An Inside Look at the Master of Science in Quantitative Management Program

Mu Gao headshot
Mu Gao (BS '19, MSQM '21), a recent Stern undergraduate alumna, is now on her way to earning her second degree from the School in the Master of Science in Quantitative Management (MSQM) program, a new degree program that provides students with a forward-thinking blend of business foundations, leadership & analytics. With the launch of the MSQM program in 2019, Stern became the only leading business school in the U.S. to offer an online master's in management, and Mu is part of the inaugural cohort. She shared her experience with the program and how the degree is helping her achieve her career goals. 

Tell us a bit about your Stern background, including what drew you to the School as an undergraduate.

Like many NYU students, I was drawn to New York City because it is so diverse and offers all kinds of opportunities. I had always wanted to study in business, so Stern became my top choice naturally. I concentrated in finance and marketing with a minor in computer science at Courant. I was a member of Beta Alpha Psi, a business honor society. Currently, I am working as a digital product manager at Citi, managing the user experience of upgrading their banking products through the mobile app and the website.

How did you first hear about the MSQM program, and what appealed to you about it?

I learned about the MSQM program though an email communication sent to Stern alumni last year. It was very appealing to me because data analytics is an important part of my day-to-day job. I hope to leverage what I learn about R and SQL in this program to help me better navigate through user data to further enhance the user experience and drive more digital engagement. But most importantly, I can complete the coursework at night while working full-time during the day, and I can just learn everything at home on my computer. 

How has your experience been with taking classes online so far?

Taking classes online is much more flexible, as most materials/lessons are self-paced, so it works out pretty well for working professionals. I try to attend weekly live online meetups whenever I can because they provide an opportunity to get real-time feedback from faculty and classmates. Every class is structured similarly, so I know what to expect when starting a course.

What courses did you particularly enjoy in your first semester of classes?

My favorites classes were R Programming and Statistical Modeling in my first semester. I had always enjoyed coding, so I was excited about getting myself familiar with a new language. They also served as a good technical foundation for classes that are coming in the pipeline.

What are your career goals once you’ve completed the MSQM program? 

As I mentioned before, my goal is to pick up some data analytics knowledge to add to my product management skillset. After this program, I hope to advance my career in digital product management. 

What would you say to other Stern undergraduate alumni like yourself who might consider the MSQM program?

If you see that learning business analytics can complement your career focus, I would say go for it. However, please make sure that you have a work/life balance that will allow you to keep up with classes so that you will not exhaust yourself.

The online MSQM is a 20-month program, with a new cohort starting in August 2020. For some students like Mu, the program can be an alternative to an MBA, offering the opportunity to grow one's technical foundation and data literacy skills. For others, this online degree can also offer a possible path to Stern's Langone Part-time MBA Program. GMAT/GRE waivers are also available for NYU alumni (supplemental essay required). Learn more about the MSQM program.