Mark O'Shea

Mark O’Shea

Academic and industry experience before Imperial

What made you choose to undertake this programme?

Before undertaking this programme, I completed an undergraduate degree in Computer Science & Business at Trinity College Dublin. Following this degree, I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to continue combining business with computer science. This is because I firmly believe that technology will disrupt all industries in the near future, and being equipped with the right combination of business knowledge and tech skills will be vital. While searching for potential employers and MSc programmes, I was both surprised and frustrated to find that most companies and universities were stuck in the traditional mindset that the roles of business people and tech people should not overlap. Fortunately, I then found this MSc in Business Analytics. There are only a handful of MSc programmes in the world teaching data science and business together, and this programme is offered by Imperial College Business School. I immediately knew it was the right fit for me.

What do you think sets this degree programme apart from other programmes you may have considered?

Apart from the obvious perks that come with attending Imperial College, the location, the prestige etc., what sets this programme apart from other programmes is the quality and approach to learning at Imperial. I was looking for a degree that combines technology with business, and this programme is taught by a business school which is part of a world renowned science university. I feel that these scientific influences have led to modules that are generally more focused on practical work and applying what we learn to real world problems. As opposed to the more theory centric approaches of other business schools.

Studying MSc Business Analytics

What have been your favourite modules so far, and why?

My favourite module so far has been Machine Learning. Before starting this degree, I had only heard about Data Science, Machine Learning, AI and Big Data. I had a general idea of what these things are (or so I thought), and I knew that they were disrupting everything we do, both in our daily lives and in business. I was excited to learn about these areas. It wasn’t until the first day of our Machine Learning class that I realised just how interesting and powerful data science really is. I have had many great modules, but this one really convinced me that I had chosen the right program and field of study.

Opportunities from studying at Imperial

What do you think are the main benefits of studying at Imperial?

There first things that come to mind are the opportunity to live in London, my very diverse and international cohort, and Imperial’s prestigious name. There is also the practical approach to learning that the business school has gained from being part of a leading science university. Something that I had not considered while applying, but have benefited massively from, is the Business School’s career service. They have been incredibly helpful during my job search, through CV/Cover letter reviews, mock interviews, networking events and more personal career strategy advice. It was through one of these meetings that Concentra was suggested to me as a good fit, so I am very glad to have used this service.

What value do you think having the MSc in Business Analytics will add to your career?

It is now clearer than ever that data science is disrupting industries and changing how businesses operate day to day. I am very confident that what I am learning in this programme will be useful to me in anything I choose to do. Looking at my cohort, there is a wide range of career aspirations, in industries such as finance, medical research, consulting and politics. Everyone has seen ways to apply data science to their chosen field. I have already accepted a job offer from Concentra, and I will be starting there as a graduate consultant when I complete this programme. They are a London based company who operate globally, offering strategy consulting as well as operations technology. Concentra really do look for people who have both business and technology backgrounds, so this course made a great fit for them.

Advice for future students

What advice would you give to students applying to this course?

Looking at my classmates, they are from all over the world, with varying backgrounds, levels of experience, and goals. There is definitely no perfect applicant profile, at least not that I can see. The one thing that we all seem to have in common is genuine enthusiasm for Data Science and technology in general. The concepts and methods we study in this programme are complex, up to date, and challenging. So I think having a real interest in the material is important. My advice to any student applying to the programme is to know why you are applying, and show your enthusiasm for it.

Student profile Mark O'Shea

Nationality: Irish

Undergraduate education: BA Computer Science and Business, Trinity College Dublin