Dimitri Navarro (Business Analyst Collection, Hermès) and Ijeoma Uhuegbulem (Senior Supply Chain Analyst, Amazon) recount their experience of the MSc in Digital Marketing & Data Science – from their beginnings as prospective students and their experience of the program, through to the burgeoning careers on which they have since embarked. They tell a tale of a diverse and challenging experience that ticked all the educational and professional boxes, not forgetting all the advantages of such an international learning environment.
What were the main appeals of emlyon business school and the program? Which one “came first”, the school or the program?
Dimitri: “For most students, I would imagine the training the program offers in the challenges of data, through digital marketing. For me personally, the data science dimension and the chance to acquire the basics through data analysis hard skills. As for which factor attracted me first, I think that they are inseparable. The school has a certain reputation with employers and allows us to access good positions within its groups that show great interest in our dual management-engineering profiles”.
Ijeoma: “The main appeals of emlyon were its ranking, diverse locations, and strong alumni network. Nevertheless, the program came first before the school as I was particular about the course content I was looking for and when I found it, the quality of the school was a major bonus”.
To what extent did your educational background influence your choice?
Dimitri: “The professional experience I gained during my previous Master's degree, which dealt with data analysis and CRM. I wanted to go onto the next step, to be able to analyze larger masses of data and to do this, I trained myself in programming languages such as Python, R or SQL”.
Ijeoma: “As a lawyer who wanted to pivot towards technology, my background heavily influenced my choice. I wanted a program that wasn’t too complex in Data Science and included business courses. This program offered the perfect blend for me”.
Did you already have a potential career or job in mind before the MSc?
Dimitri: “Very clearly. I wanted and am still looking for a position after this degree that will be oriented towards analysis and BI, such as a data analyst or business analyst”.
Ijeoma: “Yes. I always wanted to work in Logistics/Supply Chain Analytics”.
What were the most valuable, most surprising, and most challenging aspects of the program?
Dimitri: “The most useful was to learn the programming languages stated above. The most surprising? The diversity of the people in the class in terms of their backgrounds, nationality, and the exchanges that resulted from this melting pot. The most difficult? In a sense, none when you take so much pleasure in developing yourself in class”.
Ijeoma: “The most valuable parts of the program for me were the python and R courses. They were very beginner-friendly and packed with a lot of information in such a short period. The most surprising part of the program was the diversity of the class. While I couldn’t meet everyone, it was amazing to see so many nationalities represented. This was my first time being in such a diverse environment and working in several teams with people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and races. It gave me a lot of exposure and made me more interested in other cultures. The most challenging part of the program was the online learning due to covid. For immigrants like me, with no family or friends close by, it was tough”.
What learnings from the program have you applied the most in your career so far?
Dimitri: “No longer be afraid of not being able to solve a problem - it was a recurring feature of the program to dive into research to find a solution to link a problem to a solution, mainly in coding, so not having an immediate answer to a problem is no longer a source of fear”.
Ijeoma: “I work with data every day in my office, and I have to come up with innovative ways to do my work more quickly. The R/Shiny project we did during the program inspired me to build a shiny dashboard to visualize some key data points I work with”.
What advice would you give to prospective students considering the school and the MSc?
Dimitri: “To have a professional project in mind and to be sure that the program can help you contribute to it”.
Ijeoma: “Expect to learn, meet people from all around the world and challenge yourself. The career fairs are pretty amazing too. I was shocked at the number and quality of companies from practically all industries you can think of, hiring for several roles ranging from Digital Marketers to Business Analysts to Junior Data Scientists”.