When Gaurav Ganve first discovered the concepts of 'big data' and 'analytics', he reckoned data mining and machine learning could generate some of the most exciting career opportunities of the 21st century.
After completing an engineering degree in his native India, Gaurav worked for a couple of years as a database administrator in Mumbai. He wanted to experience another culture as well as improve his qualifications, so he began researching study opportunities overseas.
He found Otago's Master of Business Data Science. “It was perfect for me, offering nice practical experience based on a good theoretical background. It was open-ended and had all the right subjects including marketing and business.
“Otago is one of the top universities in the world and is well-known for its research, and the one-year course was just what I needed, so I applied as an international student.”
Settling in was no problem. “New Zealand people are warm-hearted and friendly — they always greet you with a smile and say hello, which doesn't happen very often in my home country.
“I had some great discussions with people I met and my fellow students and professors, who always gave everyone a chance to express their opinions, so we were exposed to a lot of new ideas.
“Study at Otago was the opposite of Mumbai, being more practical than theoretical, and we were not spoon-fed but had to do our own research after the concepts had been outlined to us.
“If you got stuck the professors were very helpful. You could go to them with the smallest problem and they would lead you through it until you understood. I really enjoyed my time at the University of Otago.”
After graduating, Gaurav found work as a data analyst in Wellington, involved in projects for a number of large companies, helping them understand and use gathered information to guide them in marketing their businesses.