- Manya Jain

Term : October, 2016
Department : Business and Management, Engineering
Program : Project and Program Management, Database and Data Analytics

When Manya Jain moved from India to California with her husband, she had already worked as a financial data analyst with a few projects in process optimization for six years. Her daughter was only six months old, so she decided to research creative ways to keep up her skillset until she was ready to enter the American job market. She was delighted to discover that UCSC Extension’s Project and Program Management and Database and Data Analytics programs both presented practical course work that she could apply toward her career. Within nine months of enrolling, Jain had completed both certificates, gained internship experience at a local startup, and accepted a job as a financial planning analyst at the University of Washington. Though her husband’s career ultimately took her to Seattle, she credits her experience at UCSC Extension as a great starting point for her in the United States.

What overlap did you see between Project and Program Management and Database and Data Analytics?

Both programs completely tied in with my work experience in India, and the work I did at my internship. My experience is in financial data analysis; I did a lot of complex modelling, reporting acting as decision support to senior management and business using various tools and databases. The programs at UCSC Extension helped me understand analytics, and the courses closely mirrored my job experience. The courses complemented each other, and helped me when I got an internship. I was very happy with the curriculum, and with how flexible the program is. It’s a great fit for women like me, who have young children at home and want to develop job skills at their own pace. Everything worked in the direction I wanted.

What skills were you hoping to learn?

I worked in analysis in India, and at UCSC Extension I learned more about analytics. With analytics you can better your business or projects’ performance. You can build interactive dashboards and experiment with different platforms. Even though I had the background in analysis, this program helped me pick up where I left off. I was also able to apply these skills to my internship at the startup, where I was able to practice what I was learning and see how it all worked.

Describe your experience as an international student.

It was amazing how the international program staff were so ready to help international students. There are a lot of things to keep in mind about student’s immigration, such as how we can maintain our status, when is OPT applicable. I felt good going to a school where they listen to your situation and help you solve the problems. The entire team was amazing in helping me navigate the required paperwork.

What was your internship like?

I interned at a local startup, where I worked with Tableau and other data analytics platforms. Both my Project Management and Data Analytics courses were so relevant to the work we were doing. One day I’d be studying for class and the next day we are discussing the same topics at our organization. I was later offered a job there, but because our family is relocating to Seattle, I wasn’t able to accept it.

What were your instructors like?

I loved that my professors shared firsthand their experiences in the field. They were really knowledgable and were ready to answer my questions. A few of my instructors gave me links and recommendations on LinkedIn, which I found added to my credibility while applying for work.

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