Accenture Data Science master's scholarship awarded to Kinga Ritter '18

Kinga Ritter

The 2017-18 Accenture Data Science Scholarship has been awarded to Kinga Ritter '18. The scholarship includes a full tuition waiver for the Barcelona GSE Data Science master's program and an industrial practicum at the Accenture Analytics Innovation Center during the final term of the academic year.

In order to be considered for the scholarship, candidates must have an outstanding academic background and a demonstrated interest in working as a data scientist in a consulting firm.

Ms. Ritter is the second recipient of the Accenture scholarship. The first recipient was Daniel Bestard (Data Science '17), who completed the Master's Degree and his practicum with Accenture in July and is now a Data Scientist at Bluekiri (OTA Logitravel Group) in Mallorca.

The data science scholarship demonstrates Accenture's confidence in the potential of Barcelona GSE students. The consulting firm comes to the Barcelona GSE to give recruitment talks to students in all master programs, and over the years has hired Barcelona GSE graduates for consultant and analyst positions in its offices in Barcelona, Johannesburg, Milan, Stockholm, and Verona.

Interview: Kinga Ritter '18, recipient of the Accenture Data Science Scholarship

1. How did you decide to get into the Data Science field?

Before joining the Barcelona GSE, I graduated in Economics at the Central European University, Budapest. I was always interested in Statistics and Economics, as recovering the reality from data, and understanding the forces forming our surroundings fascinated me. My work experience made it clear that there are lots of new challenges in the area of “big data”, and I wanted to engage in these. The Barcelona GSE Data Science Program is an amazing combination of understanding the theory and application of the methods we acquired.

2. As someone with a background in Economics and Finance, do you find it advantageous to do your Master's in Data Science at the Barcelona GSE?

I chose the Barcelona GSE as it uniquely combines social sciences with computing skills. For me, it was essential to apply for a program that not only concentrates on cutting-edge technologies and methodologies but combines this toolkit with an economic framework. The program not only develops my skills, but also creates a bridge between the different fields. Shifting between topics is always hard, and the services and support we receive from the faculty helps to figure out how to continue. After being here for a semester, I find my expectations to be fulfilled. The program not only prepares for a possible research path, but also teaches us to analyze real-life problems later.

3. Before the master's, you worked with data both as a researcher and in the private sector. How were these experiences different? Are there similar challenges between the two?

Doing research and working in the private sphere have a very different nature that is also reflected in their approach to handling data. The two areas have completely altering goals, the problems have different time-spans, urgency and magnitude so they usually use different toolkits as well. However, it is easy to pick similarities as well. My greatest challenge in both spheres was collecting meaningful data and preparing them to a format on which further analysis can be carried out. Interpreting and explaining the results to an audience, the importance of which according to my opinion is underrated, plays an essential role in both of them. Also both in business and academia, I was involved in many discussions about the applications of big data methods, and I think both of them are trying to figure out how to incorporate them in their work process.

4. The Accenture scholarship includes the possibility to conduct your industry practicum with Accenture. How do you anticipate that the Master will prepare you to add value that you may not have been able to do before the program?

During the past couple of months I have already experienced the transformation of my approach to data. I have not only deepened my knowledge in statistical inference, but became more computing-literate and learned many new technologies. I strongly believe that by the end of the program I will be able to carry out analysis on my own and pick the method and technology which is the most appropriate to the problem I am facing. Working with Accenture enables me to apply the newly acquired knowledge and skills on real world problems and combining this with the industry knowledge of the company prepares me for my future career.

Master Program in Data Science

Accenture Data Science Scholarship

Accenture Analytics Innovation Center