Ye Wu was born and raised in China. She attended university in Beijing, then moved to Madrid to study IE University’s Master in Business Analytics and Big Data. Ye recently shared her experiences in the program and where her newly acquired knowledge has led her since.

3 min read

Ye Wu began her academic journey with a double major in accounting and Spanish. During her undergraduate studies, she took a few courses related to marketing and data analytics, which she found incredibly interesting. So when she started searching for an ideal master’s degree program, she couldn’t think of a better place than IE University in Spain.

A new path unfolds

The discovery that she enjoyed marketing and data analytics couldn’t have come at a better time. Ye was already thinking about making the shift out of accounting and felt that analytics was the best career path. At the time, big data became a trending topic she wanted to learn more about. “I wanted to know what was going on there because, while I only knew of the concept, I thought it really was the future,” she explains.

Ye looked into a lot of business analytics programs, but the Master in Business Analytics and Big Data was the only one that combined both her areas of interest. What particularly attracted her attention was that the program taught both the analytics side as well as the fundamentals of the big data ecosystem.

From novice to guru

Ye Wu found the Master in Business Analytics and Big Data to be valuable in many different ways, from diving into big data to gaining new programming language skills and the incredible relationships she made with classmates throughout her journey. Plus, she loved being in Madrid.

Ye used her stay in the city as an opportunity to meet incredible people, experience different cultures, practice her English with new friends and truly enjoy university life.

Making a career shift: How this accountant built a data analytics career

One thing that stood out to her most about the program, however, was her course on the SQL programming language. Ye loved the professor and his unique perspective on the subject. He reminded the class that it didn’t matter what they went on to do in the future, as long as they found what they enjoyed and worked hard at it.

What’s more, because she came from an accounting background, Ye knew next to nothing about programming. But her fear was quickly put to rest in her first class when she found out the professors taught from the ground up, helping students build a stable foundation before moving on to more advanced topics. They were also incredibly patient. And as it turns out, Ye was really good at it—so good in fact that she was the number two student in her class.

Wins, wins, wins

Ye Wu remembers a project she did for her marketing intelligence class. The objective was to solve a real-world business problem, using data sets provided by a real company to gain actionable insights and predict customer behavior.

Making a career shift: How this accountant built a data analytics career

Despite its novelty, Ye’s grasp of numbers helped her through the challenge, and she emerged in second place in her class.

In addition, the winning student invited Ye to co-author an article about their work for a leading data-related publication. Their collaboration helped them score silver for their innovative models. Reflecting on these achievements, Ye says, “I think my career shows how much the Master in Business Analytics and Big Data has impacted my life.”

The Master in Business Analytics and Big Data led me to challenge myself and I’m really proud of how far I’ve come.

Into the professional world

Ye Wu now works in Shanghai as a senior data analyst at FARFETCH, a luxury clothing platform with offices around the world. All of the challenges she overcame in the Master in Business Analytics and Big Data—from struggling to understand programming languages and breaking down in tears before a big presentation to winning awards and becoming a published author—taught Ye to have confidence in herself and how to work well on a team, things that she still uses in her day-to-day role.

To future students of the program, her advice is simple:

“Go ahead; it’s a really good experience.”

Making a career shift: How this accountant built a data analytics career

Ye also encourages current cohorts to take advantage of as many activities as possible, not just in class but in the wider IE Community. “Get out, meet people and experience Madrid; enjoy the whole package.”