Cheryl Cui only just graduated from the Master of Business Analytics (MBAN) program at the UBC Sauder School of Business, but she’s already running Kikstart Ecom, a design studio that partners with Shopify to help people across the globe realize their dreams of running an online store.
Cui lends her skills, data-driven mindset and expertise to empower entrepreneurs who positively impact the environment and society at large.
Just how did she reach this stage of success so quickly? Her journey to becoming an e-commerce mentor and business owner began during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the time, she was working at the Bank of Montreal and running an online store of home décor items on the side. When the lockdown happened, she noticed an increased demand in her products as remote workers suddenly rushed to beautify their homes.
She started spending more time on her online project and launched an additional website, focusing on the aesthetics, design and overall look and feel of the online channel. Thanks to her good eye for design and through the advice of a mentor, she decided to start helping other entrepreneurs seeking to launch products online, and Kikstart Ecom was born. Now she needed to master another key aspect of e-commerce: data analytics.
‘Speaking in data'
In November 2020, she enrolled in the Master of Business Analytics (MBAN) program at UBC Sauder and began learning how to 'speak in data,’ which in turn strengthened the language of her business.
“Becoming a data analyst gives me a fuller picture of one’s shopping experience. The MBAN program has helped me cultivate a data-driven mindset. It has transformed the way I now work with my clients,” says Cui. “I used to say: 'Let's see what looks nice for your online store.' But now, it's more like: 'Okay, let me look at the back-end of your online platform to see if something's lacking. Let's use the data to chart out your customer's online journey and experience on your website, and see how we can do better.'”
Cui sings praises of one course in particular: Analytics Leadership taught by Professor Harish Krishnan where, among other things, Professor Krishnan taught ‘project management optimization.’
"I now understand how different techniques of managing the flow of a project drives company growth," says Cui.