Interview Anne van der Wulp: “I would recommend this Master to people who like a challenge.”Posted on
How do our students experience the JADS Master’s Program Data Science & Entrepreneurship? What made them choose this program? How do they feel about different courses and the teachers? Answers to these questions and more! In this interview series we talk to different first year and second year students and Alumni to give you some more insights about our Master’s program. Today we spoke to Anne van der Wulp one of second year Master students. She goes deeper into one of our courses: Data Entrepreneurship in Action III.
Can you tell me your name and something about your background?
My name is Anne van der Wulp and I am currently a second year master student at JADS. 5 years ago I started the bachelor Industrial Design at the TU/e. Despite the fact that I liked a lot of aspects about the study, for example the creativity and the technical courses, I decided that this was not the best fit for me. The following year I switched to the bachelor Psychology and Technology where I found my place. I enjoyed following the courses about social psychology and cognitive psychology and especially enjoyed the fact that you could specialize yourself in more data science related courses. I chose to do this and started developing a taste for data science. In 2020 I finished this bachelor and could directly apply for the MSDE program.
What made you decide to apply for the MSDE program?
I did not immediately know that I wanted to apply for the MSDE program at JADS. I knew that I wanted to do something with data science however I did not know in which context. I took my time to investigate different options which also included the data science in engineering master at the TU/e. The reasons that I finally chose to apply for the MSDE program were the following:
- first of all I liked the fact that this master was more business oriented. During my bachelor I sometimes wished that we would have more chances to work together with real companies and real people and not do everything in a hypothetical context. At JADS I knew I would get the chance to work together with real companies during different project, something that I really liked.
- Secondly I already knew that I did not want to become a data engineer or a programmer, which made me figure that a master like data science in engineering would maybe not be a good fit as this was very technically oriented.
- Finally I chose JADS because of the fact that this master is very small. Meaning that you can get to know all your fellow students and professors.
Can you tell me something about the purpose of the Data Entrepreneurship in Action 3 course, and how you approached that?
The purpose of the Data Entrepreneurship in Action 3 course was to build our own data-driven startup from scratch and finally pitch this to a group of investors. This sounded really challenging to our group at first as we had never done this before. Because of the fact that our project group was not very entrepreneurial oriented, it was difficult to come up with good ideas. Our approach was to join workshops that would help us brainstorm about ideas. This was a good start however we still had to pivot as coming up with a good start-up idea is much harder then it seems. Along the way we learned a lot about what were good and not so good approaches to developing your own start-up from scratch.
What data-driven business idea did you develop for this course?
We developed an idea for franchise stores of large supermarkets chains. The idea came from the fact that we learned that franchise stores need to stand out from the stores owned by large supermarket chains so that they can compete. To do this they need to take risks by varying in their inventory to adhere to the predicted demands of their customers. To mitigate the risks they have to take we wanted to develop a dashboard that accurately predicts what a franchise store should procure to stand out from the crowd and not take too much risk. The data we wanted to integrate for this idea was demographic data about their customers, weather data, data about local holidays etc.
What were the biggest challenges you faced?
The biggest challenges we faced were the moments we had to revise our idea based on the feedback from our peers. When we thought we were on the right track the coaches and our peers made us aware of the things we did not think of. We then had to sit together again and see how we could improve our idea which sometimes was really difficult as you do not want to say goodbye to an idea you have spent much time working on. Sometimes however you have to face the fact that the idea you thought of is not that promising and you can better come up with something new.
How did you solve those challenges?
It sounds really easy when I put it like this but we solved the above described challenge by just accepting we had to go back and revise our original idea. It is difficult when something you believe in is being criticized however, the only way to overcome this challenge was for us to accept the feedback and look with a positive mindset to the new steps we had to take and make the best of that.
What would you do differently next time?
Next time we would probably take more time during the ideation phase. With the time pressure of the course in mind you are likely to just go with an idea and make the best of that as otherwise you could run out of time. Next time I would focus less on the time and more on coming up with an idea that everyone believes in right from the start and that is chosen after thorough consideration.
If you could give one piece of advice to others who are going down this same path, what would it be?
Do not let critical feedback or time pressure scare you but focus on what you believe in to be a good idea and try to make the best of that.
Would you recommend MSDE to anyone? Why?
Some courses are more challenging to take because they are relatively new but the nice thing about JADS is that your feedback to improve the courses is really appreciated.
I would also recommend the master to people who like to learn a little bit from a lot of different sides to data science and are very business oriented or like to start their own data-driven business in the future. When you want to go more into depth within the technical field of data science and not necessarily want to focus on the business side or want to work with real life cases, I would recommend to consider applying for the data science in engineering master at the TU/e. Overall, I would recommend this master to people who like a challenge.