Purdue MSBA

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Interview with Hemanya Tyagi

alum of purdue MSBA program

What are the 3 key factors that drove you to Purdue MSBA?There are lot of factors which made me choose Purdue MSBA. I will talk of the three most important ones that I considered in descending order of ranking. Again, there is no black or white answer to this question. It all depends upon what you want from a university. Once you have segregated your target university into tiers, for example – Super Dream, Dream, Safe, there is not much difference between those universities, at least in terms of placement. However, there are other things one should definitely look at

1. Curriculum: When you choose Business Analytics, you need to ask yourself: What are my goals? What job do I really want post graduation? These are very apt questions that admissions committee asks the prospective students. You don’t really need to have it exactly planned but you need to know do you want to be more technical: Data Scientist, Data Engineer, Data Analyst or do you want to do something more impactful on the business front: Business Analyst, Consultant. Once you have that figured out, you need to check out for universities in which the curriculum specializes the area of your focus. For me, Purdue MSBAIM was all-round: it had a good number of electives to choose from whether be it business topics like Supply Chain, Marketing, etc. or technical topics like Statistical and Machine Learning, Analyzing Unstructured Data, etc. And these courses really helped me when I looked for a job or even in the job itself. So again, go through the curriculum of each university and find out what best suits you.
2. Cost: Suppose you go to a university with cost of $40k with an average placement package of $80k. On the other hand let’s say you go to a better university (at least in terms of placement) with a cost of $70k and an average placement package of $90k. Which one would you choose? You need to stop thinking in terms of placement package, rather you need to start thinking in terms of ROI. Now, tuition cost is not the only factor, there is the cost of living as well. Purdue is the most cost-effective university I saw when I did my research – 47k for tuition and you pay rent as low as $500 a month. Now I live in a different state and the rent has shot up four times. This definitely has been a critical factor in choosing a university for me.
3. Length of the Program: You’re graduating in 11 months! What more do you need? You save time! And that is also an ROI. The only issue here is that the program will be intensive but I had a passion for this field so it did not matter much to me.
There are other factors also, which did not matter much for me. For example, internships. Some people would love to have an internship, others don’t. I was indifferent. BAIM does not provide an internship, rather there is three month long project in which you collaborate with industry partners on data solutions. 

What has been the feedback of current students and alumni in general?
Purdue has a vast alumni network. Most students have a positive feedback – there are awesome professors, you learn a lot, the campus life is happening and beautiful. Even in Covid, the BAIM program did really well with a better median placement than the previous batches.
Some of the minor negative feedback: Not much of a night life, cold climate – large amount of snow in winters (still better than a lot of places), a bit far from the airport (2 hours from Chicago). 

What advice will you give to students preparing for GMAT/GRE ?
Here is how I did on GMAT:Score: 720, Preparation time: 1 month (3 hours everyday on average, I did it along with my job), Books Used: Official GMAT guide, KAPLAN

First of all, take a GMAT mock test before starting to prepare. Buy the KAPLAN book – it comes with 5 mock tests. Take the first mock test. Do not get disheartened if you score less. It is just a way to assess your progress overtime. Take one mock test after every week or 2 weeks depending upon your test date and see your progress. When I took my first mock test, I scored 550 and when I took my last mock test I scored around 670-690. The mock tests are generally harder so don’t sweat it if you get less.
Secondly, after taking the first mock test, see which areas you lag in. Prepare those areas from the KAPLAN book. It describes in detail how to tackle the different sections of GMAT. If you do not have a problem in the different sections (comprehension, problem solving, data sufficiency, etc.) but rather you have difficulty with certain topics (permutation combinations, geometry, etc.), deal with those topics through the official guide.
Once you are fairly comfortable and start getting better in the mock tests, practice only through the official guide. Focus the rest of your days on practicing and keep monitoring your progress through the mock tests.
Finally, do not take IR and AWA lightly, focus on those for a week or two before the examination. Though they do not contribute to the score, you definitely do not want to flunk those.

What advice do you have for students for Purdue interview ? 
I can talk in terms of the business school. These are the things that most of the business schools assess a candidate on:
1. Vision: Be clear what you want to do after graduation, how you would utilize the school’s resources to cater to your goal! Have a detailed knowledge about the program and the school.
2. Soft Skills: Even if you have a 750 GMAT, do not boast about anything. Be humble, show that your a team player, an effective communicator (no you do not need to be an expert debater, just talk slowly, clearly and in a structured way)3. STAR Responses: Search about the STAR interview answers. They are really crucial when it comes to job search in USA. But they also will help you with the cracking that college interview.

All these tips are valid in case of Purdue as well.
What aspects of your job do you really enjoyAs a data scientist, I really love how I can make an impact to the business through data. I like how my work is directly related to the success of a lot of projects. All the aspects of data science – finding causes, correlations, getting a high accuracy are super relevant today, and of course for reducing the costs and increasing the revenue you get paid well too!


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