Shuxian Rao

Shuxian Rao

Studying MSc Business Analytics

Why did you choose to study MSc Business Analytics and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?

I wanted to make a career change, from financial services to a field where I can further apply my quantitative and analyzing skills. During the past two decades, technology and big data has transformed rapidly, so I chose to pursue a Master’s Degree in Business Analytics as it is in line with the trend and extremely relevant to my career transition plans.

Imperial is a world-famous university ranked top 10 in the world, the Business Analytics programme is also a leading programme in this field. Besides, I particularly liked the location – London and the comprehensive studying modules, from which I can both learn theory and apply the theories to solve real business problems.

What was the most important learning point you took with you from the Business School?

The most important thing I learned during my study at the Business School is that  we must never underestimate our potential. Business Analytics is such a new course that my classmates came from various different backgrounds; some hadn’t written a single line of code before joining Imperial, some hadn’t done any maths since high school. I saw incredible improvements in everyone after one year, with the guidance and support by professors and lectures. I’m sure we will achieve our goals after graduation with the same confidence and dedication.

What was the most surprising thing about the programme?

I was very surprised about the solid technical training in the programme. We need to work with coding and maths a lot, implement solutions from scratch and that’s very unusual for a Business School. It was very hard but extremely valuable in job applications, even when facing the competitors from engineering schools.

Career & professional development

How was your career transformed following your programme?

I work at Facebook as an Integrity Scientist. This is a role combining data scientist and software engineer, and my duty mainly includes detecting abusive users and spammers on the platform. Most of the skills I use in my work now were learned on the Business Analytics programme at the Business School. The programme helped my career transition into data science and technology.

How do you plan to use the skills and knowledge you gained during the programme within your career going forward?

I learned different kinds of skills during my study. The coding skills, statistics and machine learning knowledge are extremely relevant to solving the problems I face at work. The visualization skills are very important as I need to communicate and influence my colleagues. Most importantly, the analytical mindset trained in the programme helps me understand the problems quickly and leads me on the correct path to solving them.

What do you enjoy most about your current work and what are the main challenges that you face?

The thing I both enjoy and find challenging is the adversarial environment between us and spammers. We find a way to stop them, they find another ways to work around us, and this loop will never stop. It is fun and challenging, and we must be alert all the time.

The alumni network

In what way is remaining connected to your alumni network important to you?

I met amazing friends during my study here, and received valuable advice on both learning and career from alumni even before starting the programme. Being in the Imperial alumni network, we can join professional events, share experience and opportunities globally. I’m very proud to be part of it and stay connected with each other.

Advice for future students

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same Business School programme as you?

If you do not have coding experience before, start now. There are many great resources online such as Datacamp and Coursera that can help you start basic programming in Python, R and SQL. Coding skills are essential if you are considering this programme or working in analytics/data science field.

Also, I suggest that you think about which industry you want to work in after graduation. There are many different industries recruiting Business Analytics graduates, including consulting, financial services, technology, etc.  They are all very different,  from corporate culture to job requirements. It will be beneficial to think about which area interests and suits you before applying.

MSc Business Analytics 2018

Nationality: Chinese

Undergraduate education: BBA Quantitative Finance and Risk Management, City University of Hong Kong

Job prior to Imperial College Business School:  Data scientist at a Chinese startup

Job after studying at Imperial College Business School: Integrity Scientist, Facebook