How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Thomas Gubbay

Business Analytics, Masters in Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Salt Lake City, Utah
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 03 2018
So I originally started in finance with undergraduate degree in finance, and after that, I went to work for a company and I was able to work a little bit of a rotation program, between sales and marketing and finance. There was something that I realized that everybody was concerned with data. Everybody, to certain extent, was basing their strategies and their forecast, everything was was based on data. Sometimes, on the data which was not necessarily very accurate or wasn't analyzed in a lot of depth. And I felt like as someone that likes numbers and believes that there's a lot of value in numbers, I felt a little bit limited. So after that experience, when I went to Japan to serve a mission for the LDS Church and on coming back, I felt like that's really something that I wanted to do. I wanted to help people through numbers, to figure out business decisions and through figuring out what the best course of action was in systematic, quantifiable scientific framework and that's what led me to apply to the MSBA program.

What are various specializations and courses in your curriculum? Which specialization and courses are your favorites and why? What is the average time per week that you spend in classes, in doing assignments and exam preparations?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Thomas Gubbay

Business Analytics, Masters in Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Salt Lake City, Utah
for : Masters in Business Analytics, Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 03 2018
I think that in the MSBA program, unlike the MSIS program, there's a little less specialization in the sense that we have very few elective classes. There's only one to be precise, but I think that serves a series of purposes. I think the reason for that is because this is MSBA program, so it has a very specific purpose, which is to allow students from different backgrounds, different levels of ability whether it be in programming or in with regards to mathematical theories, statistical theories or business experience. It allows everybody to kind of start off on the same level and then progress together to exactly what we need to be able to do, which is to understand the tools that we need to be able to analyze data in a lot of different contexts and industries and sectors in order to make business decisions. I think for that purpose there's a lot less specialization but they have to make sure that a lot of content is covered. That being said everybody has kind of, a their thing, right? I really enjoyed learning about the mathematical theories behind the models that we use and understanding why they are the way they are. Other people get a lot more benefit from understanding more about the marketing applications of business and so there is that room to add and to get interested in things that are kind of a little bit more of your niche per se. With regards to the average time per week, as an international student I'm not working full time but I know there are people that are working and so I will spend about a good, I think it depends on your level of R, on your level of mathematics coming into the program. I've had to catch up a lot of content on R whereas other people didn't had to. And so it really depends! I think you will get as much out of the program as you put into it. With regards to like hey you have to do this many hours kind of level, I would say it's safe to assume that for every credit hour of classes taken you will have to put in double that amount in readings and homeworks which is not a whole lot. To be honest, again that may change depending on how comfortable you are with the program, how comfortable you are with the content but that's what I've seen in my case and it's very doable. It's not at all impossible. Teachers do a great job by getting a lot of the work done in class. Your assignments all the time will be mostly covered in class. You'll just have to go on, spend a couple of hours to do them outside of class, but for the most part they're very understanding that a lot of people are working. People do things by themselves. And so I think that would be my answer.

What prompted you to pick this program? What other programs or Universities did you consider? What do you like about the program?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Thomas Gubbay

Business Analytics, Masters in Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Salt Lake City, Utah
for : Masters in Business Analytics, Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 03 2018
So initially I was set on doing a Masters in finance. I felt like I wouldn't get much of a competitive advantage when compared to other finance graduates. I felt like the field of data analysis was growing and was imposing itself in a lot of different industries especially some of the industries that I was interested in consulting or financial services and so I felt like I could always learn more about finance on my own or on the job, but the tools that I would learn for data analytics, I had to learn through a program. What appealed to me about this program was that it was one year. It is one year and it's very comprehensive. The content is incredibly rich. I looked at other programs that also covered MSBA. Of course, it is like ASU or MIT. I feel like this one was the most balanced one and I loved being close to family and Utah. Being around a great environment, great student body, the campus itself is awesome. If you like nature, you would really like Utah and I'm really happy with my choice. I think I love the interaction with teachers, with the professors that we have. They're incredibly down to earth and they're not , you know, they really like to help out and the work will feel like it's just a big family. So I can really recommend this program.

What major challenges do you face in this program? Can you discuss some accomplishments, some challenges that you overcame and felt proud of?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Thomas Gubbay

Business Analytics, Masters in Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Salt Lake City, Utah
for : Masters in Business Analytics, Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 03 2018
Major challenge was as I said I had no background in R coming into this program. And R is one of the tools that we use a lot. A lot of our data analysis is based on R model outputs. And so I was a little bit apprehensive of that coming in. And I was apprehensive of going back to school for the first time in a while and having to balance work and and things like that, with the course content. And, you know, I think that it's not impossible at all. It's very doable. I think it's important to take things one step at a time, one day at a time. The professors, as I said, are really helpful. They're incredibly understanding that not everybody knows the same things as another or is comfortable with the same tools, and so they're incredibly understanding. Of course, you know, to a certain extent, you just gotta bite the bullet and get down to work, but it's very doable for anyone that doesn't have any technical background. I would say, if you have the will power and have the determination you can, you can overcome that. And so I feel proud that now I'm able to kind of keep up, and in a way and play around with these tools that i didn't know anything about. And so if you were admitted into this program, it's for a reason. People in the admissions department understand the requirements of this program. So don't worry but don't be afraid of working hard and taking things one day at a time.

What is the quality of program faculty? How available are the professors in your program?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Thomas Gubbay

Business Analytics, Masters in Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Salt Lake City, Utah
for : Masters in Business Analytics, Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 03 2018
Program faculties, it's great. I think for me, it's been one of the selling points of this program. They have a very clear understanding of what their mission statement is. And teaching this program, they understand that MSBA students coming in are not MSIS students. As I would say that they understood a little bit better than I did coming into this program about what I needed to learn, what I needed to interface to be competitive in the working force and so they're incredibly smart. They know what they're talking about, they have a lot of industry experience. They still do research and they are really involved in the very dynamic industry which is data analytics, machine learning and they know what they're talking about. But they manage to teach in the way that everybody can understand and if you want to know more and if you want to dig deeper, you know they're there for you and they'll give you the available content. So I will say absolutely, professors are great in this program. They're incredibly available. they just say, you know, pop over into my office anytime and they're willing to explain things. They're willing to spend time in class as well, that's had a class and accommodate for everybody's schedule.

How does the program prepare you for your career? Think about career fairs, networking events, resume & interview help, classes and alumni support.

Asked by Jeff Musk

Thomas Gubbay

Business Analytics, Masters in Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Salt Lake City, Utah
for : Masters in Business Analytics, Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 03 2018
In terms of career preparation, I would say the school's incredibly invested in exposing their students to industry leaders and industry professionals. Since I've been here in the last month and a half or so I think I've attended almost six career fairs and I've been informed of events by companies on campus, almost on daily basis. Just walking around the lobby of the school, I have been able to meet, you know some of the top companies in the country. The course structure is very relevant to the tools needed in the industry nowadays. When I look at job postings or I look at anything at all or I talk to some people in HR departments and recruiting departments, they're really, this is really what they're looking for, you know all these tools. They want to know if you can do cluster analysis, they want to know if you can understand, you know, support vector regression model outputs or if you understand how to use natural language processing techniques and so it's incredibly relevant. On top of that, we have a great career desk which takes the time to give you personalized advice. I know, for example Joe is great staying in touch, correcting cover letters, correcting CVs. They are incredibly patient, they're incredibly hardworking and they know their students one on one, which is really refreshing and they know how to align their advice with your career goals. And so I highly recommend it. On top of that last thing, the alumni network for the University of Utah is great, especially considering that there's so many companies that are settling in Utah for, you know, tech companies, fintech companies, um, there's this. These're kind of silicon slopes, as they say, but a lot of them are University of Utah graduates, and, you know, they will help you out. So really great.

What is the approximate cost per semester that you pay? What ways did you acquire a funding or scholarship or grant, if any?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Thomas Gubbay

Business Analytics, Masters in Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Salt Lake City, Utah
for : Masters in Business Analytics, Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 03 2018
As an international student, of course, the big hurdle is the financial cost of the program all in all, depends on the semester. Fall semester is a little bit more pricey, but i am paying in total, off the top of my head, I can't remember the exact figure, but, somewhere around forty five to fifty thousand dollars for the program. And so I have an outside lender for student loans. More specifically, I used Prodigy Finance, which is a a financial lender. It was really smooth, really easy to get accepted, really easy to kind of connect with the school. But with that what helped me a lot was that I was able to get a Fifty thousand dollar scholarship from the MSBA program, an academic scholarship as well as, some financial support for working a certain types of on campus jobs that there are some available that would give you tuition help. So that, plus a job on campus was more than enough to cover the cost of attending University of Utah. So if you are worried about that, especially for international students, there's definitely a way to get that funding, so not to worry.

What kind of jobs, companies and salaries students typically get after they graduate from your program?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Thomas Gubbay

Business Analytics, Masters in Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Salt Lake City, Utah
for : Masters in Business Analytics, Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 03 2018
Graduating from the MSBA program, the biggest probable positions that we would be filling are those of data analysts or business analysts. I know that from what I've heard, some of the companies that people end up working for include a lot of local companies, companies ranging from everything from Ancestry.com to Vivint Solar to Adobe Analytics. A lot of them are in the tech or Service as a Product kind of companies, but I think that it's not impossible to branch out if you want to do other things. We're in for one of those big companies, it's just you kind of have to prove yourself. I'm not aware of a specific figures in terms of salaries, but I, from what I understand, there's over ninety percent job placement with an average salary of Seventy Three thousand dollars a year. So if that's what you're looking for as a starting salary coming out of the program, of course, because then that it progresses but this is roughly the information for career prospects coming out for the program.

What strategies helped you get into this program? What exams and kind of scores are needed? What things did you highlight in your application package or interview responses?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Thomas Gubbay

Business Analytics, Masters in Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Salt Lake City, Utah
for : Masters in Business Analytics, Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 03 2018
Unlike other programs, I felt like one thing that I really enjoyed was that the application process is pretty straightforward and there's no tricks. It's very much merit based and it's, if you're a good fit for the program, be just kind of yourself. I did work really hard a couple of years back to take the GMAT and put some some work into it, so I'm sure that really helped. But other than that, academically and personality wise, I'd just say, just be yourself. Beyond this, be transparent and highlight your strengths. If you're a business person, be a business person that wants to learn about data and analytics. If you're an IT person, speak of how you bridge the gap between companies and with no knowledge of information systems background and yourself or highlight your strengths. In my case, that was my international background and the languages that I spoke. And don't be afraid to be yourself because ultimately that's what the MSBA program is really all about. About diversity, and so they're looking for tons of different people. As long as you are academically and I guess intellectually capable of covering the content they want to, they really seek for that diversity, so be yourself.

What were the responsibilities and decisions that you handled at work? What were your working hours like?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Thomas Gubbay

Business Analytics, Masters in Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Salt Lake City, Utah
for : Business Analyst - Commercial division, Johnson & Johnson
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 03 2018
As I said, my background, the little professional experience that I had was working for Johnson & Johnson, and it was mostly using Excel and proprietary dashboard systems to populate Excel files and to break down the numbers and to calculate ratios and to compare KPIs. And so inadvertently, I was doing data analytics before I even signed up to this course. But I just didn't had the tools that I have now or will have coming out of this program. But I will say that it, I think, prepared me for to think of things, to kind of interpret data as what it is, which is a business output and I was working full time. It was great company, loved the working hours, loved the working environment and the balance between work and life. So I would come in at around Eight Thirty to Nine AM and and be out by no later than five or six, so really good.

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) did you use at work? Did you prefer certain tools more than the others? Why?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Thomas Gubbay

Business Analytics, Masters in Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Salt Lake City, Utah
for : Business Analyst - Commercial division, Johnson & Johnson
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 03 2018
For my position at Johnson & Johnson, I mostly used Excel and, Nielsen software. Nielsen is a company that makes databases for sales information. to very granular level, or even market level sales information. And so I worked on, you know, pulling data from those kind of tabular database systems and fitting them into excel. Dashboards that I had conceptualized myself. I didn't use any programming languages, per se, and I didn't use a lot of the tools that I am learning now. But i did really enjoy Excel. I thought it was really great. And so, I think, that's why I kind of enjoyed R because it's like Excel taken to the next level, right! Especially with the data visualization tools in R. They could be amazing if you just learn to play around them.

What was the hiring process like for your job? What were the roles of people who interviewed you? What questions were asked and how did you answer them?

Asked by Jeff Musk

Thomas Gubbay

Business Analytics, Masters in Business Analytics, University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business
Salt Lake City, Utah
for : Business Analyst - Commercial division, Johnson & Johnson
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 03 2018
What I learned by applying to Johnson & Johnson was that networking really is a strong tool in getting a job. The reason why is because when you apply, you send a resume and maybe even a cover letter but they don't know you. They haven't seen you in a lot of different situations, they don't know what your character is like. it's that networking allows you to build a very human connection, someone that can vouch for you and so, I got my interview with Johnson & Johnson through a friend who thought it was a good fit and that i was you know, clever and flexible in different situations. So I interviewed only once and that was with my boss's boss who is director of sales for all of Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan markets. And so that was a little bit daunting for me but it was very much a character based interview. He had seen my profile, my resume and he knew that I could, you know, figure out numbers. In that sense, my GMAT score helped me a lot because it was kind of, it vouched for my ability to synthesize information but the interview was very much character based and a very, i would say, i was almost oblivious to how great of an opportunity it was and so being relaxed also really played in my favor. Some of the questions they asked me were, very character based. Asking me why I liked data, what kind of industries that I was familiar with and what kind of industries I was excited to work in and what I could bring to the team. And how was I creating value for Johnson & Johnson, and so i think that's very important to keep in mind. In a lot of these interviews that you go into, is that ultimately you're obviously there to benefit from the employment opportunity, and they know that, that's not a problem, but ultimately you're the one creating value for the company to a certain extent and whether that is in the long term, you've just time to explain I have a limited number of skills, but I will learn or by helping out the team so they don't want someone that's going to impede the work of the team, whether it's in your character or in your skills. But they know that you're not going to run everything in the first day and so really showing them that they can invest in you, and then you're going to create value, i think it's very important.

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