We continue our MBA/MSDS spotlight series with a conversation with Ashish Singh, ’19. Ashish spent his summer as part of the Internal Strategy team at DXC Technology in Dallas, Texas, and we caught up with him to talk about why he chose to pursue the dual degree and his advice for prospective students.
Why did you apply for the MBA/MSDS dual degree?
After working in the Information Technology sector for six years, I wanted to transition into management roles that would allow me to have greater impact and broader responsibilities. At the same time, I knew I also wanted to continue developing my technical toolkit. The dual degree allowed me to achieve both of these goals simultaneously.
How’s the experience been so far?
It has been challenging but rewarding. Darden is known for throwing a lot of challenges at students, but adding in the MSDS took things to a whole new level. The second year has been particularly busy, and I have had to make sacrifices along the way, but the whole experience has given me a unique opportunity to learn from both business and data science students. The dual degree program is still in its nascent stages, and we are working with our program management to make it more streamlined for future students.
The program has some prerequisites. How did you approach fulfilling the prerequisite requirement?
This is where coming from an engineering background and working in the Information Technology industry helped me the most. I had taken all the prerequisite courses during undegrad, and I had been using a lot of technical languages and applications in my day-to-day work.
How do you feel this experience/training will set you apart in the marketplace?
I believe there is a huge demand in the marketplace for MBA graduates who can understand and translate technical information into business insights. I have been in constant touch with recruiters from different companies that are looking for such talent, and almost every industry has a business case for Data Science. In my opinion, this dual degree is the future for MBA programs who want their graduates to be truly prepared for these kinds of roles.
Any advice for prospective students?
I believe any MBA student who has a real interest in Data Science and wants to learn how it is disrupting the business world right now would do well in this program. I recommend reaching out to current students to learn about their reasons for pursuing the dual degree and how they manage the coursework. If you are clear about your goals and motivation, are not intimidated by writing code and can appreciate both case (Darden) and lecture (Data Science Institute) teaching methods, you would love being part of the dual degree program.