Sahil Jain was able to combine his passion for analytics and interest in marketing to land an exciting role with global management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. He earned a UBC Master of Business Analytics (MBAN) degree at the UBC Sauder School of Business in 2018 and today leads diverse teams to advise consumer-facing companies on growth strategy, customer analytics, digital marketing optimization, and personalization. Jain explains how his experience at UBC Sauder charted the course for his career, in his own words.
Before moving to Canada, I graduated from IIIT-Delhi where I studied Computer Science. I then worked at ZS Associates and McKinsey & Company India for three years where I witnessed how consultants use data and analytics to solve challenging business problems. I realized that often the answer to a business problem lies in the numbers. This motivated me to pursue a Master of Business Analytics. And that’s what brought me to Canada.
Here are five ways my graduate school education kickstarted my career….
1. It quickened the pace and trajectory of my advancement
Going back to school allowed me to make a pivot in my career and achieve my goals faster. After graduation, I rejoined McKinsey & Company in the Growth, Marketing & Sales practice. My work involves playing the combined role of an analytics expert and a traditional management consultant. I use customer data to find insights and build digital marketing personalization strategies to drive top-line growth. I coach clients and help them transform from traditional marketers to data-driven marketing professionals. The MBAN program developed my ability to find insights in data and apply them to business problems.
2. It transformed me into an analytics translator
The MBAN curriculum has a strong selection of technical courses, which are necessary to process large amounts of data. Simultaneously, I learned a lot about business. In the profession of data analytics, people are usually technically skilled, but not everyone can translate data into business solutions. They can build fancy models but fall short of providing the “so what?” solution to the business problem. The ability to analyze data and apply it to a business problem was a major learning from my time at UBC Sauder. I serve as an analytics translator for large organizations and help them propel growth using data-driven decisions.
3. It taught me how to turn data into organizational value
As an analytics specialist, I am responsible for using data to drive growth for our clients. I put together the insights found in the data, connect them to gaps that our clients have, and translate them into actions that the organization can take to convert those gaps into value – all within the domain of marketing. For example, I analyze large volumes of customer data and advise clients on how to change their marketing campaigns to get the best return on their investment dollars. I often quote, “Marketing is not a cost, it’s an investment. Always measure the return on your investment.”
4. It equipped me with leadership skills that I use every day
A key skill I learned during the MBAN program was teamwork – the majority of our assignments required group work. It helped me develop my critical thinking, communication, and decision-making. I learned how to use my individual skills in a team setting to deliver results. At McKinsey & Company, I work in a diverse team that includes consultants, engineers, and designers. My experience in the MBAN program set up me to work effectively with different people.
I came into the MBAN program with a fear of public speaking. Seeing an audience in front of me would make me nervous and negatively impact my communication. The MBAN was a game-changer for me. The presentations I gave during the program helped me overcome my fear of public speaking. Now, I regularly communicate with C-suite executives and present our impactful work with confidence.
5. It reignited my love of learning, which fuels my passion for problem-solving
My passion for learning is what led me back to school. When I entered the program, I was amazed to see so much happening around me at UBC Sauder. I wanted to make the most of my graduate studies and explored multiple opportunities. I became a Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant, alongside being a full-time student. Later, I also pursued the UBC Sauder Strategy Consulting Mentorship Program (SCMP) which helped me prepare for consulting interviews. It was intense, but I’m glad I had those experiences.
After graduating, I channeled this curiosity into my work. I explored various industries and worked with large clients in retail, healthcare, banking, eCommerce, and luxury apparel. The varied experiences helped me grow professionally and developed my analytics expertise. I see myself continuing in the space of data-driven marketing and helping companies use data to connect differently with consumers, combining left-brain analytics and right-brain creativity.
The UBC MBAN has elevated my career in more ways than I could have ever anticipated, and it hasn’t even been five years since graduation. I can’t wait to see how it continues to impact my professional life.