- Course: Data Science and Analytics MSc
- Year of graduation: 2022
After completing her undergraduate degree in software engineering, Yanlan worked for several years in both a consulting company and a pharmaceutical company. During this time, she discovered her interest in data science and statistics and decided to pause her career to pursue a master's degree in this field.
Reflecting on her choice to study Data Science and Analytics MSc, she said: “Studying at the University of Leeds was an amazing memory in my life and I believe it was a wise decision to do so. While the city is less crowded than other cities, it has its own unique culture and character.”
Studying at the University of Leeds was an amazing memory in my life and I believe it was a wise decision to do so.
Flexible optional modules
The data science and analytics course includes modules from the School of Mathematics, the School of Computing, the School of Geography, and Leeds University Business School. In addition to the compulsory modules, you are free to choose other modules that interest you or that you would like to explore in more depth. Yanlan added: “There are many resources available in the School of Mathematics and throughout the University of Leeds, so don't hesitate to ask for help if you have any questions or confusions.”
Developing skills in statistical analysis
Yanlan’s dissertation involved applying various survival analysis methods to build a model and analyse data. “The dissertation project I completed helped to advance my career. Survival analysis is a widely used method for analyzing clinical data in clinical trials, a field I'm passionate about exploring in-depth.”
“Through completing this project, I broadened my knowledge in statistical analysis, improved my technical skills, and achieved a great result with the guidance of my supervisor. I believe this project will continue to benefit my future career and guide me closer to my professional goals.” As a result, Yanlan received a special commendation from the Royal Statistical Society Leeds – Bradford.
The dissertation project I completed helped to advance my career. Through completing this project, I broadened my knowledge in statistical analysis, improved my technical skills, and achieved a great result with the guidance of my supervisor.
Yanlan attended language zone classes, joined Leeds clubs, attended industry activities, and more, all of which helped her in her career. “The most important experience for me was learning to dare to try. I learned to not be shy about asking for help, to socialize without fear, to embrace my differences, and to be brave enough to accept challenges.”
Additionally, Yanlan had the chance to attend several outdoor trips organized by the Get Out, Get Active (GOGA) programme, which she really enjoyed. She said: “Attending these trips was a great opportunity to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds and to experience the local countryside. In my spare time, I also enjoyed visiting Leeds' local museums and art galleries, which helped me to release stress. I also attended events in local businesses during Leeds' digital festival and was able to build connections with people.”
Attending these trips was a great opportunity to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds and to experience the local countryside.
Libraries and study spaces
For Yanlan, one of the best aspects of studying at the University was the library. She really enjoyed studying in the Edward Boyle library, which has a great learning atmosphere and bookable study spaces for group discussions.
She said: “The lawn around the library was the perfect place to relax when I was tired of studying. I usually chose a seat near the window, where I could feel the blossoming of spring, the brightness of summer, the freshness of autumn, and the snow of winter, even while inside. I felt very happy, relaxed, and fulfilled when I walked out of the library at night and truly felt that life was great and that I was lucky!”
Building a career in data science
After completing her master’s degree, Yanlan joined The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in September 2022 as a Data Manager for preclinical drug discovery in the Division of Cancer Therapeutics. She said: “My main responsibilities include supporting the management of biological preclinical research data generated in the Cancer Therapeutics Unit (CTU), working closely with CTU scientists and the data management team to develop and integrate biological data workflows into the system and Oracle data warehouses, and developing data queries to provide quick web-based visualizations of key biological screening data for use by the drug discovery project teams.”
My main responsibilities include supporting the management of biological preclinical research data generated in the Cancer Therapeutics Unit.