Brandeis International Business School

Pengcheng Xu, MSBA’21: An in-depth education in data science

Pengcheng XuWhy did you choose Brandeis International Business School?

I was exploring a career path in data science. I majored in math as an undergraduate but I had just started accumulating practical knowledge in stats and data practice, and I saw the MSBA program at Brandeis as a great next step on that track.

How would you describe the MSBA curriculum?

The program features well-rounded and fundamental academic training in almost every aspect of data science, including database management, regression analysis, machine learning, visualization, etc. Professors who are teaching these classes have strong academic backgrounds as well as rich industry experience. As a result, they select topics that are very relevant to industry practice and convey them in a manner that even students with no previous knowledge can understand.

How were you able to apply what you learned?

There are in-class projects that require students to go over the process from data acquisition to analysis insights delivery, which were helpful during my job interviews. The business school also works with a number of reputable companies to have students help with their data analysis projects. For example, I was working with an asset management firm on equity trading last summer. That experience not only helped me stand out when interviewing for my current position, but it also benefits me now at work when developing models for commodities and derivatives.

What would you tell people who might be thinking of applying to this program?

To prospective students, choosing a graduate program is not only about choosing a place to take courses, but also developing future friends and connections. Brandeis International Business School is a wonderful community with great resources and opportunities for students. I received so much support from my professors, fellow classmates and the Career Strategies and Engagement Center. Moreover, the connections I developed at the International Business School are still active. My classmates and I share work experiences and opportunities and give each other career advice, and I believe these connections will only become more valuable as time goes by.

Quantitative Analyst, Hartree Partners, LP

Previous experience
Quantitative Analyst, Pacific Block Technology

Undergraduate Institution
Boston University, Applied Mathematics

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