Reshama Shaikh, Langone MBA Class of 2014
My first IOMS elective was Data Mining for Business Intelligence with Professor Provost. I learned of big data, Hadoop, data mining and something about “pigs” which I ignored since I don’t eat that meat. I then thought I would do a specialization in Business Analytics. From the time I began at Stern as a Langone student, I changed my specializations more than a dozen times, but the Business Analytics one remained to the end. Unknowingly, most of the subsequent IOMS/BA classes I took were brand-new; I had partaken in an unofficial experiment. Thank goodness I had taken 6 years to complete my MBA, because most of these valuable courses weren’t even offered when I began the program.
I then took PDS (Practical Data Science), which reminded me of my trip to the 2009 inauguration to DC — thoroughly exhausting and invigorating at the same time. For the students who remained in the class (20% dropped out along the way), we bonded in our journey of this foreign language called Python. Python was named after Monty Python, and not the reptile. The word “recitation” from undergrad days was re-introduced as our professor offered extra sessions to guide us. After crossing this frontier, anything was possible. I aged most during that course, and as with age, my self-confidence also increased.
My vocabulary broadened:
regex – instead of thinking of dinosaurs, I thought of regular expressions
json – instead of thinking of someone named Jason, I thought of arrays within arrays
ER – instead of thinking of the tv show, entity relations diagrams popped into my head
dictionaries – not of looking up words definitions, but key-value pairs
SQL – not a movie sequel, but Standard Query Language
The next class was Being Digital where, through Professor Bakos’ help, we were able to access webpage traffic and create AdWords campaigns. Google Analytics could now be checked as a visited frontier.
Data Visualization, another brand new course, introduced me to R and Tableau. In all honesty, I had used the commercial version of R, which is called S-plus years before in grad school, but it never made sense until I had learned Python.
The last IOMS class is another new one, Fundamentals of Computer Systems. It has been a reprieve, as the first half was a review of Python, and now I am learning about creating an SQL database from Python. The plan is to learn to scrape the IMDB database and extract the valued information for business use. Time is running out…. I will be graduating soon!