Pre-MSc Business Analytics: University College London, Chemistry
Academic and industry experience before Imperial
Work experience/internship(s): Three years as a consultant working in data analytics at KPMG.
What is your greatest academic, professional or personal awards/achievements
Academically, I was awarded the CK (Christopher Kelk) Ingold Prize for undergraduate excellence. I was an integral team member with individual responsibility for work worth hundreds of thousands of pounds in just my second year at KPMG. Personally, I have developed and delivered technical training material in my field of interest and presented at international conferences.
Studying MSc Business Analytics
Why did you decide to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
Whilst working as a data analytics professional I was studying the subject in my own free time. After three years with KPMG I felt I was looking for a different challenge, and having enjoyed my studying in my free time so much I felt that a Master’s course would be an appropriate way to achieve this. Imperial College Business School’s partnership with KPMG through the Data Science Institute made it an obvious choice. The course syllabus looked like it had the right mix of subjects for me, and I wanted to continue to develop my business-led approach to working with data.
What makes the MSc Business Analytics at Imperial College Business School unique?
The syllabus: I have not seen another course that offers such a good mix of detailed, technical modules and those covering the application of analytics in a business environment.
What aspects of the programme do you most enjoy?
I get a lot out of the varied assignments applying scientific and sophisticated analytical methods to real-world problems and settings. However I also love studying, so being able to commit my full attention to learning in an academic (as opposed to self-driven at home) setting has also been fantastic.
What has been the most challenging part of the programme?
It would probably be getting used to working in an environment with a very different feel to the consultant’s world of exceptionally tight deadlines and lightning pace.
What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?
Having the opportunity to interact with students and staff from such a diverse range of backgrounds. The work that people have done in the past, or currently, is fascinating!
Which has been your favourite module so far and why?
I really enjoyed the Optimisation and Decision Models module. It was material that was actually quite new to me and getting to grips with it was a lot of fun. I also found Workforce Analytics to be a great class – it had a heavy focus on practical applications of theory to data and I really enjoyed both the in-class workshops and the at-home assignments.
Working with others
Which seminars, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?
Probably the visiting lecturers that we had for the Visualisation module, particularly Andy Kirk. I found the way he presented his material to be really engaging and it got me thinking about the subject (something I’d covered to a limited extent previously) in a whole new way, which was fantastic. I also really enjoyed getting involved with the Imperial Data Science Society. It was great to meet so many students eager and keen to get involved in such an exciting subject.
How would you sum up the Business School faculty?
A collection of knowledgeable, clever, helpful and (importantly) very friendly staff who have been a pleasure to work with and learn from.
Imperial places a large emphasis on group work; what inspires you the most about working in this type of environment?
The opportunity to work with different people means that we generate loads of different ideas that I certainly wouldn’t come up with on my own. This is really exciting and makes the work so much more interesting.
How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?
A lovely mix of people from a range of backgrounds, each with a fantastic set of capabilities and experiences.
What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?
I have been involved with the Data Science Society, helping them to run some technical training courses.
Opportunities from studying at Imperial
What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?
Meeting so many people with such a diverse range of experiences in such a short timeframe, and having the opportunity to work and socialise with so many of them closely.
How have you benefited from the services provided by the Career and Professional Development Service?
The Career and Professional Development Service were able to give me some fantastic advice on how to go about planning for some of my long-term career aspirations.
How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?
I’ve met some great students from across the business school, and had some fantastic conversations that have led to me being invited to a number of fantastic-sounding events.
Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities? Please share any positive experiences you have had.
It certainly is: I’ve met students from all over the world, all brought here to study at the university. I would not have met them otherwise.
Career goals and jobs
Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?
No, I’m in the fortunate position of already having a job so I haven’t been looking.
What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?
My future goals are focussed on moving to data science roles. Imperial has given me not only the skills to perform in these roles, but also the credentials to be taken seriously when applying for them.
Life as a student in London
Whereabouts do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?
I live in Richmond. I’ve lived here for several years, initially moving to live with a friend. I’ve subsequently moved elsewhere in Richmond, choosing to stay here as I really like the area and don’t mind the commute (too much!).
In your opinion, tell us about the most exciting, undiscovered place in London.
The rooftop garden bar at the Southbank Centre; in summer it’s one of my favourite places to go. It’s got a lovely relaxed atmosphere and the prices are cheap! It’s usually pretty full, which makes me think it’s not “undiscovered” but whenever I go there with someone new, they’re always surprised it’s there, so maybe it is.
Advice for future students
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about applying for the course?
Spend some time studying some of the subjects online (there are loads of great free courses out there). This will help make sure you’re definitely interested in the subject and will also help with preparation for the course, as some of the technical elements especially can be tricky for beginners. I’d even suggest maybe taking a year or two to work or get some broader experience beyond undergraduate life; I think this is definitely a course where some “real-world” experience is really beneficial.
Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online 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?
I came to a campus information session and then had several chats with some of the recruitment team. I’d definitely recommend them – they helped me find out about the course and the team provided invaluable help as I was applying.
Share with us a handy hint or trick which makes campus life that much easier!
Be friendly with everyone you meet; you never know when you’ll meet them again and a friendly face somewhere new is always a welcome sight. Talk to the tutors and find out about their work. Not only is some of it fascinating but it can also help to put your studies into context and give them some relevance (very helpful when things get tricky!).