Thriving in a rigorous graduate business program
In many respects, pursuing a rigorous master’s degree is analogous to starting a new business with grueling hours, some failures, excessive caffeine consumption and stubbornness of not giving up.
As I begin the third academic quarter of the amazing UC Davis Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program, I can’t help but reflect on my journey so far.
Time flies! It feels like only yesterday that I received an email from my dream university saying that I had been admitted.
I have been in awe of California since I was a teenager and have long loved San Francisco—a city for everyone, whether you enjoy the hustle-bustle of an urban environment, prefer to unwind outdoors, or both. The city is a perfect blend of networking opportunities, spectacular sunset views, nightlife and much more. I’m finally living my California dream!
Twists, Turns and Curves
The past five months have been a true rollercoaster ride. Our program commenced last summer with a three-day Communication and Cultural Bootcamp that featured many fun events, including ice breakers, panel sessions with talented alumni, improv activities hosted by a career coach, and a preview of what we could expect, both academically and from a career standpoint.
The orientation week allowed us to get to know our classmates, who come from all around the world. It was fascinating to learn about everyone’s personal and professional backgrounds. I’m lucky to have been part of this amazing cohort.
The learning curve has been quite steep. The transition from summer to fall quarter was a little overwhelming, as we went from one course to five courses, but I was determined. The summer session laid the foundations for us to excel in the fall and the basics of Statistics and R, a programming language for statistical computing and graphics.
We were also introduced to crucial topics like data management, data visualization, strategic thinking and data-driven communication, which would later prove helpful during our interview process.
And, we started our practicum project, gaining hands-on experience as we work on analytical projects drawn from real-world data. The program has amazing faculty and great admission and career development professionals who have carefully designed this program to prepare us for a career in business analytics.
Taking Time for Yourself
The pressures of grad school can be immense, and students may sometimes experience a sinking feeling. For me, taking time to relax, explore the city, meet up with friends and connect with family back home helped tremendously in easing those feelings.
We have so many resources to reach out to when we feel overburdened, like our student committee, alumni, classmates and even faculty members. We have had so many fun celebrations like Halloween, Diwali and hiking, which helped us refuel our energy and motivation.
After a well-rested winter break, I feel motivated yet anxious, as the job market that we will be stepping into is going to be challenging. I remind myself that this is a challenge I can’t wait to embrace! I have faith in myself, our program and our powerful alumni network—and know I will thrive.