Meet Mu Sigma on the first day of the Fall Internship & Job Fair on Sept. 30 & RSVP to join Mu Sigma for a Lunch & Learn on “Evolution and Vision for Decision Sciences and Analytics” Monday, Oct. 6. RSVP required in CareerCat > Events > Info Sessions.
Annas Rahman (WCAS ’14) is an Analyst at Mu Sigma.
Describe your role with Mu Sigma. What drew you to the company and how long have you worked in your role?
I have been an Analyst at Mu Sigma for over two months now. In a nutshell, we are a consulting company in the space of Big Data analytics and decision sciences. From Microsoft to Pfizer to Walmart, we work with the biggest names across all industries, about 140 fortune 500 companies to be specific. Unlike traditional consultants that travel from client-to-client each week, Mu Sigma analysts stay at one company for 12-18 months working on a wide variety of problems across different functions for that client. Currently I am working with a large insurance client in Chicago.
I have always been interested in solving business problems. I also have a data-driven, analytical mindset that I sought to apply to my day-to-day work. Mu Sigma provided the perfect opportunity for me to combine these two interests.
What is your work and education background?
I graduated in June 2014 with a double major in Biology and Political Science. During the summers after my Freshman and Sophomore years, I worked as a Research Assistant in a microbiology lab on campus. The summer after my junior year I served as an intern on Capitol Hill with the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
What was the recruiting process like for you and what makes a candidate stand out to Mu Sigma recruiters?
I searched CareerCat for jobs that reflected my own interests, and found that the Analyst position at Mu Sigma fit what I wanted. After submitting my resume and cover letter, I was invited to an on campus interview and a short written test. The written test is for the company to understand a candidate’s basic math aptitude and is based on topics that people learn before high school, it doesn’t have complicated math. On the interview day I had two back-to-back interviews where I spent a bit of time discussing my own background and skills, and then spent the rest of the interviews answering mock client cases. It was not a typical case interview, but more of a discussion in which I was being tested on my ability to think logically, exhaustively, and creatively.
The key to succeeding in the recruitment process is to demonstrate the primary Mu Sigma value: learning over knowing. It doesn’t matter if you are an Art History or Computer Science major, as long as you are curious, have an aptitude for working with numbers, approach problems in a structured way and exhibit willingness to learn skills and concepts unfamiliar to you, you will succeed during the recruitment process and later at Mu Sigma.
Describe a typical workday.
I arrive at work at around 8:30am and spend my morning catching up on emails and the work that was done overnight. What do I mean by that? Well, each Mu Sigma team in the U.S. has an entire support team in India. This means that at the end of each workday here in the US, we pass on the project work to the Bangalore team which continues the projects we’re working on. So when I arrive in the morning, I pick up where the offshore team left off.
I spend the rest of my day attending meetings with my client’s senior management teams to define goals for the projects, working on data to generate insights, creating and auditing the deliverables/presentations to the clients. Apart from this I have brainstorming meetings with my engagement manager and peers to design solutions to the client problems. I end my day by having a call with my offshore team in India to set expectations about the deliverables that are needed for the next day and catch up on project progress.
What’s the best thing about working for Mu Sigma?
I appreciate the opportunity to work with my own offshore team who are there to help me solve our client’s problems. The offshore team is very valuable because of the work they take on when I leave the office, the advanced technical skills they have, the unique insights they offer, and their overall contribution towards making every Mu Sigma team in the US a supremely effective 24/7 work force.
What professional advice do you have for job-seeking graduating students interested in this industry? For students who are early in their college careers?
Mu Sigma is a leader in an industry called Decision Sciences, which is a combination of math, business, technology and behavioral sciences. Mu Sigma welcomes students with all kinds of backgrounds and actually teaches new Analysts all the technical skills (Statistics, Excel, R, SQL, etc.) they need to succeed. This is done at our training center in Austin, TX for 8 weeks before you join a project team.
For the Decision Sciences industry itself, I would encourage students to grow comfortable working with statistics and basic programming. Classes in data analytics from departments such as economics, statistics, and computer science would be valuable to take advantage of. Courses that emphasize data visualization would also be very useful.
What does your work space look like?
What gadget, office tool or program can’t you live without?
Definitely Microsoft Outlook. From exchanging emails, to sharing project documents, to scheduling meetings, Outlook is the central hub for all work that gets done. It’s tough for me to imagine how people even got things done before email and the internet!
What’s the best career or life advice you’ve received?
Be inquisitive. Question your superiors to understand their expectations, question your clients to help them clarify their problems, question the status quo to see if there is room for change, and question the world around you so that you emerge knowing more today than you did the day before.