Consultant / Oliver Wyman
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm currently a full time MIDS student working through the curriculum on the accelerated path. I have over five years of experience in consulting working on teams with incredibly talented and smart colleagues. My most engaging projects have been in the retail industry delivering insights and helping with process changes in areas such as promotions, pricing, and product choice. My work has taken me all over the world, including Australia and Canada, so I am enjoying the change of being able to stay local during my studies! I'm taking advantage of it to spend more time with my amazing husband and pursuing my reading and cooking hobbies.
At what school and in what concentration did you receive your undergraduate degree?
I went to Dartmouth College for my undergraduate education and double-majored in Mathematics and Economics.
Why did you choose the I School?
I chose to attend the I School's MIDS program because it offered the best experience for what I wanted to learn. The curriculum is designed to provide a broad knowledge base and has a good balance between mathematical rigor and business applicability. Plus, it uses a project-based approach to encourage group learning and practical experience working with the concepts and tools. When I was looking at other schools, they were all too academic or focused only on the tech side of data science without any of the softer skills needed to make a real impact.
What is the I School's advantage?
The professors and community at the I School are a tremendous advantage. The professors have a wealth of knowledge, including industry experience, and are invested in your learning experience. The community is also large and growing, with alumni who are often active on Slack. Between these two sets of resources, you can take your education as deep as you want to go and have a support network willing to help out and answer questions. And beyond classwork or side projects, that community is also there when it comes time to apply for jobs or make big career decisions.
What has been your favorite class at the I School and why?
My favorite class so far has been Experiments and Causality. The material has been extremely engaging, with many real-world examples of great experiments (and how estimating causal impacts can go wrong). This class has also done a great job of balancing the statistics side of how to analyze the data coming out of an experiment with the thought process side of how to design an experiment to obtain the data you need in the first place. I personally have enjoyed working on our final project, where you need to design, implement, and analyze your own experiment.
What are your future plans?
After MIDS, I will be returning to my job as a consultant at Oliver Wyman. The skills and knowledge I have gained in the program will help me tackle more difficult problems with confidence and provide more impactful insights to my clients.
Do you have any advice for aspiring information professionals/data scientists?
My best advice is the age-old adage, “practice makes perfect.” With data science, there are so many aspects beyond the algorithms that are the shiny buzzwords out there. Unless you try implementing things yourself, you won't understand the full pipeline of obtaining data, storing data, cleaning data, finally analyzing the data, and then still having work to do in communicating your results. Really, the best way to learn is through getting your hands dirty and finding projects to work on, whether they are at your job, in your classes, or just off the side of your desk.