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Monthly Archives: March 2017

How International Students Can Celebrate Thanksgiving

1. If an American friend invites you, accept the invitation

Thanksgiving is about, well, being thankful for what you have.  This includes being thankful for new friendships.  An American friend invites you?  Accept.  It’s an invitation to be a part of the family, to share the tradition, to take a break from school, and maybe even to participate in the day after Thanksgiving—Black Friday—the day that many retail shops offer sales and discounts in preparation for December’s holidays.  How’d “Black Friday” get its name?  It’s the day that many retailers’ ledgers assure that they will end their fiscal year “in the black,” or showing a profit for the year.

2. Consider on-campus opportunities

Feel like staying on-campus during the Thanksgiving break?  Look for campus traditions at your school.  Some schools offer their own Thanksgiving celebrations for any students and faculty who opt to stay on campus, or who may not have options to travel.  Kansas’s Hesston College hosts an annual Thanksgiving weekend, with a dinner and a bevy of other activities, including art exhibits, concerts, talent shows, basketball tournaments, a benefit fun run, and other special events. At Ohio State University, any students, faculty, and staff who are not planning to head home are invited to attend an annual Thanksgiving feast—this year, the University expects over 1,600 attendees.  At Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, students and faculty spend the entire month of November learning about spirituality.  Several faculty at the University host international students at their homes on Thanksgiving Day—as an expression of gratitude for sharing their learning.

3. Attend a parade

What’s Thanksgiving without a parade?  The most famous, of course, is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, with over 3 million in-person spectators and upwards of 40 million television viewers.  Several major cities besides New York also hold parades where you can enjoy the holiday spirit of gratitude.  Check out the Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.  Motor City has another option—check out America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit, Michigan for floats, bands, music, and a glimpse at the history of the US auto industry.  Also in the Midwest is Chicago’s McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade, which began in the 1930’s in an effort to raise the spirits of Depression-era residents.  Charlotte, North Carolina, Houston, Texas, and Seattle, Washington offer additional possibilities for big parades.  If you don’t live near a city, don’t fret!  Check your local paper for smaller, regional events.  Watching a parade also gives you a chance either to travel to a new place, or to learn something new and interesting about your university town.

4. Take a break

Not interested in all of the hullabaloo?  Not feeling the need for turkey, Black Friday, parades, or big get-togethers?  Relax.  Enjoy the quiet.  Go for a walk.  Read that book you’ve been wanting to read.  Do some sightseeing—explore the city or town where you’ve decided to study.  If you really feel like it, get caught up—or work ahead—in one of your classes.  Take some time for yourself and recharge.

Why Study Business Analytics?

What is Business Analytics?

Professor Vincent Nijs, co-director with Professor Terrence August of the Master of Science in Business Analytics program at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego, describes the field this way, “I think of business analytics as the field focused on how to use data and models to make better business decisions.  Data Science uses many similar tools (e.g. machine learning) but the set of questions they seek to answer are often different.  You can think of business analytics as ‘data science for business.’”

The Amount of Data That Companies Collect Gets Bigger and Bigger…

Just how big is big data?  Really big, and getting bigger all the time.  The EMC Digital Universe Study predicts that by the year 2020, 1.7 megabytes of new data will be created every second for every human on the planet.  What does that mean?  There will be 44 trillion gigabytes (44 zettabytes) of data in the digital universe.  Where does the data come from?  Just about everywhere—1.2 trillion searches per year on Google alone, over 1 billion people using Facebook every day, trillions of photos taken, and billions shared.  By 2020, there will be over 6.1 billion smartphone users, and at least 1/3 of all data will be transmitted through the cloud. We haven’t even talked about online banking, business, movies, television, music, and games.

…But Businesses Don’t Always Know How to Use the Data

The Rady School‘s Professor Nijs states, “Companies are collecting more and more data but often lack the people to use it effectively.” He referenced a quote from a well-known report by the McKinsey Global Institute (2013): “Big data promises big things—but only if organizations have the right people in place who know what to do with it. A recurring theme among senior leadership across all sectors is a shortage of professionals trained and experienced at the intersection of disciplines necessary to capture, analyze, and generate meaningful business insights from big data. In addition to deep analytics talent, organizations need management with the right balance of business judgment and statistical skills to translate analysis into action.”

A Company’s Future Relies on Its Business Analytics

The need for effective, efficient business analytics is stronger than ever.  Businesses need to know what they want to learn from business analytics—and then how they’re going to use that data to inform their decisions across the board.

Businesses need to be able to determine what data they need and then identify the data sources for gleaning that information.  The final piece?  Distilling that information into actionable insights using the tools of business analytics. Once businesses have a plan for capturing the desired data, organizing it, and analyzing it, they are in a position to develop plans to stay competitive.

Business Analytics Has Excellent Job Prospects…

According to a McKinsey Global Report, the US alone has a shortage of about 190,000 data scientists and 1.5 million business analysts.  Globally and in the US, companies need experts in business analytics.  High demand means higher salaries, and a variety of options.  Graduates in Business Analytics work at large companies, start their own businesses, work in banks or FinTech, web-based businesses, retail and food companies, media companies, and marketing companies.

…Especially When You Study at a Forward-Thinking School Like Rady

The Rady School’s  new Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) puts students at the forefront of the field. The program focuses on the problems big data poses to businesses—and how to solve them using models, statistics, and machine learning – in classes such as customer analytics, business intelligence, and supply chain analytics.  The school’s bottom line?  To graduate students who know how to use analytics to make a positive impact on business performance—and sustain it.

Professor Nijs says that “After graduation, our students should expect to work extensively with data, use statistics and machine learning, write code, and develop tools to enhance business decision-making.  After gaining some experience, we expect them to be well-suited to lead an analytics team.”

First steps for prospective students?  Those interested in studying in this program should have an undergraduate degree in a “quantitative discipline,” says Nijs, like “mathematics, statistics, economics, or physics.”  They should also have some programming experience.

As data continues to get bigger, the global business world will rely more heavily on business analytics to succeed.  Want to make a difference in the business world?  Earn your MSBA in the field that businesses will indisputably need for success and sustainability.

The World’s Most Powerful Women and What They Studied

1. Angela Merkel

The German Chancellor has a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Leipzig. She worked as a chemist at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences from 1978-1990.  After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, she entered politics.  In 2005, she became Germany’s first female Chancellor. In the light of seismic political shifts around the globe, Merkel recently announced that she will run for a fourth term as Chancellor.

2. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

In office since 2006, the Liberian President is the first female leader of Liberia.  She is Africa’s first female head of state.  In 1971, Sirleaf earned her Master’s in Public Administration at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, after which she became Liberia’s Minister of Finance. In 2011, she shared the Nobel Peace Prize with fellow Liberian Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen.  Their work?  The non-violent struggle for women’s safety, and women’s rights to full participation in peace-building.

3. Erna Solberg

Norway’s Prime Minister since 2013, Erna Solberg, leader of Norway’s Conservative party studied sociology, political science, statistics, and economy at the University of Bergen. Solberg triumphed over dyslexia, a diagnosis she received at the age of 16, and went on to a successful career in Norwegian politics and government.

4. Michelle Bachelet

Chile elected its first female President in 2006-2010, and then again in 2014. That woman?  Michelle Bachelet, who has focused her life’s work on meeting the needs of the poor, children’s rights, women’s rights, and economic change.  She finished her medical degree at the University of Chile, after years of exile in Australia and Germany.  Her medical expertise?  Treating victims of torture, especially children.

5. Sheikh Hasina Wazed

A two-time Prime Minister of Bangladesh, first from 1996-2001 and again from 2009 until now, Sheikh Hasina Wazed studied Bangla at the University of Dhaka. In 1971, she helped her father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, when she served as his political liaison during his detainment for initiating Bangladesh’s separation from Pakistan.  In 1975, shortly after her father became president of Bangladesh, her mother, father, and three brothers were assassinated by military officers.  Hasina was out of the country; she subsequently led her father’s political organization, the Awami League.  She has several honorary degrees from universities around the world; she spent the better part of her life in exile, avoiding various assassination attempts.

6. Aung San Suu Kyi

State Counsellor of Burma and the Leader of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi studied Burmese at the University of Delhi and philosophy, politics, and economics at the University of Oxford.  She lived abroad with her husband and children for most of the 1970s and 1980s.  When she returned home from her life abroad in 1988, she learned of her government’s slaughter of her people—and the ensuing protests and violence.  She helped spark a movement against then dictator U Ne Win, and initiated non-violent protests for democracy and human rights.  From 1989-2010, she was in and out of house arrest and government custody.  In 1991, while imprisoned, she won the Nobel Prize for Peace.

7. Tsai Ing-wen

Taiwan’s current President Tsai Ing-wen studied law.  Throughout the 1980s, she earned her initial degree National Taiwan University in Taipei, and then earned a master’s in law from Cornell, and later a PhD in law from the London School of Economics.  She taught law in Taiwan until 2000, and became involved in government in the 1990s.  She is Taiwan’s first female president, the first not to have been Mayor of Taipei, the first never to have held a previous executive position, the first unmarried president—and the first president of Hakka and aboriginal descent.

8. Theresa May

In office since July 2016, Prime Minister Theresa May is the UK’s leader of the conservative party and second female prime minister.  Like her predecessor Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May studied at Oxford, where she specialized ingeography.  David Cameron appointed her Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality in 2010.  Politics aside, she is a self-declared “feminist.”  Think tank Wonkhe recently named her one of the 50 most powerful people to shape education in the UK post-Brexit—make that the world.

How to Become One of Europe’s Digital Innovators

Why Digital Innovation Matters

Contemporary business success largely hinges on an organization’s ability to adapt to the rapidly evolving digital space. Take companies like Amazon and Netflix, for example.  Their business models inherently rely on continuously expanding and enhancing their digital products and services to remain competitive. But this evolution doesn’t happen on its own.

Says global management consulting firm North Highland Worldwide Consulting’s Alex Bombeck, “Everyone recognizes the importance of digital in today’s business environment, but the landscape is littered by companies that have been left behind the digital curve. Leaders must figure out how to meet the high expectations of customers and deliver a unique human experience, or risk becoming obsolete.”

In addition to the usual suspects of leadership like vision and managerial skills, the next generation of business leaders will also need to understand the fundamentals of digital innovation, including the economic and technological factors powering it; the intersection of former, current and future business models; differences between digital models and how they interact with each other; best practices for organizing and leading digital product and service innovation efforts;  the role of crowdsourcing; and other topics.

Echoes North Highland Global CIO Ben Grinnell of what it takes to thrive in the new digital world, “To enable digital transformation, old legacy systems are not going to cut it. Silos must be broken down and an agile mindset needs to take hold. This means building cross-functional teams that can be nimble, move fast and quickly produce results.”

Three Steps to Becoming a Digital Innovator

Now that we’ve covered how important digital innovation is, along with why having the right skill set is critical for people looking to innovate in the digital space, a final question remains: How do you prepare yourself to become one of them? These three steps are a great starting point:

1. Be international.

Digital innovation has no physical borders. And with companies like Turner increasingly prioritizing international digital innovation, it makes sense for those looking for an inside edge to cultivate a global perspective — preferably through first-hand experience.

In fact, according to a recent Erasmus Impact Study which looks into the effects of international study on the skills and employability of students, 65 percent of employers consider international experience important in job applicants, while a full 92 percent are looking for transversal skills developed through international experiences, including “openness to and curiosity about new challenges, problem-solving and decision-making skills, confidence, tolerance toward other personal values and behaviors.”

2. Know the best course of study.

We’ve already established that international experience is a major plus. What else should you be looking for in terms of degrees and certifications? Not only will you need training in key digital technology areas, but you’ll also need to develop innovation and entrepreneurship skills.

Another plus? Real-world experience, which will allow you to practice applying your newfound skills while simultaneously building a network of professional relationships.

3. Choose the right program.

All of this may sound like a tall order, but EIT Digital Academy’s Digital Master School program delivers. This two-year program at two different universities from nine countries not only sends graduates out into the world with master’s degrees from two of Europe’s leading universities, but also a certificate from the European Institute of Technology.

What else separates EIT Digital from the rest? Students have their choice of 20 top European universities; gain a high-level technical education combined with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship minor; and build a strong professional network through internship opportunities with industrial partners and innovative startups.

The chance to specialize in the second year, meanwhile, offers in-depth studies in technical areas including cloud computing services, data science, digital media technology, embedded systems, human interaction and design, technology and architecture, security and privacy, and service design and engineering.

Says Head of the EIT Digital Master School Dr. Patrick Hartigan, “There is a heavy and increasing need for premium IT masters in Europe. This programme seeks out the best students from across the EU and beyond. It then equips them with cutting-edge technical knowledge and business skills so that they can go on to help assure Europe’s role in the global digital economy. This is a unique opportunity where learning to think as an entrepreneur is a key criterion.”

Think it all sounds perfect, but have concerns about paying for it? EIT Digital’s generous financial assistance including tuition waivers, scholarships, travel and installation support put the programs prestigious double degrees and an Innovation and Entrepreneurship EIT Certificate within your reach.

Digital innovation is all about blazing new territory in an uncharted world. Will you be following behind or at the forefront? EIT Digital Academy’s Digital Master School program can prepare you not just to be a player in the digital innovation space, but to be a game-changer.