I think in every culture and language on earth there is a version of the saying: ‘Hard work pays off’. MS Analytics program at Georgia Tech definitely made me do ‘Hard work’ along with making me pay for it. I hope eventually the ‘pays off’ part comes to reality when I pay off my loan. In my experience, I have found the ‘pays off’ part of the saying always dubious.
Analytics is a buzz word today and incidentally, everything at Gatech has a ‘Buzz’ word . I think the best part of this program is that it is virtuous and unbiased in allocating misery and suffering to anyone irrespective of their background. I think this attribute about this program also results in better camaraderie and kinship among classmates. This is a perfect example of correlation with causation which the professors tell is a difficult thing to find in the real world.
The MSA program is also a journey of self-discovery. I literally had to discover which department I was associated with. There are only 2 courses that are exclusive to MS Analytics . Rest is a mixture of which course has a vacancy and which Dr. Sokol can get you in. There are so many courses and things to do that it becomes imperative to self discover in order to survive. Self-discovery is a need rather than virtue at MS Analytics .
One more important lesson I learned during this program was the art and science of panicking. Don’t get me wrong, panic gets things done but it has to be channeled in a constructive manner. When you have an innumerable number of assignments, tests, and career fairs to attend panicking at the right moment takes someone a long way. I am 95% confident that in the regression determining the success in the program coefficient panicking will have significant p-value, way below 5%.
The interdisciplinary nature of the program makes it unique, beneficial and challenging all at the same time. Since all the classes are in different departments, walking around the campus and losing few pounds in the process comes in the package. Along with this , there is a significant increase in Pizza intake in the daily diet that comes with joining this program. There is a lot of interaction with students from multiple backgrounds. The program provides a first-hand experience of how different department approach an analytics problem. The interdisciplinary nature of the program also gives valuable insight regarding which department serves the best food.
Every professor in every class has a preferred programming language. This is really confusing and frustrating since one needs to learn a new language in every class. But one good outcome of this trouble is that I saw that SAS is not the chosen one. There will be fights on whether R,SAS or python is better. I will just say that let the language with a better -square win.
I found the speaker series managed by Josh and now by Anshul very useful and a good break from the academic lessons. Conferences are an interesting part of this program. These conferences can also be used as weekend getaways and since the school is paying for it (from the fee we pay), it can be a lot of fun. One more interesting aspect of this program is innate competitiveness with the MBA students which is hard to explain but very interesting.
These are a couple of lines that I think summarize the courses:
The going will get tough and the goal will be afar
because there is 6242 and there is jar jar
I would consider this program as full-time work rather than school. With a slight difference that instead of being paid I was the one paying and there were no weekends.I really enjoyed the year with all the ups and downs and all the projects with Team Omazing. I believe I learned the most professionally this year than any time in my life. As I mentioned the ‘Payoff’ part is a little tricky but I think it might come along eventually. I would like to mention that I had a great time studying with all from the MSA batch of you this past year even with you know who.