Dec 17 • 3 min read
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Eric Eisenstein

Although it is cold, please allow me to extend the warmest welcome from the Fox Business Analytics program to all of you (even if it is warm wherever you are!).  Obviously, it has been a rather unusual semester, given the challenges presented by COVID-19; however, the MSBA remains strong, and our students continue to thrive.  As faculty, alumni, recruiters, and supporters of the MSBA program of the Department of Statistical Science at the Fox School of Business, we much for which we should be grateful, in spite of the challenges that we face.

On the challenging side, clearly Covid-19 has been a major disruption on multiple levels.  Many of our international students could not make it to America in time for the fall semester due to pandemic-related restrictions.  Although we missed them in this class, they will most likely join us in September 2021, when we hope that the pandemic will be waning.  As you are aware, a separate challenge involved moving all classes online.  Although challenging, this was also an opportunity, as we have been planning a soft-launch of an online program for some time.  Our faculty are conversant with online teaching, things went smoothly, and online classes will continue for the future.

It seems that everyone on the planet is suffering from “Zoom fatigue”, but there are some upsides!  Being online has empowered everyone to meet online for events that previously would only have been held in-person.  For the MSBA, this actually allowed us to increase the number of events we have held.  Over the fall semester, the MSBA Program, in partnership with Fox CSPD or the Fox Analytics Student Association, held a Careers in Data Science event with Vanguard, a Data Science Panel discussion with representatives from Rothman, the Federal Government, and the Phillies, and multiple coffee and other alumni events, all of which were very successful. 

We in the analytics field have much to be grateful for. Demand for Analytics graduates continues to be robust.  Both analytics jobs and teaching are amenable to remote work, and everyone is adapting about as well as possible.  Our Fox MSBA degree remains one of the most flexible and in-demand graduate programs, and this is a fantastic time to get back to school.  Investing in education, and then “graduating into the recovery” is a time-honored strategy for superior return on one’s educational investment. 

The success of the MSBA depends on so many people:  our faculty, dedicated staff around Fox, and particularly our Assistant Director, Samar Khan.  This holiday season, please accept our warmest wishes for a healthy and happy holidays from all of us.  At this, the darkest time of year, we all look forward to a new, bright year in 2021, with a Covid vaccine and an ebbing pandemic.  Please keep in touch with the MSBA community via LinkedIn, and keep in touch with all of us at Fox. Look for more opportunities to get together in the future, which will be especially convenient given the virtual format, and we can all look forward to seeing each other in person again soon.

Warmly,

Eric M. Eisenstein,

Academic Director, MSBA

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