“Aaaand that's a wrap!” my inner dialogue exclaims as I submit and log out of the last final exam. The first semester ended amongst celebrations and winter break plans, tempered by the bitterwseet irony of taking final exams online due to recent COVID-19 cases. January will probably be online as well, but there’s hope that in-person classes will resume by the start of the spring term. All of this is tucked away at the back of my mind; for now, I simply enjoy the feeling of being halfway done through what’s been an incredibly engaging program so far.
The fall term led us on a deep dive into data mining and modeling - we learned how to construct models in Excel, Python and R and how to structure data in SQL. If anything [we learned that] approaching similar problems from different modeling perspectives and utilizing different programs strengthen our analytical proficiency while simultaneously expanding the toolkit at our disposal.
The fall term led us on a deep dive into data mining and modeling, teaching us the tools we need to derive answers from data. The classes have their official names but I have always likened them to the tool they are based on, and so we learned how to construct models in Excel, Python and R and how to structure data in SQL. If anything, approaching similar problems from different modeling perspectives and utilizing different programs strengthen our analytical proficiency while simultaneously expanding the toolkit at our disposal. In short, there are multiple ways to approach a problem but the underlying process is based on the same fundamentals.
The classroom may have been the ship that carried us on our learning voyage, but there was a whole vortex of activities happening around us at the same time: case competitions, networking events, workshops, coffee chats, and some of us are still deciding what industry we want to work in while others are in their second or third round of interviews. The Program Services team and our career coach did a great job of keeping us on schedule and informed of upcoming events, but it’s not hard to imagine why we were feeling like we’d run a marathon by the time exams rolled around!
As the program winds down during the winter break, there is already plenty to look forward to for next semester: January will be entirely dedicated to our first practicum sprint, where we’ll define our final deliverable, design our data pipelines and come up with our modeling plan. The Career Services team has put together mock interview sessions with industry professionals to help us practice and ace our behavioural and technical interviews. Classes for spring term will focus more heavily on applying data analytics to marketing, finance and operations scenarios. Oh, and there will definitely be another SDL workshop, and clubs will start having their industry nights to meet with prospective employers, and before I forget I need to sign up for the certifications I want to take….
I pause, take a deep breath and sigh contentedly. “There will be time, there will be time” rings in my head as I put on my shoes and walk out the door. Indeed there will be time for one more semester of classes, practicum projects and job hunting, but for now I’m focusing on enjoying the moment: a few friends are going for a coffee and snacks to celebrate the end of the semester. My mind races ahead to Christmas dinner and the smell of cinnamon hanging heavy in the air; data analytics and career prospects can wait for now. Happy winter break everyone, and here’s to a great start for 2022!
The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics, and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional.