July 19, 2017

Students on the blog: An Alumna Working in Data Science and Analytics

Jingqiao (Ciao) Huang (MS Quantitative Methods and Modeling '17) interviewed alumna Shivani Trehan (MS Statistics '16) about her role as a Data Scientist, thoughts on networking and what some key skills students should be thinking about are.

Jingqiao: Shivani, thank you for meeting with me today. Let's start with your current job. Can you please share a bit about your current role at your company?

Shivani: I work for Assembly (Media Arts and Sciences). I work as a Data Scientist for the Analytics and Data Science team. I am working across different accounts and servicing different clients depending on the need. My work involves media-mix modeling and other forms of predictive modeling. I also work on other data analyses as and when they are required.

JingqiaoHow did you find this job and what preparation work or steps did you do or take to land there?

ShivaniI reached out to the EVP, Data Science and Analytics team on LinkedIn and told him that I was looking for work. I wrote out a personalized message talking about my profile and the work that I had done previously. He set up a time to meet with me. After I met with him, I got a call from HR to interview with the team. I met with three senior people of the team and interviewed with them. I was hired a week later.

JingqiaoSo it was you who initially reached out to the company. Would you mind sharing some networking and interview tips, because I believe many students have tried to reach out to professionals on LinkedIn but failed to move to the next step?

ShivaniSure. I strongly suggest that you reach out to people on LinkedIn. Write customized messages. Register on meetup.com and Eventbrite, go to meetups. Talk to people, tell them about your interests and keep in touch. Follow up with people. Ask for informational interviews. Reach out to everyone in your network. Remember that everyone started somewhere.

JingqiaoGoing back to your job. What's the biggest lesson you have learned after working there?

ShivaniEveryone is dispensable. Senior-level, junior-level - doesn't matter. The right attitude at work is very important. Be friendly and professional with everyone. Don't be a pushover but go out of your way to help colleagues and team members. These things are always remembered. Be hungry to learn new things. Be willing to put in extra hours when needed. Take care of your physical and mental health.

JingqiaoLooking back on where you have come to now, how did the Baruch MS in Statistics help you in your professional journey?

ShivaniThe MS Statistics degree was the right choice for me because data analysts and data scientists are currently highly in demand. The professors at Baruch are definitely top notch. Just off the top of my head, Professor Gross, Professor Tatum, Professor Ali Koch and Professor Rad were some of my favorites. There was so much to learn from them but not enough time. I wish I could spend more time just studying the courses all over again.

JingqiaoThe last question. What advice could you share with Baruch graduate students who want to become data analysts or work in the media industry? What are the key qualities or skills companies are looking for?

ShivaniLearn programming. Learn SQL, R and Python. Get good at them. Get internships in the media industry. Most media companies have summer internship programs. Make sure to apply to all of them. Do some courses on Coursera or EDX relevant to the media industry. Get some industry certifications like Google Analytics Certification.

July 17, 2017

Students on the Blog: Q&A with a Digital Marketing Manager Alum

By Bin Feng, MS Accounting ‘18

For people outside of the marketing field, it’s easy to think that marketing merely means poster designs, advertisements or event promotion. Few of us, however, understand the digital side. In an era of globalization and new technologies, digital marketing professionals make use of data analysis to understand customer preferences and create targeted promotional materials. Last week, I interviewed Li Yang (MS Marketing ’16), a Baruch College alumnus of the MS Marketing Program, to talk about what it is like working as a Digital Marketing Manager.

Q: Hey Yang, first thing first, thanks for your time for this interview. Shall we start by you sharing your role in your company?

A: Hi Bin, you are welcome! I’m the Digital Marketing Manager in our company. My role is mainly comprised of four parts: one, budget planning for marketing campaigns and public-relation events; two, predicting and planning monthly orders based on our sales on e-commerce platforms; three, supervising expenditure and performance of digital marketing promotions, and; four, choosing media companies and key opinion leaders to build up our long-term promotional partnerships. Sounds interesting?

Q: It does, sounds more interesting than I thought. So in your position, I am curious, what kind of professional skills and personality traits are required?

Li Yang (MS Marketing ’16)
A: Photoshop, I would say, is the most basic skill nowadays that anyone working in the marketing or advertising field must possess. Because my job is more related to digital marketing, I also need to use Google Analytics and Google AdWords Manager, which give you timely feedback on your promotions on Google. Other common skills like Excel, PowerPoint and website management (content management systems) are also important. In terms of personalities, it’s important to be patient and detail-oriented. When there are fashion events, for example, we can have several different roles and be responsible for many things at the same time. So we need to keep our mind focused and make sure everything is on track. If somebody is easily rattled, I doubt they could deal with the working pressure. Being creative would also be helpful. Creativity is the blood of marketing.

Q: Do you think your studies at Baruch equipped you with those skills effectively?

A: Baruch gave me a lot. I remember I learned how to supervise digital marketing campaigns, and practice social media and search engine marketing when I was at Baruch. Now these things have become my job. I also joined a student society where I practiced how to manage and promote websites. That experience prepared me to manage our company’s website, which is an important part of our brand image and shares the latest information about our products and events with customers.

Q: I agree. Studying at Baruch has been one of the best experience in my life. Would you share some suggestions about how to find a satisfying job?

A: Well, I think your own personal interests is one of the most important factors that you have to consider when applying for a job. If you work on something that you are not interested in, you will probably lack motivation and give up easily when facing obstacles. It’s also important to do significant research about the industry you want to enter. For example, what skills and traits are needed, what’s the career path and what is the future of that particular industry? Another suggestion that could be helpful is to try to develop relationships with alumni. Most of them are very friendly and willing to share insights with you.

Q: Those are very helpful and practical suggestions. Thanks for sharing! I’m also curious, have you seen any changes or new trends happening in your industry, in terms of technology and business models?

A: Yes. My company is a fashion company so there are new trends every day. With regards to technology, personally I think data analysis and analytics, such as the relationship between consumer disposable income and preferences, will be completed by AI more and more. Humans are not able to collect and process huge amounts of data, and they can oftentimes be subjective. Materials for our clothes are also changing fast. We already invented and produced glowing dresses that are absolutely eco-friendly. Last but not least, fashion is turning more and more to wearable devices you see Apple is putting huge recourses on the R&D of Apple Watch. In the future, we might also see Apple earrings or Apple necklaces.

In terms of business models, I think all famous brands are putting more and more resources into the Chinese market, which places millions of orders every year. So we are trying to assimilate some Chinese cultural elements into our products. And I think that’s why my role in our company is important. Part of my digital marketing work focuses on Chinese customers so that our designers know their preferences clearly.

Q: That’s true, fashion is indeed a fast-changing industry. I think you must face intensive pressure from time to time. Could you please share what are the most difficult aspects of your work? And what are the most rewarding ones?

A: Sure. As I mentioned before, we have lots of events every year and New York Fashion Week is the most important one. During Fashion Week, I’m super busy and the pressure is intense. I have to not only control our budget and make sure our show is great, but I also make sure we communicate with online and traditional media efficiently so that our design concepts are fully and clearly expressed. In addition to that, we also need to help our VIP guests arrive on time while trying to avoid any emergencies. If something does happen, we have to solve it immediately and calmly. But at the end of events, I always feel a great sense of achievement when our work is valued by experts. I am really lucky to be on a team with great colleagues.