Former MSc Data Science student Haiqin Zhuang from China gives her views on the course and life at Lancaster University.
What did you do before coming here?
I’m originally from Fujian in eastern China. I did my A-levels in London and then a Pure Maths degree at Lancaster University.
Why did you decide to apply for this course?
I believed that the course would allow me to develop computing skills to add to the mathematical skills I developed during my first degree. I saw that being able to demonstrate skills in both areas would give me a good chance of securing an interesting and well-rewarded job.
Why did you choose this course rather than others?
I wanted a course that would allow me to gain experience in the technologies used in commercial data science that would enable me to apply my mathematical knowledge and would enable me to gain work experience through an industry placement.
What will you do after the MSc?
I am looking for a role as a commercial data scientist with a view towards progressing to a managerial role in data analytics.
What are the best things about this course?
Being on this course has developed my confidence in a number of areas – in programming, data mining, visualisation and in the presentation of my results. The modular format of the course allowed me to shape my own learning in the areas most appealing to me. The industry placement made the course very attractive as this is a way to leave University with proof that I’m able to use Data Science techniques in the workplace. I have also been pleased with the diverse nature of the students on this course – being able to share ideas with people from different countries and different backgrounds has really helped us to learn.
What placement will you be performing?
I will be spending 3 months with The Co-operative Insurance company in Manchester. I will be working on developing and testing models within their analytics team and will be able to see the results of my work applied to their business.
What do you hope to get from the placement?
I’m hoping to gain familiarity with how data science is used within a commercial organisation and what can be achieved using analytics. I’m looking to enhance my skills in SAS and SQL and, hopefully, be well-placed to find a good job in Data Science afterwards.