MINERVA VOICES

A Conversation with Minerva Graduate Student Saori

This is the second in a series of profiles introducing Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis (MDA) students from the Class of 2022.

September 10, 2020

This is part of a series of profiles introducing Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis (MDA) students from the Class of 2022. If you would like to learn more about the MDA program, please visit minerva.edu/graduate-programs.


Born in a rural area north of the Kanto region in Japan, Saori Kimura has spent the past three years working in New York City.

To advance her skills further and rise in the financial industry, recently Saori had been looking for a Master of Business Administration or data analysis program but struggled to find one that was part-time in order to fit her schedule. Saori wanted to keep her job while studying, so she would be able to afford tuition and living costs. That is when she learned about Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis (MDA) program.

“Among the Japanese, Minerva is actually getting quite famous. I had found a book written by a Japanese author who used to do marketing for Minerva and [read] about his experience. In the book, he explained how Minerva was very unique — [he talked] about the online platform and active learning, and how undergraduate students live in seven different countries.”

According to Saori, data skills are increasingly popular in the financial world, as they needed to analyze the market in order to gain critical insights. Because some companies, such as Goldman Sachs, even require their employees to have data analytic skills, Saori was inspired to look for a program where she could develop her own experience.

“It’s my hobby — making investments in the market. I also like learning new things. I like challenges. I enjoy going overseas and learning about different cultures and history.”

Saori is driven to create a world where anyone could follow a career path of their choosing, without a concern for their financial situation. She wants people to not have to give up their dreams or goals in return for financial stability, so she is seeking ways to work towards achieving such a world — by disseminating or explaining information about markets and investment explicitly for vulnerable populations

“When I was in college for my undergraduate, I studied pharmacy but I didn’t have anyone in my network who could give me advice on entering the financial industry or more specific aspects of it.”

Saori resolved this lack of knowledge by putting in the work and enthusiasm to find information and connections. She attended a number of seminars organized by finance companies in Japan, then she reached out to Human Resources representatives in these companies for introductions to people who could give her more advice about the field. This experience not only opened the door to her current position but also made her realize that the lack of a formal background in a field should not be a limiting factor in pursuing a new career. Instead, if someone has the enthusiasm, love for the field, and an eagerness to learn, it is possible.

Saori has observed that it is common for Japanese leaders to avoid conflict or be too ambiguous in their public addresses, rather than clearly explaining the situation. She expects this may be because Japanese culture emphasizes cooperation with others.

She admires the approach US leaders tend to use, with a culture of increasing emphasis on clear communication and the use of data to back up arguments. She believes that is particularly important because the US population is so diverse, comprising people from all over the world, where a clear line of communication can bridge cultural differences.

“I think through class discussions, I’ll be able to find new ways to solve problems, as well as gain new perspectives and insight from other students. So I think through these discussions and through active learning Minerva will help me to develop my own way of thinking.”

As the Japanese educational system and Minerva’s model are vastly different, as the former prioritizes memorization and teaching to the test, Saori is excited to join the MDA program to learn skills that will enable her to better apply knowledge to the world around her.

Quick Facts

Name
Country
Class
Major

Social Sciences & Business

Business & Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Computational Sciences & Social Sciences

Computer Science & Arts and Humanities

Business and Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Arts and Humanities

Business, Social Sciences

Business & Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences, Natural Sciences

Data Science, Statistics

Computational Sciences

Business

Computational Sciences, Data Science

Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Business, Natural Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences

Natural Sciences

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Science

Social Sciences, Business

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Science

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Science, Statistic Natural Sciences

Business & Social Sciences

Computational Science, Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Business

Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Arts and Humanities

Computational Science

Minor

Computational Science & Business

Economics

Social Sciences

Concentration

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence & Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Designing Societies & New Ventures

Strategic Finance & Data Science and Statistics

Brand Management and Designing Societies

Data Science & Economics

Machine Learning

Cells, Organisms, Data Science, Statistics

Arts & Literature and Historical Forces

Artificial Intelligence & Computer Science

Cells and Organisms, Mind and Emotion

Economics, Physics

Managing Operational Complexity and Strategic Finance

Global Development Studies and Brain, Cognition, and Behavior

Scalable Growth, Designing Societies

Business

Drug Discovery Research, Designing and Implementing Policies

Historical Forces, Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Artificial Intelligence, Psychology

Designing Solutions, Data Science and Statistics

Data Science and Statistic, Theoretical Foundations of Natural Science

Strategic Finance, Politics, Government, and Society

Data Analysis, Cognition

Brand Management

Data Science and Statistics & Economics

Cognitive Science & Economics

Data Science and Statistics and Contemporary Knowledge Discovery

Internship
Higia Technologies
Project Development and Marketing Analyst Intern at VIVITA, a Mistletoe company
Business Development Intern, DoSomething.org
Business Analyst, Clean Energy Associates (CEA)

Conversation

This is part of a series of profiles introducing Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis (MDA) students from the Class of 2022. If you would like to learn more about the MDA program, please visit minerva.edu/graduate-programs.


Born in a rural area north of the Kanto region in Japan, Saori Kimura has spent the past three years working in New York City.

To advance her skills further and rise in the financial industry, recently Saori had been looking for a Master of Business Administration or data analysis program but struggled to find one that was part-time in order to fit her schedule. Saori wanted to keep her job while studying, so she would be able to afford tuition and living costs. That is when she learned about Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis (MDA) program.

“Among the Japanese, Minerva is actually getting quite famous. I had found a book written by a Japanese author who used to do marketing for Minerva and [read] about his experience. In the book, he explained how Minerva was very unique — [he talked] about the online platform and active learning, and how undergraduate students live in seven different countries.”

According to Saori, data skills are increasingly popular in the financial world, as they needed to analyze the market in order to gain critical insights. Because some companies, such as Goldman Sachs, even require their employees to have data analytic skills, Saori was inspired to look for a program where she could develop her own experience.

“It’s my hobby — making investments in the market. I also like learning new things. I like challenges. I enjoy going overseas and learning about different cultures and history.”

Saori is driven to create a world where anyone could follow a career path of their choosing, without a concern for their financial situation. She wants people to not have to give up their dreams or goals in return for financial stability, so she is seeking ways to work towards achieving such a world — by disseminating or explaining information about markets and investment explicitly for vulnerable populations

“When I was in college for my undergraduate, I studied pharmacy but I didn’t have anyone in my network who could give me advice on entering the financial industry or more specific aspects of it.”

Saori resolved this lack of knowledge by putting in the work and enthusiasm to find information and connections. She attended a number of seminars organized by finance companies in Japan, then she reached out to Human Resources representatives in these companies for introductions to people who could give her more advice about the field. This experience not only opened the door to her current position but also made her realize that the lack of a formal background in a field should not be a limiting factor in pursuing a new career. Instead, if someone has the enthusiasm, love for the field, and an eagerness to learn, it is possible.

Saori has observed that it is common for Japanese leaders to avoid conflict or be too ambiguous in their public addresses, rather than clearly explaining the situation. She expects this may be because Japanese culture emphasizes cooperation with others.

She admires the approach US leaders tend to use, with a culture of increasing emphasis on clear communication and the use of data to back up arguments. She believes that is particularly important because the US population is so diverse, comprising people from all over the world, where a clear line of communication can bridge cultural differences.

“I think through class discussions, I’ll be able to find new ways to solve problems, as well as gain new perspectives and insight from other students. So I think through these discussions and through active learning Minerva will help me to develop my own way of thinking.”

As the Japanese educational system and Minerva’s model are vastly different, as the former prioritizes memorization and teaching to the test, Saori is excited to join the MDA program to learn skills that will enable her to better apply knowledge to the world around her.