Master of Quantitative Management: Business Analytics, Class of 2018
What do you do professionally?
I work as Strategy and Business Data Scientist at Red Hat. Through my role, I provide actionable insights to assist sales leadership with planning, forecasting and strategic decision making for the North America sales geo. Since joining Red Hat, I have worked on projects based on customer analytics and sales pipeline analytics to guide the business and go to market strategies.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
During MQM:BA, every classroom discussion and team assignment roused my curiosity about data science. Therefore, stepping into the shoes of a data scientist has enabled me to evolve and practice almost everything I learned. Collaborating with seasoned data scientists in cross-functional teams has introduced me to new techniques and has helped hone my technical skills considerably.
Moreover, data science fast evolving field of work. The fact that I am constantly surrounded by new analytic tools and techniques always keeps me on my toes. Although it is hard to keep up with all the advancements, I enjoy this part the most because there is always room to grow.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
The field of data science is undergoing a sea change in terms of how data scientists work. This means it is only a matter of time until the tools and programming languages I regularly use will become obsolete. MQM:BA groomed me well to solve problems related to my current work responsibilities, but the biggest challenge is to continue honing my skills after the program as well. I always try to dedicate time to explore new techniques that I could incorporate in my work.
What is the best professional advice you’ve received?
In my father’s words, “Building a career is all about the pursuit of excellence." While my past accomplishments have helped me reach this stage in my career, now chasing excellence would help me scale the path up. I should always strive to put my best foot forward and never stop learning.
Aside from your current role, what is your dream job?
Landing the Data Scientist role at Red Hat has been nothing short of realizing my dreams! I would like to continue progressing in this field. There are so many directions to specialize in or just gain the experience of working in.
What do you like to do outside of work?
My participation as an alumni admissions interviewer for the incoming MQM:BA batch has been a very rewarding experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about different aspects that candidates admire about Fuqua. Moreover, being a part of the inaugural batch of MQM:BA, I did not have the opportunity to interact with someone with first-hand experience of the program. So, I appreciate this opportunity to share my experiences with the aspirants and address questions on the curriculum, track, and/or job search experience.
What is the most important thing you learned during your time at Fuqua?
Classroom discussions and team projects were undoubtedly technically challenging. However, a bigger challenge was ensuring our recommendations were relevant and practicable. The most important thing I learned at Fuqua was that understanding the context is as important as solving the problem. Simply running an algorithm and dumping the result statistics without any execution plan can render any remarkable analysis futile.
Can you discuss your experience in the MQM:BA program? A year later, how has the degree affected your career?
MQM:BA acted as my launchpad into data science. While undergrad courses in programming introduced me to the fundamental concepts, MQM helped me further this knowledge. The curriculum helped me dive deeper into data processing, analytics, and modeling. Guest lectures and classroom discussions helped widen my horizons through sessions on topics ranging from health risk prediction to online dating. Capstone gave me the opportunity to collaborate with a local powerhouse and help address their business challenges. Overall, the MQM:BA program has helped me enter the professional world of data science.
You are part of the first-ever MQM:BA class! Do you have any advice to those following in your footsteps or considering applying to the program?
My participation as an alumni admissions interviewer for the incoming MQM:BA batch has given me the opportunity to interact with the aspirants and a majority of them have asked me if they would be able to “fit” in MQM:BA with their level of expertise in programming. MQM:BA is certainly a quantitative program, but it goes well beyond that. The program grooms students to be data practitioners who also understand the business very well. So, candidates should never undermine soft skills while talking about their technical qualifications because MQM:BA fosters a culture of all-around development.
Who was your favorite professor?
I enjoyed my experience of attending Professor Michael Brandt’s lectures. In addition to the iconic “umbrella” pointer that Professor Brandt used in the lectures, I liked the way he traversed theoretical to practical application of complex concepts like derivatives and securities with such passion and finesse. His lectures were comprehensive, yet very easy to follow.
What is your favorite Fuqua memory?
There are two actually: Triangle Training and commencement! Triangle Training was my initiation into Team Fuqua. The experience of completing enervating team activities throughout the day with a group of complete strangers did not seem appealing at the first. However, I ended up making many close ties that have lasted well beyond my time at Fuqua.
The MQM:BA commencement has been the culmination of my personal, professional. and academic journeys. I will always cherish the experience of walking across the stage to receive my degree from Dean Boulding. Words cannot express the gratitude I have towards my parents for unconditionally supporting my decision to pursue MQM:BA. They truly are and have always been the wind beneath my wings.
Why do you support the Fuqua Annual Fund?
I was awarded merit-based scholarship upon my admission into the MQM:BA program. So, contributing to the Fuqua Annual Fund is a token of my appreciation to the institution for having an unconditional faith in me right from the start. It is definitely a tradition I wish to uphold.
What does Team Fuqua mean to you?
Team Fuqua is about embracing a collective identity and keeping an indomitable spirit. MQM:BA was challenging on many levels. However, sharing the ups and downs with my teammates built my resilience every step of the way.