Q & A with Sonia Chang, Business Analytics Masters Student

Sonia Chang, Aston University Online Masters in Business Analytics Student
Sonia Chang, Aston University Online Masters in Business Analytics Student

Q & A with Sonia Chang, Business Analytics Masters Student

Why did you decide to enrol in Aston’s Online Masters in Business Analytics programme?

I started the program in September 2019 and will be done I believe in June 2021. I work in the digital marketing field and have for about seven years now. In the last four years as I started working more with data, I realised that this is the area I enjoyed the most about my job. This is why I decided to pursue a Masters in the area of Business Analytics.
 

What impressed you most about Aston and why online?

I chose Aston's programme because the courses covered the areas I am interested in and seemed more technical than some other programs I looked into. It also doesn't hurt that it's triple-accredited.

I chose online because I can't physically go to Aston University since I live in Canada. It also provides the flexibility I need to continue to work full time and for it to fit my lifestyle.

How has your experience been so far?

So far my experience has been great as there are discussion boards and webinars where you can e-meet your fellow classmates and connect with your professor. What has gone beyond my expectation is how much the professors are there for you and want to see you succeed. They have been so helpful and are genuinely interested in my success. 

My student success advisor has also been helpful and supportive, especially when I've had concerns.

What is a recent course you completed and what did you learn?

The most recent course I completed was Effective Management Consulting. I learned how to effectively look at a situation and provide a compelling report/presentation of the analysis and recommendations.

What hard and soft skills have you honed since starting this programme?

I’ve learned several different hard skills like programming languages, several software for the steps of the data analysis process (from mining to presenting the data) and the process of effective management consulting.

The soft skills would be how to better organize my time, the most effective way for me to learn, and how to communicate utilizing different platforms.

How will those skills be applied in current or future roles?

These skills will help me better analyze data and be able to move into a data analyst position, as well as being better at effectively communicating to upper management. Lastly, I’m better now at organizing my time and prioritizing.

Have you been able to build your social network through this programme?

Even though I’m more of an introvert, I’ve been able to get to know people from all over the world. So far it’s been an interesting experience working with and getting to know my cohorts.

Could you describe a recent webinar?

It was like a virtual classroom where the professor went through some solutions to a workshop question and we were able to communicate any questions ‘face to face’. We were able to have a discussion as if we were in one place together. It’s also great that the webinars are recorded so you can reference them later.

Have you been able to collaborate with fellow students in the programme? How does that work in an online programme?

Thanks to technology we are able to collaborate in many ways. I’ve worked in groups through email, blackboard group communication methods (our own discussion board), and video/call conferencing.

Why is data analytics knowledge so important in today’s business world?

Data analytics is important because data is the most sought-after resource now in this technological time. Every company collects some kind of data and being able to properly gather and understand this data can provide insightful information on the consumers they are trying to sell to. Whether this selling is a product, service, for-profit or not, the information you gather and disseminate is so valuable.

What advice can you share with students considering this programme?

My advice for anyone who is considering taking an online programme is to be organised. Make a schedule for yourself using the study path that is given as a guideline of how to break down your time. It also helps to have support from family or people you live with to give you the space you need when you are dedicating time to studying. If you have questions, don't be afraid to reach out to classmates, professors or your student support team.

Would you recommend Aston’s Masters in Business Analytics programme?

Yes, I would recommend this programme because the courses I have taken so far cover many key foundations you need if you want to pursue a career in business analytics. With the assignments, you are essentially building yourself a portfolio which can be useful to showcase when you are applying for work in this field.