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MS (Business Analytics) Temple University & MBA Thomas Jefferson Uni Graduate on #StudyingInUSA

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

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Monil Shah

Undergrad  – Mumbai University, Bachelor in Commerce

Postgrad – Thomas Jefferson University, MBA.

Temple University, Masters in Business Analytics

Current role – Data Analyst at SEMrush

"If your faculty is good, you are in Business!"

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your Educational and Professional Background? Which college, company and role did you work in to get you where you are today?

Hey, my name is Monil Shah. I am a Data Analyst by profession working at one of the top SEO Product companies in the market - SEMrush. My educational and work background is in Commerce and Business with a slight flavor of Tech. I completed my Bachelor's in Commerce from Mumbai University, did my MBA at Thomas Jefferson University, and finally did a Masters in Business Analytics from Temple University.

2. What was your undergraduate Major? What prompted you towards it?

As I mentioned earlier, my Undergraduate Study was in Business and Commerce. I chose this was because I believed it could give me more possibilities in terms of career choices and career paths once I am complete my UG Studies.

3. When and why did you decide to study abroad?

I decided to study abroad in my 3rd semester which would be the 2nd year of my undergraduate studies.

4. Did you receive a scholarship? Do you recommend any good orgs/institutions that provide for scholarships or financial aid?

I did not receive any scholarships as such. However, from my learning and experience, I would suggest not hesitating in asking for a scholarship. Asking for a fee reduction or scholarship is not something bad so do not hesitate. Feel free to connect to your program director and talk with them about the possibilities of getting a waiver/scholarship/discount.

5. Is it worth taking a loan to study abroad? How does one measure one’s ROI?

Personally, I feel taking a loan is not bad but if you are borrowing money, I highly recommend thoroughly checking your plan A, B, and C.Yes, one needs to plan for stuff if they go south. In my 4 years of being in the USA and with the current situation, I have seen that things can change in no time.

6. Why did you choose that particular course in this particular university/college for your studies abroad? What was the process you went through while choosing the university/college?

As I have done 2 Masters, I would split my response into 2 parts.

I decided to pursue an MBA in Marketing and Analytics to work in fields like Business Analytics, Marketing Analytics, and other streams of Analytics.

While I had the confidence and required education to do so, I felt I lacked some technical arsenal and that's when I decided to pursue my Masters at Temple. Temple was a core technical course that added the right tools and skills needed to excel in the field I desired.

7. Any particular advice you would like to give for the application process from SOP Writing to Academic GPA to other things which you thought were important that helped you get into that course at that university?

Do not worry much about your SOP and don't overstress it. In the end, there is a human sitting on the opposite end reading it. If you are an upcoming applicant, probably there is not much time to work on GPA so long story short, optimize your application based on your strong points.

8. Were you satisfied with your choice of university? What is your most and least favorite thing about the university experience?

Again, this takes me to 2 different experiences where my 1st university was really good in terms of settling me in a new country getting me familiar to markets and work ethic, and people here.

On the other hand, Temple meant business from day one and the goal of the university was to produce quality candidates for the roles in the market.

9. How was the Indian fraternity over there? How was the overall campus diversity?

Indians are almost everywhere and you will mostly not land in a place without them surrounded. Once you are outside of India, our community is strong and helpful.

10. Tell us something about the faculty and resources which were there on campus

I must say RESEARCH your faculty before making a decision. I was thankful to have wonderful faculty during my education. There were professors who worked 9-5 in top firms of the world and at 6 pm they would teach us in class. If your faculty is good, you are in Business!

11. Tell us about your journey from the first semester to the last both academically and non-academically? What was campus life like? What were the extracurricular activities on campus?

Not to make this answer too long, I enjoyed the academic and non-academic journey in the USA. Academically I saw classes with top technology and interactive sessions. Outside classrooms I enjoyed biking, playing sports, participating in events, and volunteering in the many campus activities.

12. What did you learn and what were your most dear experiences? Any suggestions or recommendations for fresher's starting out?

Make friends, explore places, enjoy every moment you have here!

13. How is the quality of education compared to Indian institutes? What were the gaps in both systems? How did you manage to cope?

This really depends on what you are comparing with even in India. With this day and age, one has access to lectures from Stanford and IIT so hard to judge but overall from where I came, the education experience is more DIY (Do it yourself).

14. What were the career opportunities available? How does one manage to grab them?

In the USA I always felt if one had the potential and passion, opportunities are never ending. I recommend people to download 'Meet up' apps, sign up for professional events outside campus from DAY 1, and make an effort to attend them.

I realized it late in my journey and I can vouch they are very beneficial.

15. Tell us a little bit about your current job profile and work.

Currently, I work as a Data Analyst at SRMrush where my work is to enhance the sales organization in all possible ways with the power of Data. My profile involves collecting, organizing, analyzing, and visualizing data to help management make business decisions that increase revenue.

I use tools like SQL, R, Tableau, and Excel on a daily basis to perform analysis.


We hope that you have found this interview insightful. Do let us know how in the comments section below!

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