Mae Zheng is a junior at UC Berkeley (Class of 2021), double-majoring in Business Administration and Data Science. She uses data science to analyze financial data and develop corporate strategies, both in her classes and internships.
Question: In what ways do you incorporate data science into your work?
Answer: This past summer, I worked at the job site Indeed for its Corporate Development department, which is composed of mergers & acquisitions (M&A), investment, and business strategy. We rely on data a lot because Indeed prides itself on being a data-driven company, and Indeed also has its own data analytics platform called IQL, which is a lot like SQL. At Indeed, we were constantly thinking about some of the areas or industries that it would be interesting for Indeed to acquire. So, we analyzed a lot of data pertaining to what kinds of industries employers were posting for and the application process (e.g., number of applicants, number of interviews, number hired, etc.). Also, in all the presentations that everyone gives, everything is based on the internal database and we have to use data to justify why we should go for certain investments.
"What data science really did for me is to develop this interest in the tech industry and also this curiosity about how we can use data science to solve business problems."
Q: How do you think the data science major has helped you with your career?
A: What data science really did for me is to develop this interest in the tech industry and also this curiosity about how we can use data science to solve business problems. Some Haas students might not do data science because they might not like math or they might prefer a more managerial position. But, I think data science really helped differentiate me from other Haas students and allowed me to become more conscious about how we can use data science to solve problems and justify our conclusions. Data science has also helped me become a lot more logical and methodical. When approaching a certain problem, such as doing a final presentation or building a deck, I know how to structure the presentation very logically and have certain ideas or details build off of each other. So, having a data science background has not only expanded my quantitative skills, but also my qualitative skills.