At the end of the first semester, when deadlines and exams were just around the corner, we had the pleasure to meet two BIPM alumni – Marvin König and Julian Spöri. They work at ML!PA Consulting GmbH, and they spoke with a great enthusiasm about their work and the BIPM program that helped them to build a great foundation for their future career. At the end of the lecture, they shared some useful tips related to exams, practical projects and how to make the most out of our master.

ML!PA Consulting GmbH, finalist of the 2017 Microsoft Internet of Things (IoT) Partner of the Year Award, is a Berlin based IT consulting company. The company helps their clients to solve problems with the help of IoT, digitalization, multi-level predictive analytics, data analytics and business intelligence.

During the first part of the lecture, Marvin and Julian talked about a recent project at ML!PA called “Smart Chain”. The project is developed by the company igus®, the world market leader for energy chains made of tribo-optimized plastics. The plastic chains igus® produces are equipped with modern sensors and networked with other components. ML!PA provides igus® with customized sensors, specifically designed to be integrated into the plastic chains, with efficient power consumption and low data frequency, being able to operate in areas with bad internet connection. The goal is to minimize production downtime through real time analysis of sensor data. The sensors generate data regarding the chains usage and predict maintenance intervals. With this technology, built on Microsoft Azure, it can be predicted when a service or replacement of the asset is due, reducing the likelihood of unexpected incidents.

The second half of the lecture had a Q&A format and was dedicated to reflect on the BIPM program. Marvin and Julian prepared some hypothesis regarding our studies in order to see what impressions we have formed so far, how we find the courses, the technologies we learn, the practical projects and where we see ourselves after completing. The idea was to compare our expectations as current master students with their experience as program alumni. We were super curious to see their answers. Some of the hypothesis discussed are the following:

Q: Will the program make you a „full equipped“ data scientist?

Maybe not, but it will provide a solid foundation of core concepts and most popular machine learning algorithms. If this is the career path one might choose as BIPM graduate than they will be well equipped to compete in today’s job market. But of course, every career path is a continuous learning process. Also, everything that looks like rocket science at first sight can be understood. This is the attitude we acquired as BIPM master students.

The main language we use for data analysis is Python, which is the “Excel of the 21st century” for a lot of jobs today. But even if our future job required us to use another language, for example R, many concepts could still be applied and reused.

Q: Will the program prepare you for a management position?

Besides the technical part, the program has a great focus on the strategic aspect as well. We also agreed that for having a management position someone need to have some natural leaderships skills too. If this is the case, then the program offers good knowledge in order to be a manager who “knows stuff” and from whom the employees can learn.

Q. Are all the subjects from the BIPM program useful?

During the first semester, we have worked on different interesting projects for Data Science, Data Warehousing, Business Process Management and Strategic Issues of IT. We collaborated with real companies and the practical skills we acquired while working on these projects are definitely very valuable and useful. All the courses are connected with each other, and Marvin and Julian confirmed that almost everything they learned during the master helped them in their current job.

Professional appearance and the way Marvin and Julian carried the presentation made a very good impression on us. Only after two years after the gradation, they are highly knowledgeable young professionals passionate about the work they are doing. Their example inspired us to stay focused on our studies, work hard, and the results will follow. Inspired by the glimpse of our potential future, we got ready to tackle the exams. 🙂

Authors: Ana Maria Cuciuc and Ekaterina Diachkova (BIPM Students)