Introduction to Statistics Workshop

by Shardul Bajpai – 09/23/2015census-statistics-594x224

Knowledge of Statistics is one of the corner stones in the field of data science. Though the use of data science varies by industries, the basic application of statistics remains the same. This workshop touched upon some basic concepts of statistics like Probability Distribution and Hypothesis testing.

Shardul began the workshop with an introduction to statistics defining the terms Descriptive and Inferential Statistics. He then explained the concepts of Random Experiment, Random Variable, Expected Value and Estimator. After which he covered in detail with real life examples, the concepts of normal distribution, central limit theorem, hypothesis testing, significance test and t test, and confidence intervals. The workshop was scheduled for a duration of 1.5 hours and was attended by 35 students.

Students thought it to be a great session and very informational. Though this workshop benefited students with little or no knowledge of statistics, it was also a refresher for those with sound statistical background.

How to Prepare for a Career Fair?

By MSBAPM Career Advisor: Katherine Duncan

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By now you have probably heard that our School of Business Career Fair is coming up on October 23rd in Hartford. It will be a great opportunity for you to learn about companies and industries you are interested in, and to practice networking. This newsletter article will help you prepare for the career fair BEFORE you attend. Next month’s article will focus on what to do DURING the fair, and in the following month it will describe how to follow up AFTER the career fair.

Here are some things to do before the Career Fair. Make sure you have your polished resume in a folder or portfolio so it doesn’t get bent or folded. You may also want to have business cards made so that you can hand out your contact details quickly, but this is optional. You will want to be dressed appropriately in business attire to make a strong first impression. Make sure to leave any backpacks or duffel bags at home, but a nice briefcase or purse is fine.

A very important part of preparing for the Career Fair is to do your research and know which companies will be attending. More importantly, which do you want to speak to or learn more about? There might not be ample time for you to meet with every single company that interests you, so have a list of “A” and “B” companies to prioritize. Have your pitch perfected (20 to 30 seconds) so that as you meet those new company reps you’ll be able to tell them more about you! Take it one step further by preparing questions for those company reps, you’ll come across as thoughtful and proactive! A good rule of thumb is to avoid any questions that you could easily have found the answers to by doing your own research.

If you are someone who might get nervous in this setting then practice, practice, practice!

Introduction to Data Analytics Workshop

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This info session started with Jitender Thakur covering some basic definitions of terms like Big Data, Business Intelligence (BI), Analytics, Data Mining, BI versus Data Science,etc. And then the class took a quick look into evolution of data analytics over the last 5-7 years to understand its significance in the 21st century.

A high level overview on Data Analytics Lifecycle, various technologies and tools presently used in the field of Data Science was provided. A few examples on Analytics were discussed to showcase the wide range of application of Analytics in Business, Sports, Education, Social Social Networks, Healthcare, Elections, and Governments.

Next, the class went on to understand the inter-disciplinary nature of Data Analytics, getting familiar with Big Data Ecosystems and the role played by a Data Scientist. A brief sneak peek into different mathematical methods employed in data mining was given.  Lastly, Jitender talked about the different skill requirements for aspiring data science professionals, and some recommendations on using online resources on acquiring these required skills.

Student Orientation – Fall 2015

A big warm welcome to the new students who joined MSBAMP in Fall 2015! The international orientation was conducted from 24th August – 28th August. The orientation had informational sessions from International Advisors, Career Advisor, Technology Team, Program Director and exciting events like Icebreakers Games and Scavenger Hunt. We are excited to share a few impressions of the Fall Orientaion 2015!

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How to be successful in your internship?

By MSBAPM Career Advisor: Katherine Duncan

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Internships are one of the best ways to get your foot in the door and real-world experience! Take advantage of that! Whether you’re making copies, shadowing an employee, or getting to do your own work remember that this is your first step into the workplace so take it seriously.

Be the first in and last out. Although you may not be getting paid you should still show that you want to be there. Trust me, this won’t go unnoticed. You’ll be exposed to more, learn more, and be seen as a reliable member of the team.

 

Exceed expectations. Go the extra mile! It’s the little things that matter just as much as big ones so proof-read, double check for spelling and grammar, make sure never to cut corners!

 

Take initiative. Your boss may be busy with projects and deadlines so if you’re not getting enough direction to keep you busy then think of ways you can be useful. Even if it’s a small task it can show a lot about your work-ethic. Volunteer when possible to take on more responsibility.

 

Follow instructions to the letter. It might sound simple but attention to detail is important. No matter how small the task it shows that you’re up for the challenge!

 

Take a genuine interest in the job. Even if you don’t think that the internship will turn into a fulltime job you should still get invested in the work you do. Get the most out of your experience so you can take valuable skills with you!

 

Ask for feedback to improve. I’m sure you’re doing a great job, but you don’t know what you don’t know! You’re just getting started in your career so ask for ways that you can keep improving! Make sure not to inundate your boss with requests for feedback, but once in a while or right after a project is best! Your peers may have feedback for you as well that can be helpful.

 

Network with your coworkers. Start to cultivate connections now to help you in the future. Get to know those around you so that even if you don’t get a fulltime role perhaps they can offer guidance as you continue your search.

When your internship is coming toanend, schedule a meeting with your manager in order to reflect on your work. This is also a time to ask about company opportunities which shows interest and initiative. If there are no possibilities to turn your internship into a fulltime job then at least ask for a letter of recommendation. (Which is equally as valuable to help you in your future job search!)

Summer Career Workshop: June 2nd and 3rd 2015

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” –Arthur Ashe

The career workshop held at UConn School of Business on June 2, 2015 and June 3, 2015 was about getting the students prepared for jobs and the real world job market. The workshop was led by Katherine Duncan who is the Career Advisor at UConn School of Business. This insightful workshop was about how to get ourselves prepared for the job market and job scenario in 2015. Katherine explained how one should focus on the target jobs and target profiles. She explained while searching jobs it is very important to stay organized and create an excel sheet of the list of jobs you have applied to and what is working, what is progressing and what is not and why! To measure your performance while searching the jobs, it is very important that you keep a track on it.

The workshop was about how to build your resume appealing to the interviewers, how to practice interviewing questions, be it a telephonic interview, in person interview or a Skype interview, how to practice behavioral questions and technical questions to maximize your chances to get a job. For eg she mentioned that one should always be prepared with the accomplishments they have made in career life, as that is one frequent questions that comes across in different ways. Also, it is not just about getting prepared, but also following-up. It is very crucial to network and follow-up with people in the job market so that it gets your results faster. She talked about how SEO and job search engines helps you to search for the right job roles. Wordle.net is an example of a website where it is easier to get the right kind of job listing with the keywords. But at the same time, staying motivated, organized and prepared for the opportunities is the key. Also, if you have missed the workshop, you can find the details of the workshop on the community page.

In the future workshops Katherine is going to talk about how to build an impressive cover-letter, how to develop and use soft-skills at the time of interview, how to practice interviews, the job search engines, and the presentation skills. She also plans to talk to the students one-on-one and help them improve on these skills. The students believed that it was very helpful and gave them a better idea of how to proceed further. All the students were very keen to attend the future workshops on soft-skills, resume, interviews and behavioral questions. Some of them expressed that they haven’t really started working towards getting a job and these future workshops would be very helpful for them and they want to learn more about it. Overall, it was an excellent start for getting the students prepared for opportunities and all the students appreciated the workshop.

Alteryx Data Challenge (By Hao Zhu & Yingqi Yang)

Hao & Yingqi, Fall-2014 graduate of MS BAPM shared their experience on Alteryx Data Challenge:

What a great excitement it was to win the first place in the Alteryx Data Challenge! As is known to every participant, the competition was quite an exhausting experience. We spent almost two days searching online and finally decided to work on a dataset about adult diabetes. Then we put even more effort on data exploration and cleaning. For example, we used tools in the Alteryx software to explore the data, trying to find out any patterns, distributions and correlations of variables. After finishing all these, we managed to get a better understanding of the data, so the next step was to sample the data and build models.

The most challenging part in the process was that the Alteryx platform was completely new to us, meaning that we had to try our best to get familiar with the software while attempting to model the data at the same time. That was easier said than done. Fortunately, the software is quite versatile and user-friendly. It helped us deliver a satisfactory solution in the end. Overall, my team agrees that it was a very rewarding learning experience. It not only tested our understanding of business analysis but also gave us an opportunity to connect with the business world.

Currently, my team is working on our poster for the Inspire 2015 Conference. We will get a chance to share our experience with the participants at the conference from the industry and academia. I feel that it would be a great honor for us and the MSBAPM program. My team is eagerly looking forward to the conference.

Python Workshop

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Memorial weekend at UConn School of Business came with an informative workshop on Python Programming Language, by Dylan Blanchard on Thursday, May 21, 2015. The best thing about this workshop was it did not assume any previous experience with Python and started with introduction and basics, covering a major part of Analytics.

The enlightening workshop was about the introduction of Python, including how to install IPython notebook, and the popularity. It explained about the basic functions, like how to define the data type and simple function creation techniques. Not just this, but an interesting feature it taught us was about how to import a data-set from a website. And then the workshop covered the modeling part explaining about logistic regression, decision tree and principle component analysis models and finally how to analyse, evaluate and score the models.

Overall it was a brief interactive introduction of Python and its application in Analytics Industry and students found it quite an informational workshop.

May Graduation Ceremony 2015

A very warm and overwhelming goodbye to the students who graduated in May this year; we wish them a flourishing career and a prosperous life ahead. The Graduation Ceremony was enthralling not just for the students graduating in May, but also for the current MSBAPM students who attended the event.

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The students who graduated were awarded with different funny and interesting titles like:

  1. Excellence in Group Work – Yinghui Ye
  2. Loch Ness Award – Yiyao Zhang
  3. Foot in Mouth Award – Emily Hill
  4. Wikipedia Award – Stanley L Nolan
  5. Smart Cookie – Shan Zhou
  6. Firecracker Award – Snehal Joshi
  7. Puzzle Poser Award – Yiyao Zhang
  8. Class Best Friend Award – SrikanthVarma Tirumalaraju
  9. Busy Bee Award – Wei Sheng Liao
  10. Above and Beyond Award – Shranish Joshi
  11. LOL Award – Michael Harvey Levesque
  12. Future Detective Award – Carl Lee Dean
  13. Class Fashionista Award – Mengfei Yang
  14. Class Statistician Award – Robert Alan Riccio
  15. LifeSaver Award – Xing Wang
  16. Dewey Decimal Award – Si Qin
  17. Carpe Diem Award – Steven Theodore Brown
  18. Duct Tape Award – Sai Madhukar Srinivasa
  19. Swiss Army Knife Award – Joydeep Banerjee
  20. Grandma’s Dumpling Award – Neha Kamineni
  21. Technology Wizard Award – Ivan Theobalds
  22. It’s 5 O’clock somewhere Award – Hema Sree Kamineni

After an entertaining round of awards, it got even more interesting when faculties got awarded with a couple of amusing and interesting titles like:

  1. Is It A Yes Or No Award – Prof. Alpesh Kumar Tailor
  2. Most Assignments Award – Prof. Xin Xin Li and so on.

John A. Elliott, the Dean of UConn School of Business wished the students good luck and spoke about the journey of students here at UConn and our new Graduate Career Advisor, Katherine Duncan, was officially welcomed and introduced to the MSBAPM program during the ceremony.

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After the speech by the Dean, dinner was served and the bar was opened up for drinks and socializing. There was an elegant spread of entrees, mains and desserts and a fine assortment of red and white wines and beers. Cheery conversations filled the room. Graduating students, professors and other attendees seemed to thoroughly utilize the networking opportunity. Everybody was seen clicking pictures with friends and colleagues to memorialize this day.

The students and the faculties said a warm and amicable goodbye to students who graduated with kind words, and capturing a few memorable moments with graduate students. A few graduate students expressed their memories at UConn School of Business and expressed about their awesome journey at UConn not just because it helped them shape their careers but also because they had an amazing time with students and faculties during their learning experience at UConn. It was overall a great networking event for the students and the faculties.

AETNA Networking Info-Session

The networking info-session with AETNA, one of the biggest health care and insurance companies in the United States, was about how Aetna drives the change and innovation in the field of Analytics and the skills required for team working in IT Analytics department. In this info-session, Joe Foley, the Senior Director- IT Analytics, shared how Aetna is using Analytics to develop business solutions, key tools used in Analytics, big data and the job responsibilities in the field on IT Analytics. Aetna wants to use Analytics to focus on software development and testing, and use machine learning to identify business problems. He tells that there are huge business opportunities in Analytics and since 2009, Aetna has been very successful in IT projects and have reduced the rate of post implementation defects from 20% to 8%. He shared his unique experience developing models during the implementation of his projects and he spoke about decision tree and regression model using excel. He explained how a model uses predictive variables and explained the real world practical problems that we have to deal with. He shared a very informative insight about the key tools used when and where:

Predictive Modeling:
Primary Tool: R
Secondary Tool(s): SAS, Python

Data Visualization:
Primary Tool: Tableau
Secondary Tool: R, SAS, Python

Data Wrangling:
Primary Tool: Python, Java
Secondary Tool: Hive, Pig, R

Interestingly, Joe mentioned that they are actively interviewing for 2 full time positions in the field of IT Analytics for students graduating in May 2015 and he also mentioned the job responsibilities for the positions. Overall, the event was very informative and gave us a good insight about IT Analytics department at Aetna.