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University of Michigan School of Information


Faces of UMSI: Saqib Khanbhai

Saqib Khanbhai

As a data science manager for a leading UK travel insurer, MADS student Saqib Khanbhai is already using the knowledge and skills he’s learning in UMSI’s Master of Applied Data Science program in the real world. The work that he does in his position requires skills in areas from data collection to delivering insights from that data.

“The MADS course has modules that cover all aspects of this pipeline and therefore have been useful in each aspect,” says Saqib.

He has applied his new data science skills in his workplace by sharing ways that the company can improve the accuracy of their customer data models. Since there is so much overlap in what he’s learning and what he does for a living, Saqib has found a good balance between his degree program and his job.

“The evenings and weekends for me have been the best times to consume the MADS course materials and work on the assignments,” he says. “Then during the working week I can think about how many of the concepts can be applied within our organization.”

No stranger to online learning, Saqib began his data science journey a few years ago by taking courses on Data Camp, Udemy and Coursera. 

Even with all of these classes under his belt, Saqib felt that the MADS program could provide him with advantages he couldn’t find elsewhere. Not only is MADS more rigorous, but the courses also cover additional aspects of the data science field beyond what he was learning on his own.

The curated approach of the MADS program results in students being well-rounded data science professionals.

Saqib also appreciates the opportunity that MADS provides to work with data science students from different backgrounds. Throughout the program, and especially in the milestone and capstone projects, he has been encouraged to collaborate with his peers. For his capstone, he and a couple of other students used data science techniques to help people who are looking to buy or rent housing in the Ann Arbor area.

“I have found the experience of working collaboratively in both projects and also on those trickier homework assignment questions invaluable as it enables me to evaluate how other people approach similar problems,” Saqib says.

Saqib was able to complete the MADS program in just twelve months and plans to graduate in Dec. 2021.