Student Speak 9 - How Akash's Analytical Approach Helped Him in His Study Abroad Dream

    Updated on: 16 Jan 2023

    1) What were you doing before you decided to study abroad?

     I was working in Deloitte in the Gurgaon office as a consultant; I worked there for four years.

    2) What motivated you to pursue your course abroad?

    I was interested in Analytics, my sister got into analytics a few years back and I got to know about this field from her, first of all, she told me that this is a very interesting field and second it is a very growing field, most of the companies in the US are trying to start Analytics division or move towards analytics-driven decision, so there is a lot of scopes, a lot of opportunities in the US and before getting into it, I joined a training institute for a couple of months, just to see whether I am interested in it or not, there I learned SAS which is one of the analytical languages and based on my experience there I decided that I want to pursue a career in this field, because in Deloitte my job was not cored analytics, means  it was data analysis but not data analytics.
    So basically there are 2 things, one was interest and second was the opportunities in this field made me decide that I want to go to study abroad in this field.
    My course is business analytics and information management at Purdue which is one of the top 10 programs when it comes to analytics that’s why I chose this course.

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    3) How did you shortlist colleges for applying?

     In my case, the budget was the first concern, so I was looking for colleges for which the whole fees was not more than around $45,000 - $50,000.
    The second was once the colleges shortlisted which were under my budget, then I looked for the best college, this I did by first checking the rankings of different colleges, secondly then once I shortlisted the colleges based on rankings. For example, in my case, I  shortlisted Purdue, the University of Cincinnati and the University of British Columbia in Canada, then once I  shortlisted them I started communicating with their current students and their alumni, based on the feedback I got from these students I decided to choose Purdue. One more thing was that some of these colleges have not mentioned their placement statistics so whenever I saw that, it was a red signal for me because that would mean they are either hiding it or placements are not that good.
    So these were some filters for shortlisting the college if the college has shown its placement statistics, and then it is more reliable.
    Purdue had its placement statistics and they had a pretty good number of placements, around 80-90% of students were placed and the salary offered was quite decent. So, these were a kind of combination of factors that I considered before choosing Purdue.

    4) Is there anything you wish you knew when you were applying?

    I think one thing I would have liked to know where the details of the course. On the website, you do see what all subjects are there in the program, but in reality, you don’t know exactly how technical these subjects can get, and what exactly will you gain out of these subjects. 
    Suppose I have a subject called web data analytics, then if I would know what kind of market opportunities I have if I have knowledge of web data analytics that would have helped me to be in a better situation.
    If there is a forum where current students could discuss which subjects were helpful which were not, in their college how many subjects are related to the job market, how many subjects they could leverage while looking for a job that can be helpful.
    Then, if I would have known about the opportunities in that place where I am going for, that could have been better. Suppose I study in a college in New York City that might not be the best college but the place is such that we get lots of opportunities to find a job. Where I am studying right now is a kind of village where there is just this University there is nothing else, I have to travel 3 hours minimum to go for an interview to go to the nearest city which is Chicago, for someone in New York City will have more opportunities to go for interview as most companies are situated there.
    If someone could have told me this earlier, I would have chosen a college that would be in business-oriented cities.
    If it ends well, then you look back and you will be happy with your decision. Right now I have 2 offers out here so I am pretty happy. But if you will ask the same about my batch mates, graduating next month. Not so much, in a batch of 80 around 40% have offered right now, but 60% might not be happy because they don’t have a job.
    I am happy as I got to learn a lot, given that I did not have an analytics background. For those who have already done analytics for 3 years, they would not have gained much out of this program, because they already had work experience in that field, and nothing beats work experience, no academic course can beat work experience, so I am happy.

    5) Did you use any online help or any consultant?

    Only for my Visa application and other things I used a consultant.

    6) How is/ was your experience at your university? Will you recommend this course to your juniors?

    Again, I would say if someone already has an experience of 2-3 years, if they’re just looking for a ticket to come to the US, I will tell them to go to university which is in a more happening place like Cincinnati or New York, and if someone is coming from a non analytical background then he/she might have to consider other factors as well. It is very subjective and will depend on the person, 4 people have reached out to me, 3 of them said No only one Yes.

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    7) Have you finished your course? If so, what is your next pursuit? And how did you find it? and what advice can you offer to your juniors to improve their chances of finding the internship/job of their choice

    I will be graduating next month. So I will be starting a new job in the month of June, that’s what my plan is. Yeah, if you are coming here for analytics program, come with relative analytics experience, because out here studying analytics for just 11 months you can’t become an analytics professional, it would be great if you already have an experience in that field and having education adds on to it. But if you don’t have experience and you think that just on the basis of education you can find a very good role then that would be very challenging.
    Secondly, out here in the US, experience matters a lot, obviously it is preferable if you have experience in that field which you are applying for, but come with at least 2 years of experience, I think 3 is preferable and 4 is the best, because people out there who have less than 2 years of experience they are finding it very difficult to get interview calls. Come with some experience, wait for your chances, and don’t jump on to the US just after your undergrads without any experience.
    Lastly, whichever course you want to go for, be it analytics or any other course, get some certifications or work experience in that line.

    8) How long have you been there? Do you miss India?

    My parents keep on coming here, so I don’t miss India from that point of view, as my family keeps on coming here so I don’t feel the need to go back to India as such.

    9) Are you open to your juniors reaching out for your advice? Which areas can you help them out? We have started a discussion forum, may we list you there as a mentor?

    Yeah, the best way for them to reach out would be LinkedIn and I can help in any of these aspects like choosing a college, or related to analytics as that is my field and for consulting I have done some back in India.

    10) How was your experience at Gyandhan did you face any problem while taking an education loan like delays or rejection any?

    No, it was quite smooth and that's the reason why I took this call.

    11) Would you recommend us to your juniors for education loans?

    Yes, sure.

    12) Do you want to add anything else?

    Ans) For the future students I would say that be very clear about what you want out of your program at US. Do thorough research, the best thing to do is to reach out to people who have already done it or who are doing it, ask them why they chose that particular college and what all challenges they are facing.
    If you go by the ranking then there might be a college in top 3  and there might be other in top 15  and for you it might be the college in top 15  which will be better, it depends upon your requirement. So just do a lot of research that's all I would say.

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