Before business school Cindy Lai spent her career in precious metals, dentistry, and aerospace. The thread that connected each role? Data analytics.
The Master’s in Business Analytics student found that she was constantly dealing with and analyzing data. It’s why she went to business school; she wanted to build her analytical skillset and network of data professionals to enhance her career.
She was stuck on where to go, but after reading a biography of US financier, Bernard Baruch, she came across Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, and the new Master’s in Business Analytics. Together with Janhvi Saxena, another student on the MS in Business Analytics program, Cindy is part of the first cohort to enroll on the program.
The school has a strong reputation, she says, and the lure of studying in Manhattan and learning from established professors who also teach at NYU and Columbia was a big pull factor.
With her mind on a career in data, how does the program set students up for their future careers?
The business school network
Cindy’s plan is to become a data analyst after graduating and within five years move into a data scientist role. The network she’s building on the Master’s in Business Analytics program is giving her access to a wealth of experience and talent.
The Graduate Career Management Center (GCMC) hosts events—now online—with professionals who talk students through their own career journeys and the paths available to grads.
“There are lots of opportunities to learn from them, ask them questions, and that helps you decide what you want to do with your future,” Cindy explains.
Janhvi explains that companies have been reaching out to her with job and internship offers, even amid the pandemic. She also points to the ‘open house’—now virtual—where companies are open to conversing with students about their CVs and any potential job openings.
Zicklin’s Executives on Campus (EOC) program also provides students with executive mentors who guide and develop their networking skills, interview technique, and other business etiquette skills.
One of Cindy’s mentors Rawley Cooper introduced her to volunteer service Datakind so she could get real-time project experience during the program. Allison Siminovsky introduced her to business analyst, Christina McKendall, who passed on information about how to enhance her career prospects.
Finally, another mentor, marketing analyst Andrew Zwillinger, curated a list of key skills for Cindy to focus on developing. He also enhanced her interview technique.
Cindy and a friend on the course also launched the Data Science & Analytics Society to help students develop a career in data science and analytics through learning and networking. Cindy was the vice president of event planning before becoming the president of the society in October 2020.
Past events have brought students exposure to professionals from companies like Google and Accenture. Cindy says that the events have now shifted online, and upcoming speaker events are hoping to bring in professionals from Facebook, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley.
Read more about Zicklin School of Business: