.

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

I am a member of the Finance Club at Imperial. The Finance Club leaders organise excellent workshops that broaden the boundaries of our knowledge by providing valuable, real-life, hands-on exercises with global financial education firms. The workshops range from real-world financial modelling to investment banking analyst simulation environments.

Career

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

I want to utilise the core skills I develop at Imperial to support and drive the data and AI agenda in Kuwait, and the vision to position the state as a global leader in the elite league of data-driven economies. This ambitious vision runs parallel to the merging field of data and AI in the region and its noticeable expansion that, as we speak, is motivating emerging economies to transition from traditional economic models to data-driven alternatives. This is accompanied by the acquisition of human talent and data technologies, both of which are provided by Imperial in abundance.

Studying online

What have been the benefits and challenges of studying part-time and online?

Juggling work, study, family life and other responsibilities can take its toll. Poor time management can be disastrous, particularly if you fail to plan ahead of module requirements. However, the programme team are supportive and have designed the coursework to be manageable. The online learning platform at Imperial, The Hub, allows you to visualise your short-term navigation of coursework. The benefits of online learning are clear — you can pursue career progression alongside acquiring excellent knowledge.

How do you find using the programme’s purpose-built learning platform, The Hub?

The game-based modules, multimedia archives, engaging group exercises, virtual live tutorials and robust real-time chat forums are intertwined excellently together through a robust learning platform that is stunningly swift even with the occasional stubborn broadband access.

How did you find coming on campus to London, and does the programme foster a sense of cohort belonging in his online format?

The work-life flexibility that Imperial remote learning offers were not dramatically shifted in the face of the COVID pandemic for obvious reasons. One of the few changes was that our two on-campus sessions were replaced with an inclusive cohort get-together set of sessions that resembled the much-awaited on-campus activities. Its design was quickly assembled by the programme staff and it is safe to say it completed its objective of unifying us remotely with a trade-off that guarded our wellbeing and health.

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

Leisure time is what I look forward to away from studying and work. However, it is only achievable if I plan wisely. Otherwise, I find myself wasting my spare time. Hence, I advise you get into the habit of setting aside leisure time to organise a written document listing your small accomplishments as well as your pipeline assignments.

Tips

Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?

I took advantage of the information and resources provided online to track if the programme aligned with my long-term goals. The online recorded webinars proved to be the most fruitful in allowing me to analyse the views and experiences of past students to see if the programme would help me reach my goals.

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

I was, at one time, in the same shoes as you are. I had sincere critiques and concerns about the relatively new online learning landscape. However, try to evaluate the reasons why you want to pursue this online programme. Your answers may vary from me but if it includes a desire to acquire technical skills, and you find yourself limited for various reasons ranging from schedules to funds to geography, this programme is structured cleverly to mitigate these limitations. Imperial really wants you to succeed and acquire the technical toolkit you need, but only if you plan accordingly and develop time management and discipline. All other concerns, such as module deliverables, knowledge transfers and networking, are undoubtedly first-class and the programme is an enriching experience.

Programme:
MSc Business Analytics (online, part-time)
Nationality:
Kuwaiti
Education:

BA Mathematics, University of Colorado Boulder

Role:

Consultant, Tri International Consulting Group

Interested in applying for MSc Business Analytics (online, part-time)?