Sarah Beg

Location: Frisco, Texas

Occupation: Principal business solutions owner at T-Mobile

Education: M.S. in international business from Seattle University
B.S. in information systems from The University of Texas at Arlington

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I have over 10 years of experience in the business intelligence spectrum. I earned my bachelor’s degree in information systems from University of Texas, Arlington and was pursuing my master’s in international business at Seattle University before I moved to Dallas and joined SMU. Growing up in diverse cultures in England, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and the United States, I am a travel junkie and always looking for an opportunity to hop on a plane.

What initially attracted you to the data science field?

I have always worked with data, from procuring data to building infrastructure for data and reporting, but I never had any formal training in depth analytics. So with the need for data scientists arising, I thought this might be a good option for me considering my background. 

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Science in Data Science?

Even though I was pursuing my master’s in international business at Seattle University, I didn’t feel content with what I was learning and wasn’t sure how I would apply it to my current career trajectory. With a need for in-depth analytics in my current company and a growing need for professional data scientists, I thought this would be a great investment in my career.

Why did you choose DataScience@SMU?

I had just moved from Seattle to Dallas and was looking into different data science programs that wouldn’t require me to move again. SMU was always my local choice of school if I were to continue my education in Dallas. With SMU offering a data science program, it was a perfect match – and being online was a bonus!

Which skills and tools that the program covers do you find most appealing? Why?

For me, the most appealing part of this program is data visualization after you have analyzed your data. How you visually present your information is very important in today’s business world. You have limited time to attract one’s attention and convey your message.

How are you able to apply what you are learning to your current position?

Even though I have not yet been able to apply much to my current position, I have already started to change my mindset in how to look at data and understand why consumers of our data want to perform such analysis for decision-making. 

What surprised you most about the online learning environment?

What surprised me the most is that it feels like an in-person learning environment even though we are all meeting virtually.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

If you don’t have any background in statistics, Python and/or R, make sure you familiarize yourself with these subjects either through books or the bridge classes offered by SMU.