Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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December: Practicum Presentations, Exams, and More - Alex, MMA '19

Time Flies

What’s that old saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun!”? Not that I didn’t have fun, but maybe a better way of recapping my month of December was “Times flies when you are very, very busy”. The beginning of the month involved wrapping up our four main courses: Modeling Tools for Predictive Analytics (RSM8512), Tools for Probabilistic Models and Spreadsheet Analysis (RSM8414), Structuring and Visualizing Data for Analytics (RSM8411), and Big Data Analytics (RSM8413), while the month ended with a series of presentations including two for the MMA practicum project.

As for the coursework, RSM8512 wrapped up with a final exam; this was the only course in the fall semester that included a final exam. This was a little surprising to me, as I expected most (if not all courses) to culminate with a final exam. (As a side note, the winter semester only has one course with a final exam as well – the MMA program is very assignment/project-heavy!) RSM8414 finished with a final individual assignment that focused on organizing data effectively in Excel and using simulation techniques to inform decision-making. RSM8411 wrapped up with a group project that used SAS to analyze a dataset about traffic accidents. The most interesting findings were then used to create a data storytelling presentation in Tableau. Finally, in RSM8413, we concluded the course with an individual assignment on text mining and a group report/presentation based on a Statistics Canada dataset.

The Practicum

The practicum project is split up into two components: developing an analytical plan to solve a business problem and implementing the solution using an appropriate programming technique in R, SAS or Python.

Alongside the four courses, my teammates and I also worked diligently on our analytical plan for the practicum project. If you’ve read any of my classmates’ admission blogs, you’ve probably encountered some information about the practicum projects. Very basically, the practicum project is split up into two components: developing an analytical plan to solve a business problem and implementing the solution using an appropriate programming technique in R, SAS or Python. Once my group developed a potential solution, we prepared both an internal presentation to Hudson’s Bay Company (our practicum host) and an external presentation to a larger audience at the Rotman School of Management. Both presentations gave me an opportunity to improve my communication skills (both presentation and Q&A skills).

Back in Toronto

Although I am a Canadian student, I did my undergraduate studies outside of Toronto, so being back in my hometown has given me a chance to rediscover some of my favourite things about the city. Outside of class, I’ve had a chance to attend many sporting events (Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors games) and enjoy some nights out on the town. Toronto also offers many outdoor activities (yes, even in the winter) such as skating, cycling, and hanging out in one of the city’s many parks (High Park is my favourite for the record).

If you’d like to contact me for my information about my MMA experience thus far, feel free to connect with me on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexnolfi/. 


The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional in 9 months. 

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