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December: End of the First Half - Matthew, MMA Class of 2023

The month of December is an intellectually stimulating and intense month. It is the final month of the fall term (i.e., tools term) – a semester of weekly assignments, networking opportunities, social events, and case competitions – and it marks roughly the half-way point in the MMA program. This term focused on developing our analytical toolkit, which consisted of learning concepts such as extracting data from databases, creating visualizations, spreadsheet modelling, and applying machine learning algorithms. This was all accomplished through gaining exposure to Excel, SQL, Python, R, and Tableau/PowerBI. 

A major theme for the fall term is teamwork. Throughout the term there are many group assignments and presenting our final assignments to our cohort made the first week of December rewarding. Our final class of the term was followed by a memorable event planned by the MMA social reps which involved delicious food, a Secret Santa gift exchange, and care-packages provided by Program Services to help us get through the exam season. This event was a great way to destress before we all entered exam mode. The next 10 days consisted of a never-ending cycle of eating, studying, and sleeping, with some exam writing in the mix. Exams are always stressful but are manageable nonetheless – so long as you structure your time effectively and stay on-top of course material during the semester. After the last exam, the MMA class gathered one final time for 2022 to celebrate our achievement of completing the tools term. 

Three words that summarize December as an MMA student is studying, celebrating, and reflecting.

The majority of December was dedicated to studying for exams. Once the exams were finished, it was time to celebrate with friends and family during the holidays. As we prepare for the practicum sprint and the winter semester, it is important to reflect. What went well during the tools term? What went poorly? How can I eliminate any bad habits and carry-over the good ones to maximize what is left of the MMA and Rotman experience? What would I like to accomplish in the final six months as a Rotman student? While reflecting on those questions, I jotted down a few tips for future MMA students on how to make the most out of their MMA tools term: 

  • Time management: Summarize all deliverables and readings for each class (there are a lot…) in chronological order at the beginning of the term and cross them off upon completion! There are many extra-curricular activities you may want to participate in so this will help you identify which weeks you have time to take on more commitments. 

  • Communication: There will inevitably be individual and group assignments due at the same time. Make sure to communicate this early with your team members, agree on who is responsible for each part of the assignment and hold each other accountable. 

  • Get to know your team members and classmates: You will be spending a lot of time with each other and going through the same challenges. Connecting with your classmates will make the program more enjoyable and manageable. 

  • Take advantage of Rotman resources: Set up meetings with your career coach early on to discuss your career search and desired career path. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to your professors! 

  • Take breaks: There is a lot of work to be done but being well-rested is always helpful, don’t forget to take some time for yourself! 

  • Keep a list of goals: Create a list of what you would like to accomplish in the Intro, Fall and Winter semesters. Time flies, having a list of what you want to accomplish to refer to will help you stay focused on your goals. 

The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics, and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional.

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