From MSBA to Wrestling with Messy Datasets

Woman wearing graduation cap and gown on campus.

The last time we caught up with Prarthana Kejriwal, MSBA ’21, she was about halfway through her program and busy building her analytical skillsets. Fast forward to today: after graduating, Prarthana landed a job with T-Mobile as a Business Analysis Manager. Prarthana checks in with us about how MSBA set her up for success and how the new job is going so far.

Preparing for the job search

“From the very first quarter, Foster Career Services held weekly classes breaking down my job search process: my resume, LinkedIn profile, portfolio, and professional network. Getting started so early helped me be ready with the basics.

I did so many mock interview sessions, I couldn’t even tell you how many. I would prepare something and just have another session to see if I’m on the right track and to practice my communication skills. Career coaches Jack and Lindsey also helped me build a portfolio showcasing my business and analytical skills that I had gained over the last year.”

Landing a marketing analytics position

“It feels like just yesterday that I was graduating and looking for a job! 7 months ago, I joined T-Mobile as a Business Analysis Manager in the Ads Measurement team. It’s my first job in the US, and it’s been great so far. I’m in the marketing analytics part of T-Mobile, specifically dealing with TV ads. I analyze TV ad data to help measure the impact of those ads and which ones are performing well.

I’ve had a chance to apply a lot of concepts, tools, and techniques from my courses. From a technical perspective, the tools I’m using now that I learned in MSBA are SQL and Tableau. But it’s also been important how the program gave a broader business context to these tools: how analytics can be used and be helpful. It’s easy to get lost in numbers, but being able to see the big picture has been crucial.”

Wrangling real-world datasets

“One thing that’s been a steep learning curve so far has been working with super messy datasets. I practiced with clean and tidy datasets, but on the job, sometimes pipelines break and data isn’t flowing in well. That’s when you have to really roll up your sleeves and dig into the numbers to get to the root of the problem.

The capstone project in my last quarter of MSBA was actually a great segue into doing this kind of work. With that project, it was real Microsoft data we were working on—data with limitations and imperfections—and we were presenting to the Microsoft team as well. That was really helpful in preparing me transition to a real work environment.”

Talking to stakeholders

“The MSBA program has helped me understand very technical aspects of my job. When a data scientist presented a regression model, for example, I was able to understand what those coefficients mean and what the output means, even though I didn’t build that model. But not everybody on your team might be the most tech-savvy person, and you can’t just throw huge spreadsheets or SQL codes at them. It’s very hard for them to digest.

Knowing this has helped me so many times already. When I meet with various stakeholders, I’m able to give them context in very business-friendly language. At the end of the day, I want my analysis to be put into action, and I’m able to point to action items and key takeaways.”

One last thing I’ve noticed: people really seem to recognize Foster School of Business and respect this MSBA program. People are well aware of it, and they hold you in high esteem because you’re from a reputable program and a reputable university.”

 

To learn more about MSBA and its blend of technical skills and business acumen, read about the MSBA curriculum and join an upcoming online information session.

 

Written by Joe Garvin
Writer & Content Strategist
[email protected]