Cass Business School, City University (MSc in International Accounting and Finance) University of Hertfordshire (BA Hons in Marketing), University of London (LLB Hons in Law)
What work experience/internships (if any) did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?
I have more than 12 years of experience as a strategist. I have led development and implementation of growth strategies and improvement initiatives for multinationals and government agencies. I have worked both as an internal and external strategy consultant.
Why did you decide to study an MSc Business Analytics (part-time delivery, online) at Imperial College Business School?
Data is growing in volume and complexity exponentially with the increasing use of automation globally. Analytics is going to be a huge element of enterprises in the future. Getting ahead of the curve by learning analytics now provides a pathway to success as well as transferable skills that can help in different areas of life. The opportunity to leverage insights from data has never been greater.
It allows me to be data literate which starts with a holistic view of how to think about data and what questions to ask. This means I can define the key challenges and business critical questions that need answering and then collect and analyse the data that will help me address them. With this, I can come up with better strategies with the support of data.
Also, data will become key to competitive advantage. This means a company’s ability to compete will increasingly be driven by how well it can leverage data, apply analytics, and implement new technologies.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy the most?
I enjoy interacting with the lecturers, tutors and course mates the most. It is very mind stimulating and the Professors/ lecturers and tutors invest a great deal of time and effort in the courses they teach and have been very caring that their students get the most out of the courses.
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
Optimisation and decision models. I gained insights to using linear, discrete and nonlinear programming to solve an optimisation problem which is very useful to solve operational issues such as optimisation of production planning, resources.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
The most rewarding part is I gained new knowledge and skills relating to data, which has unlocked a new ability for me to look at data from a different perspective.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
The most challenging part is balancing work and study, especially when having demanding timelines at work. When I have a project deadline at work that is close together with coursework deadline, balancing time to complete both well, is very challenging. Every module has a number of individual and group assignments and requires time to complete it well.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
The cohort has been one of the best that I have learned with. It is a very diverse cohort. There are many nationalities which creates cultural diversity. In terms of work experience, we have class members who are fresh graduates to up to more than 20 years’ experience. There are some with data science experience and it is nice to hear their different perspectives on data science.
Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?
Professor Wolfram Wiesemann. He makes difficult concepts easy and interesting to understand by using relevant examples. He is also a recognised expert in the area of operation analytics which I am very interested in. Operation analytics covers where organisations frequently need to take decisions based on uncertain or incomplete information and the use of quantitative methods to decide on an optimal decision.
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?
The greatest opportunity I have had at Imperial is being able to work with professors/ lecturers who are leading experts in their field. It allows me to learn new concepts and ideas as well as their application.
Do you hold a student leadership position (including club leader, SSC, Dean’s Student Advisory Council and Student Ambassador)?
Yes, I am a Student Ambassador. My role is to share my experience on the programme with prospective students and answer questions about life at Imperial College Business School. Their questions often make me think further on how I can gain more from the programme and how I am able to apply the knowledge gained.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
I aspire to do more work relating to data, especially touching on subjects involving big data. This includes coming up with data and analytics strategies for a company. I gained a lot of knowledge on data analytics such as, from structuring and querying a database, performing statistical analysis on data and learning how to apply it to make predictions.
How did the services from Careers help you secure employment/in your professional development?
The Career service provided a different perspective especially when reviewing my cover letter and CV. They are also able to share what employers in certain industries are looking for when hiring candidates.
What have been the benefits and challenges of studying part-time and online?
Studying part-time provides the flexibility for me to continue working and at the same time, gain knowledge which I can apply immediately to my work. The benefit of studying online is that course materials are always accessible, hence if there are any areas I need revision in, I can re-watch the videos to refresh my understanding. The challenge as mentioned earlier is time-management as studying part-time means balancing work with study.
How do you find using the programme’s purpose built learning platform, The Hub?
The Hub is easy to navigate, and it allows flexible learning. The Hub hosts all the recorded lectures, links to live tutorials, and activities, assignments, and quizzes we must complete. It is interactive as after completing the activities, we get feedback. Tutors also can comment on our answers in the activities providing more insights. The Hub is also mobile friendly, allowing the content to be accessed from any device. This allows learning on the go.
The programme includes two on campus sessions. How did you find coming on campus to London, and does the programme foster a sense of cohort belonging in this online format?
I found coming on campus to London a very good experience. It allowed me to meet my cohort where we have only interacted online before meeting on-campus. There were many networking opportunities during the on-campus sessions, not only with the cohort but also with external industry leaders. It helped bring the experience of an online programme closer to an on-campus programme.
When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy reading and working out. Reading helps me challenge my perspective and push me to think beyond what I am doing. Working out helps me with relaxation and increases my energy levels.
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? Would you recommend that prospective students attend these events?
Yes, I found online webinars useful as part of the recruitment process because it provides a deeper overview. Prospective students should attend these events as it provides an opportunity to ask questions regarding their programme of interest.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?
I would advise them to begin preparations early especially on their personal statement. They can also speak to Student Ambassadors to ask any questions that they may have on the course, which can help them decide if the course would be right for them. It is also advisable to apply early if they would like to be considered for scholarships, as there is generally a cut-off application date.