Month: August 2019

My MSc in Business Analytics: a Fulfilling Master’s Degree at Cass

Why Cass?

I have long aspired to work in business.

Before joining Cass, I studied a BSc in Business Management. After graduating, I was confident in my knowledge of business theory, but I still felt that I lacked a more technical background with a quantitative standing. I knew I wanted to work in business analytics and found my niche interest at Cass Business School.

My Santander scholarship

From the start, Cass recognised my past academic efforts. I was able to throw myself into my studies fully thanks to the financial aid I received. I was happy to be one of four master’s students awarded with a Santander scholarship based on academic performance.

Professional mentoring scheme

I decided to get in touch with the careers team to move in the right direction for my career. I wanted to get familiar with data analytics and find the perfect job. I was lucky enough to be partnered with an experienced advisor who navigated me through the ups and downs of job searching. I accompanied my mentor to many meet-ups and built up my confidence in my networking abilities.

Cass boasts many industry experts and its online alumni community means that students like myself have outstanding networking opportunities, increasing our chances to succeed in today’s competitive job market. The more I learn about the Cass alumni community, the more I become interested in giving back and eventually coaching and mentoring other young professionals. If I can help someone navigate their data science journey, then I have succeeded.

Student clubs: 180-Degrees Consulting (180DC)

As part of the student-run consulting organisation, I have connected with many prominent Cass graduates and have come to see how strong our alumni ties are. For our consulting society, my team sourced a project from a non-profit City-based client. This client is a leader in the UK for providing social care events. I guided them as they went through the process of going digital. In doing so, I have broadened my master’s scope with hands-on experience. My team and I helped the company transition away from an arbitrary method of recording data, to a made-for-fit solution of using SQL (structured query language) data tables that made more sense for their product. By renovating their database’s structure, the client has much less redundant data and fewer cells to update. Our team’s deliverables, strategies for implementation and proposition for data analysis were highly appreciated by the client and we were entrusted with a long-haul project.

The Strategy Insight Lab

I joined the Strategy Insight Lab, a research project delivered by Cass in partnership with London Growth Hub and the University of Oxford. For this project, I am working on the creation of a data analytics training programme for UK microbusinesses. Working closely with experts and academics, I have helped put together a £2 million research study. I carried out a data collection activity by interviewing a group of twenty companies regarding their progress in their main business activities. I am also responsible for organising monthly events targeted at business owners, in which I network, exchange business cards and have a chance to receive exclusive training.

The future looks bright

Studying at Cass is an essential part of my career path and I look forward to what the future holds.

 

Nikita Polukeev
MSc Business Analytics, 2019

Strength in Diversity

Recently, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) hosted the first ever “Logistics and Transportation Diversity Challenge” event, a day designed to demonstrate how increased diversity in a team leads to higher productivity, performance and drives innovation.

The event drew 30 teams from companies such as Coca-Cola, DHL, National Express, Siemens, and more. As students in the MSc Global Supply Chain Management course, we have student membership to the CILT and were able to participate. So along with eight of my course mates in MSc Global Supply Chain Management, I travelled up to Newark to represent Cass Business School at the event.

After arrival and putting on our team shirts, the day began with a keynote speech highlighting the aim of the day and the significance of diversity in the work environment. Then we were off! Our team was tested through 14 challenges, requiring different levels of skill, stamina and problem solving, all while being incredibly fun. We climbed an unclimbable ladder, we learned archery, and we performed a Haka. We tested our knowledge in trivia, strategized through an assault course and more.

As we worked through the challenges, we were able to experience the benefit of diversity within our own team. Our varying backgrounds and identities helped us be strategic in earning the most points for each challenge. Each individual shined at a different event, and by the end of the day we were much closer as a team than we had been going into this diversity challenge.

While we may not have scored the top spot and coveted “Team of the Year” award, we did place 3rd out of the 30 competing, which we were very excited about! Overall, it was a great day of practicing team-building skills and meeting professionals from the logistics and transport industry. I look forward to future teams representing Cass and taking away as much from this event as we did.

Julia Elliott
MSc Global Supply Chain Management, 2019

MICL is the one for me!

The MICL chose me.

After working for almost five years at EY Russia, I decided that it was time to pursue a master’s degree. So, I quit my job, started to prepare for the IELTS exam and applied to a few different universities. I began receiving acceptance letters, but I was anxiously waiting for a response from Cass. As soon as I received my acceptance letter, I rejected all the other offers and announced to my family and friends that I was moving to London. That night, when my friends asked me why I chose that specific programme, my answer came down to instinct. I just had a gut feeling that the MICL* was the one for me.

*Masters of Innovation, Creativity and Leadership, aka the MICL.

 

Christmas Party

The MICL life.

I really didn’t know what to expect from the programme as it is so unique in its format and content. The first day was very exciting, and I was eager to find out what I was in for. I still remember our lecturer’s words to us: “My job here is to rewire your brain.” While it might sound odd at first, once you get into the MICL, you begin the work of unlearning old habits and way of doing things, and opening your mind to the world and to learning new things.

Like everything in the MICL, the classes were unique and diverse. The most important thing for me was that every class gave you an opportunity to engage with your classmates and teachers. The MICL is really a place where you are expected to share your thoughts and opinion. Your voice matters and is heard.

This whole year was also a great exercise of getting out of my comfort zone. And this also happened to all of my classmates. The MICL has something challenging for everyone, whether it is performing on a stage, inventing a new use for VR technology, or doing an academic research project. Generally, all the modules are a combination of business and creativity. One of the memorable examples for this was using LEGOs in Leading Creative Design module, where we used the building blocks to express our ideas, visualise them and discuss with the team.

Life outside the MICL.

Last day of class

The programme also offers a unique opportunity to work part-time on projects of the Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice. During the year, I worked on two projects that allowed me to use the acquired skills and learn new ones from professionals. One of the projects consisted of creating a prototype after doing some reaching and then testing the prototype with actual potential users. The second project was international, so I had the opportunity to connect with different people. My task was to help out with presentations and then to review pitch ideas for a contest. Even though my official work for that project is over, I still follow the news from the competition.

The Lord Mayor’s parade

What truly stuck with me was the people I got to meet along the way. Everyone in our class came from different countries, backgrounds and working experiences. We have a lawyer that now wants to shift to service design and a business owner who just wants to take things to another level. The program really helped with making self-discoveries and a better understanding of your values, needs and preferred working styles.

The best thing was, that everyone in the class was in the same mindset. This allowed us to instantly connect, help out with classes, and enjoy typical British pub culture after class. One of the best traditions we created was organising Cultural Dinners: once a month, one of us would find a restaurant with our country’s cuisine. At the restaurant, we would enjoy the food while the host would tell us stories about their home country and the culture.

This year spent at Cass has been incredibly special to me. At times it was tough and stressful, but always enjoyable. In the end, I got so much more than I ever expected— and I say this even though I still have to finish my dissertation to get the actual degree!

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