Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Creating a balance: Diving into statistical models and theories while relaxing through yoga, baking and more! – Yongli Shi, MMA Class of 2021

After a two-week Christmas holiday, we started the last month of the tools term. January was one of the most intensive months I have ever experienced since I joined the MMA program. During the month, I got a chance to apply what I have learned about statistical models and theories into real-world analytical cases with my excellent group members in my courses. At the same time, several MMA Employer Coffee Chat and workshops provided by the program gave me more direction on my job hunting before I apply to related-analytical roles.

As Prof. Gerhard Trippen (Big Data Analytics - RSM8413, Structuring and Visualizing Data for Analytics- RSM 8411) said in our group assignment, we are getting to be pretty sophisticated data analysts. We used clustering, k-nearest neighbors, classification and regression tree (CART), and neural network algorithms by Python to build our models and solve business cases.

Before joining the program, I had no clear idea how algorithms help us accurately predict outcomes, but now I understand statistical theories underlying them and the tuning process which optimize the machine’s learning and solving capability.

To help us get a better interpretation of these algorithms, we needed to try different models, compare their performance, and figure out the trade-off among accuracy, interpretability, and feasibility.

Courses in the tools term were teaching us to think like real analysts and make the best choice based on the business objectives with the support of our technical skills.

Networking, baking, and online activities

Starting January, many of us began to search for jobs and signup for coffee chats held by the MMA program and different employers. During a coffee chat with the TD team, we got chances to talk to the Analytics team and ask questions about analytical roles open at TD. As a job hunter novice, this kind of group coffee chat opportunity not only provides me insights into what recruiters look for in a candidate for their team but also guidance on how to conduct a one-to-one coffee chat by myself in the future.

Although this month was full of assignments, lectures, and workshops, I tried to leave my chair and laptop screen to let my eyes rest through the weekly yoga session held by Rotman. Light yoga poses stretched my muscles and relaxed me. On weekend, I also enjoyed baking various desserts. Recently, one of my classmates had her birthday, so I prepared a cheesecake for her as a birthday present (see photos below).


Even though all of our classes and activities are online, MMA is a warm community.

We give each other birthday wishes and are open to discuss various problems with respect. Our program representatives organized activities like Stress Down Friday to make this intensive month not that stressful and actively listen to our feedbacks as the program goes on.

In February, we will begin the first intensive period of the practicum. We will have the chance to work with our hosts and other team members from the company closely every day. I believe everyone is excited to work on processing data and apply what we have learned from classes to get some valuable ideas on each project’s objectives.

The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics, and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional. 

© Rotman School of ManagementThe Rotman School of Management is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AASCB)