MSBA students and alums pose in group shot
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Follow the Four C’s: A Beginner’s Guide to a Business Analytics Degree
Jing Jing MSBA 19 shares the key ingredients to a successful program

Our entire orientation for the UC Davis Master of Science in Business Analytics was designed around the value of the Four C’s: Curriculum, Career, Community and Care.

Like many of my classmates, I had concerns before joining the MSBA program. What would the transition be like for me? What could I expect from the curriculum? What career opportunities should I look forward to exploring?

I’m originally from Shenzhen, China, and this would be my first time living in a place like San Francisco, Calif. But right off the bat I learned four valuable lessons that would give me the boost I would need to kick start my MSBA journey.

CURRICULUM: START WITH A STRONG FOUNDATION

If you’re like me and you’ve been out of college for a while and looking to start a career in a business analytics field, you’re probably worried you’ve forgotten all the fundamental skills and concepts and will really need some help refreshing your memory. Don’t worry! A good business analytics program will cover this.

The three-week Foundation Analytics Bootcamp for the UC Davis MSBA program brought me up to date on the Python, R and SQL programming languages, as well as statistics and calculus—covering all the major topics I would need to succeed.

MSBA students and alums pose in group shot

CAREER: WHERE DO ALUMNI GO FROM HERE?

For our first student-led meetup of the year for our class, we invited alumni from the MSBA charter class, along with the MBA programs, to share their experiences. We opened the event to the public to encourage students and working professionals in the Bay Area to join us.

Anna Shen MSBA 18, a marketing manager at Instacart, shared her story of how she got her job from a networking event at Google: “I got seated randomly with the head of marketing at Instacart and shared what I understood about the business.”

That led to Instacart later recruiting her through LinkedIn and eventually to a job offer.

“Don’t be too selfish,” she said at the meetup. “People will come to you; you just have to build that reputation. You can take advantage of it.”

Mackenzie Guinon MBA 18, a UX researcher at Workday, shared her advice for communication. Although we are in analytical roles, she said, we often need to solve problems or propose new plans that often require collaboration.

“You have to build trust first, then convince people,” she said.

She added that we need to be mindful of others and take some time to listen and build trust before giving them suggestions.

Sonic Prabhudesai MSBA 18, a manager in investor services strategy analytics at Charles Schwab, shared the importance of showing up, giving freely and articulating an educated opinion to make yourself memorable. 

Overall this meetup offered a great opportunity to network and learn from the previous class. Just listening to them about what their lives are like today in the industry inspired me to prepare myself for an interesting journey.

MSBA class of 2019 posingUC Hastings CFO David Seward gives a tourUC Hastings CFO David Seward gives a tourClass in front of city hall

COMMUNITY AND CARE: CREATE LASTING AND VALUABLE BONDS

We are part of a unique community. It is the only UC Davis business program in San Francisco. Our class size is relative small, with just 43 students this year. And we will go through all the classes together as one team. This combination has already built a strong bond among our class of students.

Before the orientation even ended, we were setting plans for a barbeque, a classmate’s birthday and a study group at the library.

Since UC Davis hosts the MSBA program from a UC Hastings building in downtown San Francisco, we’ve been able to network with those students as well as the CFO of UC Hastings, David Seward, who met us at orientation and provided a personal tour of the campus. We also visited the UC Davis campus to network with the faculty, staff and alumni involved with our business school.

And I’ll look forward to meeting more students with next year’s incoming class. Hope to see you there!