Skip to main content

Implementing algorithms to find ‘fake news’ and learning new coding languages: Michael’s story

Michael Lawrence shares his experience of studying the MSc Economics for Business Intelligence and Systems and why the Practice Track was a highlight.

Exploring big data and tech

I studied my Economics undergraduate degree here in Bath, with the expectation that I would go on to work in a traditional financial role such as trading. However, over time I became intrigued by the impact of data on these financial institutions.

Whilst writing my dissertation, my supervisor told me about a new master’s course he had been involved in creating; MSc Economics for Business Intelligence and Systems. The course seemed to fit my interests perfectly, allowing me to maintain the financial and economic side of my education, whilst further exploring the impact of data and technology on business.

The course combines elements of economics, maths, computer science and business, and finishes with a ‘Practice Track’ consultancy project where you can apply your knowledge.

Applying my learning at the ONS

The Practice Track element of this course was a key reason I applied. However, I don’t think I truly appreciated its value until I experienced it first-hand.

I was lucky enough to secure a project with the Office for National Statistics (ONS), where I worked alongside a peer from my course. We were tasked with implementing algorithms that would automate the identification of ‘fake news’ on Twitter. A fascinating and very current topic!

It was fantastic to be given so much responsibility. I saw the process through from start to finish, creating algorithms, writing reports and testing our methods.

I also managed to build up a great relationship with my supervisor at the ONS, so much so, that I was asked to give a talk to an ONS team around the research I had done.

For me, the Practice Track was the best part of the course. The experience I gained in a relatively short amount of time has been invaluable.

Skills gained over and above my expectations

In addition to the skills I gained whilst undertaking the Practice Track, the course also introduced me to coding.

In fact, I can now confidently say that I have worked on projects in five different coding languages from Python to SQL. This is a huge benefit to my own personal development, and these are real buzz-words in the industry I am now employed in.

Optimising my career trajectory

Studying the MSc Economics for Business Intelligence and Systems has helped me carve out a niche in terms of my future employment.

From my undergraduate degree, I was equipped with an economic and financial background already. This master’s has built on that and given me a deeper insight into data and technology, therefore broadening the opportunities available to me.

My current role is working as an Associate Consultant for Capco, a global technology and management consultancy. I work within one of our clients, providing data analyst services The knowledge I gained on the master’s has really helped me succeed in the role so far.

If you are considering this course…

My advice is to make the most of the Practice Track project.

Network within the company you are working with and ask the broader questions you may not have the chance to when you are fully immersed into your postgraduate career.

Prepare to be surprised by the range of skills you will gain and be ready to apply these in the world of work.

Interested in studying MSc Economics for Business Intelligence and Systems?

Explore this course