Singapore Management University (SMU) is a melting pot of the region’s future leaders of innovation and business. It has been making a global impact through its expertise in Asian-centric knowledge — its programmes are geared towards nurturing future leaders with the competencies to thrive in the Asian Century.
Part of its ability to achieve such deep expertise is a world-class faculty and diverse student body, hailing from all parts of Asia.
SMU sat down for a chat with Mai Thi Hoai Thu, an alumnae of the Master of IT in Business (MITB) Artificial Intelligence programme about her MITB journey and how the programme has accelerated her career towards being an AI specialist in today’s digital economy.
She had also completed her undergraduate studies at SMU, with a Bachelor of Business Management (Finance and Economics) in 2013.
“I am interested in learning about machine learning algorithms, and applying them to solve real life problems. My goal is to apply machine learning algorithms and data analytics to my domain of finance,”
The fact that the MITB programme is highly ranked in Asia and globally for 5 consecutive years by QS Business Masters Rankings: Business Analytics also spurred Thu to apply for the programme.
Unleashing the power of data
Data is the lifeblood of all industries — the ability to make sound decisions based on data sets successful companies apart from those that fail.
Thu discovered that financial institutions can turn to machine learning and data analytics engines to analyse and harness data for the purpose in improving projections and driving positive business outcomes.
“In my previous job, I was underwriting credit risk, but I observed a potential for data analytics and data science to be applied into credit risk underwriting as it can dramatically improve efficiency. I needed to learn more about data science to keep up.”
shares Thu, a certified financial risk manager.
Instead of individually and manually examining cases, Thu discovered that data science models could be employed within the decision-making framework.
Financial institutions can now turn to machine learning and data analytics engines to power credit underwriting to drive efficiency and accuracy, which reduces the number of steps required to process loans.
As Thu delved deeper into the power of data analytics, she realised she had an interest in the subject — but lacked information technology (IT) expertise as she was previously a finance student. This was the impetus for her to return to SMU and enroll in the MITB programme.
Thu has leveraged her new expertise in working with large datasets gained through MITB alongside her financial acumen to open herself up to better opportunities and has successfully made a career switch by exploring opportunities in tech.
“What I do now is completely different from underwriting! The MITB programme has helped me with my tech knowledge in data analytics as well as coding, which has contributed to my current role. It also equipped me with soft skills in terms of working with stakeholders and team members, as I have to communicate with both Singaporean and international stakeholders in my line of work.”
The MITB experience has also highlighted the importance of lifelong learning for Thu, who met students hailing from diverse academic and professional backgrounds — some of whom had experience in computer science while others had none.
The common denominator underscoring the students is the insatiable drive to keep on learning.
“A passion for continuous education is a very important trait to have in this field, as certain things I learn today can become obsolete two years later. Fintech is an exciting field and there are a lot of opportunities for me to explore,”
“The MITB programme is unparalleled for data analytics. I would encourage anyone who is keen in gaining deep specialist skills and knowledge in this field to consider this programme. My MITB journey has been nothing short of amazing. I am looking forward to what the future brings.”
For more information on the MITB programme, please visit the SMU website here.