September is a special month filled with new experiences.
It is the first exam period new MMA students will experience, and it is also the month that we are introduced to the practicum projects. At the same time, we will also be taking part in case competitions, club activities, and job application preparations. Students typically choose any combination of the above, and for me, I focused on getting the exams finished to the best of my ability, case competition, and networking.
Final Exams, Final Exams, and more Final Exams
Exams are always stressful, even for someone like me who has been a student for the entirety of my life. I joined the MMA program immediately after I finished my undergraduate study at UBC. Unlike some of my fellow students who had invested some time into their career advancements, I consider myself professional at taking exams.
Moreover, with undergraduate degrees in both Finance and Computer Science, I am relatively familiar with the course contents taught during the introduction term. Even then, with 50% of my grades on the line, the pressure was creeping up on me.
“What I can confidently say from this experience is that being in a group where everyone wants to start group projects early is a blessing because once the exam period started, the majority of our big group projects were finished, leaving us more time to prepare for the exams rather than focusing on both at the same time. If people asked me for advice to prepare for September, this is the number one piece I would give.”
Also, come closer and let me tell you a little secret -- the exams were not as bad as I thought they would be as long as you paid enough attention during the lectures.
Immediately after the exams, the introduction to the practicum started. During the last one and half weeks of September, there’s only one thing you are allowed to think about -- the practicum. Jokes aside, the practicum was the main focus of the time. Professor Dmitry Krass led us through four sessions of intense learning of the main purpose of the practicum, and how we should approach it.
“We got to put what we learned into practice instantly in a one-day Datathon event, followed by a week of intensive onboarding period where all the groups met their practicum hosts and made their acquaintance. It was … fun, intensely fun.”
This is something that I personally chose to focus on during this period. It usually takes me longer to prepare for job applications than others because I am less experienced and am more cautious about picking the types of careers I want to pursue.
“I consider the best thing to start working on during this period is networking. It takes my mind off of the academic side for a short while and allows me to regain focus, not to mention that I get to think about my future and meet a lot of interesting people.”
All in all, after a relaxing and exciting start in August getting to know my cohort and attending events, September is where the work begins. It is a glimpse of what's coming in later terms and is a great endnote of the introduction term. I'm enjoying my time now and am ready for any challenge up ahead.
The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics, and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional.