Blending management and analytics on the world stage

MMA graduates prepared for leadership roles in multinational firms.

When Bhavvyya Malhotra left her software consulting firm in Bengaluru, India, to enroll in McGill’s Master of Management in Analytics (MMA) program in early 2019, she was ready for a change.

“In my role as a technology analyst, I was working on a number of interesting projects revolving around robotic process automation and other business intelligence tools,” remembers Malhotra, “but I reached a point where I felt the need to upgrade my skills, move out of my comfort zone, and take my career in a new direction. That’s when I started exploring the idea of a master’s program.”

Malhotra received offers from several programs with a strong international reputation, but the MMA curriculum set McGill apart. Designed to equip students with the tools to excel in the emerging field of business analytics, the MMA was recently recognized by World University Rankings as one of the ten best Business Analytics programs in the world and the leading program of its kind in Canada.

The MMA provides a nice blend of management and analytics through a well-designed curriculum,” says Malhotra. “That’s exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t want a purely technical or purely managerial experience. I wanted both.”

According to Malhotra, the highlight of the MMA program was the experiential module that offers students hands-on experience at reputable international companies. Malhotra completed her module at Autodesk, a U.S.-based software corporation. After working for 10 months as a project manager and solution architect alongside managers at Autodesk, she was hired on as a technical program manager. “I had the technical background prior to the MMA program, but that experiential learning really helped connect the dots and ensure I was fully prepared for my career upon graduation,” Malhotra shares.

Malhotra credits the MMA program with preparing her to work effectively with a diverse team. “At one point during the program, I was working with four different groups for four different projects,” she remembers. “Everyone had their own ideas. I learned that you can view one problem from so many different angles, and only by considering all of the angles can you produce the best final solution. I took that from MMA and it’s really helped me in my career at Autodesk.”

Malhotra credits a good amount of her success in her current role to the intensity of the MMA program. “In a short period of time, you’re simultaneously gaining analytical and management skills and learning the art of prioritizing and managing ambiguity,” she affirms. “I could be a manager, a technical specialist, or an analytics/AI consultant with the training I have received. Because of the MMA I have the option of wearing multiple hats at work. I’m building my profile as an all-rounder.”

Discovering an AI hotspot

As a global hub for machine learning and artificial intelligence, McGill takes a hands-on approach to the evolving field of management analytics. For Younes Amor, it was the opportunity to gain real-world experience that convinced him to make the move from Morocco to Montreal in 2019.

Coming from an engineering background, Amor developed skills in mathematics and programming without making strong connections between theory and practice. “I couldn’t see how to put what I learned to good use,” he reflects. “In the MMA program, you really see the actual outcome of what you’re doing, the ‘why’ behind it.”

In one of his MMA classes, students applied machine learning algorithms to problems related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Something clicked for Amor, who had never encountered learning opportunities related to artificial intelligence and machine learning in the years he spent working as full-stack developer. “The number of things you can do with artificial intelligence and machine learning is insane,” he marvels. “You can use it for music, weather, food, everything. It all comes down to data, and by using data properly, you can predict the future and correct past mistakes.”

While Amor plans to integrate AI and machine learning into his career path, the first step in the journey was to accept a role as a technology associate at Morgan Stanley in August 2020. The compressed format of the MMA program made his transition to a role in investment banking more seamless than he expected. “At McGill, you become confident in your ability to work hard without getting tired,” he explains.

Amor attributes his success in landing a role in a company based outside of Canada to the highly engaged alumni network that McGill has cultivated around the world. By pursuing a connection made by an alumni connection, he discovered an avenue to contribute his technical and managerial skills in a dynamic setting. “I’m proud to be doing what I’m doing,” he says, “and I’m grateful to McGill for the opportunity.”


More about our MMA

The McGill Master of Management in Analytics (MMA) degree is a pre-experience, specialized program in analytics that can be completed in 1 year or 1.5 years.  

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