This is part of a series of profiles introducing students from Minerva’s incoming Fall 2023 graduate class. If you would like to learn more about our programs, please visit our website.
“I have always wanted to learn the knowledge of knowledge, or meta-knowledge, how to acquire the right information fast.”
I remember saying this a while ago in a conversation that I had forgotten for a long time after.
In my undergraduate degree, I majored in statistics—the study of categorizing, estimating, and predicting data—which is similar to my dream of studying meta-knowledge. However, just like any other traditional college class, what we did was mostly learning from books and professors, doing math, and solving problem sets. Because of this, I was not able to learn how to actually use most of my statistical knowledge in real life. The problem parameters and instructions were already laid out for me, and I just needed to do the right calculations to solve them.
Unfortunately, the problems we face in real life are not as easy to define in a few sentences as the test questions which were part of the sets I solved at school. Like Albert Einstein famously said on the topic, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes working on the solution.”
This quote illustrates how important it is to define the problem correctly first, rather than jump straight into the solution, the way we are taught to do at university.
Currently, I work as a Business Development Manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS). On a day-to-day basis, I work with internal data, VoC (Voice of Customer), and various analytics reports to define customers’ needs and best present how our services can help address them. I have been a software engineer for most of my career and only recently began working on the business side less than 2 years ago. This meant I had to put in a lot of effort to quickly change from an engineer to a business-minded professional, but I still felt like I was not good enough. This led me to consider enrolling in an MBA (Master of Business Administration) program.
While working on materials for my MBA applications, I began to wonder if this existing discipline could be used properly in situations where uncertainty is common, such as the recent Covid-19 pandemic or war, which are difficult to predict, and if traditional university coursework could help explain various mindsets and trends that are difficult to understand across generations.
After reflecting on this topic, I started to think that the right approach is to “make the best decisions based on the available data” and if I could master this approach, I thought, I could achieve the meta-knowledge I have always wanted to have. That is how I ended up finding out about Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis (MDA) and why I ultimately chose Minerva, whose methodology will allow me to acquire meta-knowledge and put it to practical use better than other traditional institutions.
I have two goals at Minerva. I want to grow in my current job as a business development manager and become a professional who can quickly find and deliver solutions for customers’ needs by utilizing insights from quickly changing market conditions. I am also looking forward to nurturing a longtime dream of starting my own company. By helping me define the right market through working with data and sharpening my ideas through creative and critical thinking, I am confident my time at Minerva will greatly increase my chances of success.