Student Talk | Gabrijela Juresic

What makes studying the M.Sc. Data Analytics & Decision Science at RWTH Business School so special? Let Gabrijela Juresic tell you all about her reasons for deciding for this program, her experiences with the study course and her student life in Aachen!

Published: 02.03.2021
students talking in a group

A Data Analytics & Decision Science (M.Sc.) student reports...

Why did you decide for the M.Sc. Data Analytics & Decision Science?

A number of factors played a role in the decision-making process as to which university I would like to complete my master’s degree at. At the beginning, it was important for me that the program was accredited. The reputation of a university was also important to me. I also wanted to do my master’s degree in an international environment with international fellow students, where the courses are held in English. RWTH Business School meets all of these universal criteria. As for the program itself, I was convinced by the range of modules offered during the application process. The courses build on each other and intertwine. Now that I have completed the first semester, I can say that the program is holistically structured.

What do you like the most about the program?

The Data Analytics and Decision Science program has a very interesting focus that differs from the usual Data Science and Engineering programs – it takes into account the decision-making process and the associated theoretical foundations. For example, we are introduced to basic and advanced techniques for modeling decision making considering constraints and optimizing a given objective. Or, we are provided with powerful methodological tools. Based on the modeling of individual behavior, these are used to model the structure of a market in detail and predict the impact of different scenarios.

Nevertheless, courses such as Machine Learning and Design and Analysis of Algorithms are also not neglected and are not only treated theoretically. Through projects, the theoretical knowledge is applied in practice.

How is it like living in Aachen or in Germany in general?

I come from a big city and had specifically looked for a university that is located in a slightly smaller city. Aachen has about 250,000 inhabitants, of which 50,000 are students and believe me, this is reflected in the city center. I feel comfortable, everything is less anonymous, and you get to know many people incredibly quickly, even at Corona times. The people here are all very open and colorful, especially with regard to the many nationalities of the students – I think that’s why the city has its charm.

And if you need a little more action, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Brussels and even Paris, London and Amsterdam are only a few hours away by train.

What did you learn (so far) during the program?

Discipline, the willingness to give everything and to think outside the box. It is one thing to only learn the contents of the lecture and to write good grades in the exams, but something else to really understand the contents, also to deal with the topics beyond the contents of the courses, to draw connections and to create added value for oneself and possible projects.

In addition, international cooperation is encouraged, different perspectives, but also the different backgrounds and (professional) experiences enrich conversations, decision-making processes and teamwork.

What was your greatest challenge?

I became nearly deaf 2 years ago and have been wearing cochlear implants for 1.5 years. Thanks to this medical technology, I am hardly limited today. Nevertheless, I had concerns about doing my master’s degree in times of Corona. I think a large majority of you know the situations when you cannot understand your counterpart properly because of the mask. The idea of sitting in a lecture room where everyone was wearing a mask was particularly frightening. But the class size of the courses always ensures that everyone in the room understands the questions/answers. Even if it gets unclear or too quiet, they repeat accordingly. Also, the Business School with all its staff and professors as well as my fellow students are understanding and helpful.

In addition, I was also not quite sure how well I would be able to get back into studying after 2 years of working full time and whether I would be able to juggle my part-time job and studying. However, I can say that both things work out with a great deal of discipline and time management.

What does the program mean for you and your future?

The study offers a very good foundation for our career in the field of Data Analytics, Data Science and Decision Making – however, it is a science that still has an incredible amount of potential and will continue to develop, which is why it is important that I/we also participate in this process. We are given techniques, methods and tools with which we can and should contribute. It is important to use these tools purposefully in order to successfully make things happen.

What should future students know about the program?

It’s hard, no question, but fair and it’s really a lot of fun. I have learned so much in such a short time and have also developed personally. The study program is holistically structured, everything builds on each other, interlocks and covers all areas that are necessary in the field of data science and the corresponding decision-making process.

Describe the program in one word!