Students and Alumni

UBC MDS attracts bright minds from a wide range of backgrounds. Find out more about our students and alumni read about what they were doing prior to joining the program, their experience during the program, and their journey ahead.


Employment Status 6 and 12 Months After Graduation

Employment Positions

Data Science Consultant/Contractor Software Engineer
Software Developer/Data Engineer Research and Innovation Intern
Data Scientist Machine Learning Engineer
Data Management Engineer Consultant
Data Manager Technical Business Analyst
Data Engineer Analyst
Data Analyst Faculty, Operations Management
Research Analyst Application Architect
Faculty/Data Analyst in Residence  

Job Location

Alumni Incomes

Top Industries Worked In

* Based on MDS Vancouver alumni survey responses 6 months and 1 year after graduation

Previous Degree

Where Students Come From

Previous Degree Level

Gender Identification

44% 56%
Female Male

Years Since Last Degree

Class Size

* Based on all MDS Vancouver cohorts to date


Previous degree


Previous Degree Level

Years Since Last Degree

Gender Identification

41% 59%
Female Male

Class Size

* Based on all MDS Okanagan cohorts to date

Computational Linguistics

Previous Degree


Previous degree

Years Since Last Degree

Gender Identification

67% 33%
Female Male

* Based on all MDS Computational Linguistics cohorts to date



Student and Alumni Profiles

Carrie Cheung, Data Scientist at NuData Security, A Mastercard Company

“The MDS program gave me the confidence to explain and reason through data-related decisions.”

Previous Degree:  Bachelor of Arts, Double Major in Computer Science and Psychology, University of British Columbia
Program:  MDS Vancouver, Class of 2019

When I looked at the [MDS] curriculum, it was a really good range of relevant topics that I could tell was carefully designed and curated to fit within a ten-month window and also included a capstone project. That timeline really appealed to me as someone who was coming in as a working professional wanting to take that plunge but not wanting to do it for two or four year.

About Carrie Cheung

Prior to the MDS program, Carrie worked for Boeing Vancouver in various roles including one as a data scientist. While at Boeing, Carrie analyzed flight sensor data, which opened her eyes to a world where programming and math can be applied to data to solve business problems. Carrie holds a Bachelor of Arts, Double Major in Computer Science and Psychology from the University of British Columbia. Since graduating, Carrie is now a data scientist for NuData Security – A MasterCard company. Read Carrie's story.

Birinder Singh

Birinder Singh, Data Scientist at Integra Data and Analytics Solutions

“[MDS’] extensive and comprehensive curriculum was not being covered at any of the other programs within this short span of ten months.”

Previous Degree: Integrated MTech, Geophysical Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2019

I was already curious and reading articles about the developments in machine learning and doing Kaggle competitions and some online courses. If I was only doing online courses, I would have missed a lot. MDS taught me what skills were important and how to connect the dots while providing guidance that is missing from online courses.

About Birinder Singh

Originally from Amritsar, India, Birinder worked for Schlumberger for almost 5 years as a Petro Technical Engineer. It was falling oil prices that prompted Birinder to find a way to better utilize available data to create value for its clients. Birinder holds an Integrated MTech, Geophysical Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. Since completing the program, Birinder is now a data scientist for Integra Data and Analytics Solutions, a Calgary-based company that provides data science solutions to the oil and gas industry. Read Birinder's story.

Heather Van Tassel, MDS Vancouver - Class of 2019

Heather Van Tassel, Data Scientist at Floka

“The years of knowledge and expertise that the MDS teachers have is priceless. Even if I did sit down and try to learn data science, I wouldn't know where to start or what to focus on.”

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science, Integrated Science: Biochemistry and Neuroscience, University of British Columbia
Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2019

Even though at first I was skeptical about whether the MDS program would be worth the investment, and also extremely nervous about the intensity of the program, given my limited coding skills, I could not be happier with the knowledge, experience and job opportunities I have gained through the program, and would recommend it to anyone looking to challenge themselves and help shape their career towards utilizing these exciting, powerful and innovative data science tools. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time and am inspired to continue adding diversity to the field as a woman in data science.

About Heather Van Tassel

As Heather was completing her biochemistry and neuroscience degree at the University of British Columbia, she took a biostatistics course which became her doorway into data science. A MDS alumna and UBC professor encouraged her to apply to the MDS program. What appealed to Heather the most about the MDS program was how inclusive it was in accepting students from all backgrounds who don’t necessarily have a strong background in computer science. Heather feels that the MDS program gave her the hands-on skills and knowledge to actually be able to help businesses find value and insights from their data for real-world impacts. Read Heather's story.

Vaghul Balaji, MDS Okanagan – 2019

Vaghul Balaji, Data Scientist at HSBC

"When I was looking for a program to take my career to the next level, I found the program at UBC and it ticked all of my boxes – it’s accelerated, it’s in a field that I really like, and gives me the skills that I need for the current trend in the market; it satisfied everything I was looking for."

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Engineering – Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore
Prior Experience: Technology Developer & Analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2019

I’ve always been intrigued by the power of computers and what you can program them to do. After some time as a developer and analyst, I realized, that I don’t want to be a traditional or a standard software engineer. I want to get into my own niche area, and I really like the field of data science, especially these days with the amount of data that’s out there.  When I was looking for a program to take my career to the next level, I found the program at UBC and it ticked all of my boxes – it’s accelerated, it’s in a field that I really like, and gives me the skills that I need for the current trend in the market; it satisfied everything I was looking for.

About Vaghul Balaji

Vaghul spent four years in the financial services industry where he began as a software developer before transitioning to the role of business analyst. Since childhood, he has been fascinated by technology, the power of computers, and what you can do with them. That is even more true today than it was then, with the amount of data in today’s world. During his time as an undergraduate student at the National University of Singapore, he did an exchange program that led to a term spent at the University of Ottawa, where he fell in love with Canada. When he decided it was time for a career change, Canada and data science were the two key requirements. Vaghul was part of the first cohort of MDS students on the Okanagan campus and graduated in the summer of 2019. He is now a data scientist with HSBC in Toronto, Ontario. Meet Vaghul.

Kira Wiese, MDS Okanagan-2019

Kira Wiese, Financial Data Analyst at Mattamy Homes

"I really like that the program is 10-months and all course based. After coming from a degree focused on theory, I was really looking to gain practical knowledge."

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science – Statistics, University of Calgary
Program: MDS Okanagan, Class of 2019

Growing up in rural Alberta, my first step away from home was pursuing an undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary. With an analytical but also creative personality, I was unsure of which path was my best fit. It was not until I completed my first statistics course that I started to see the applications of data analysis – whether it was in health care or agriculture, or anything, really. I gained a firm theoretical knowledge of statistics, but still wanted to see the real-world outcomes of my numbers. In the MDS program I’m getting the more practical training—the programming and the real-world applications—to accompany my theoretical knowledge.  

About Kira Wiese

Originally from Medicine Hat, Alberta, Kira got her undergraduate degree in statistics, with a minor in actuarial science, from the University of Calgary. Having excelled there, she began looking for career paths that would let her put her love of numbers to practical and important use. A fellow undergraduate told her about the MDS program at UBC, and when she saw it was being offered at the Okanagan campus – a smaller learning environment she thought might better suit her desire for a more close-knit, personal experience – all of the pieces seemed to fall into place. Kira hopes to be able to combine the practical skills she is learning in the MDS with the theoretical skills gained in her undergraduate degree to pursue a career interpreting data for industries relevant to her home region, like agriculture, oil and gas. Since completing the program, Kira is working as a financial data analyst with Mattamy Homes, North America's largest privately owned homebuilder. Meet Kira.

Mohsen Zardadi, Data Scientist at Terra Sense Analytics

"I have found people in Kelowna are so friendly and easy to connect and students might find much better opportunities here. I strongly recommend students to consider small communities like Kelowna rather than just focusing on big communities." 


Previous Degree: PhD, Electrical Engineering, University of Birjand
Program: MDS Okanagan – Class of 2019

I have been working with image data for a long time so, I was kind of familiar with machine learning, AI, and programming. I believe what we are doing with big data, machine learning, and AI is just the tip of the iceberg. It is like the internet in the 90s. I did so much research and talked to many people before I make my decision and switch to data science. 

About Mohsen

Mohsen has a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Birjand and worked for Burnaby-based Kardium, a medical devices company, as a Usability Team Member. It was while in this role, he could see that everything is getting affected by machine learning and AI and saw a bright future for data science. Since graduating, Mohsen works as a data scientist for Kelowna-based TerraSense Analytics.

Ayla Pearson, MDS Vancouver - Class of 2019

“The MDS program was exactly what I wanted to be able to do with data, which is to turn data into meaningful actions and be able to create decisions from them.”

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science, Chemistry – University of Victoria
Prior Experience: Resource Clerk, Province of British Columbia

I've been looking for data science master's programs for months. Nothing really clicked and as soon as I read the MDS program description, it was exactly what I wanted to do and that is being able to use already collected data to answer decisions to create solutions and to try and get new information out of it which was everything that I was trying to do in my work already but didn't really have the skills to do it or the confidence.

About Ayla Pearson

Hailing from Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Ayla initially wanted to pursue a master’s in biology but couldn’t find the right program. Ayla realized that she preferred to do the data analysis side of biology versus going out in the field and collecting the data but she didn’t think that she could. A conversation with her mother made Ayla realize that she could separate those careers. Ayla enjoyed the fast-paced environment of the MDS program and the small classes allowed her to engage with other students and faculty on a one-to-one basis. Ayla will be returning to her role as a resource clerk with the Ministry of Forests Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development but hopes to transition into a data science role within the organization in the near-future. Ayla holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry from the University of Victoria. Read Ayla's story.

Jordan Dubchak, MDS Vancouver - 2018

Jordan Dubchak, Data & Analytics Analyst at Slalom

“Having the support of a very dedicated team of instructors along with the environment of your fellow students who have all such different backgrounds is my favorite thing of the program because you're learning so much not only from your instructors and your TA’S but also the people around you because they have different specialized skills.”

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science - Biology, University of British Columbia
Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2018

I took my first computer science course in the last term of my undergraduate degree, which lead to a change in career path. The switch to data science began through self-learning, and my curiosity lead me to the MDS program. I was initially drawn to the program by the accelerated format and believed the structure of the fundamental data science materials would best set me up for success in my new field.  

About Jordan Dubchak

Between Jordan’s undergraduate and MDS degrees, Jordan worked as a preschool teacher. Since MDS graduation, Jordan has been working as a consultant for Slalom Consulting - Silicon Valley,  helping Fortune 100 companies solve their data problems. 

Ted Haley - Applied Materials and Software Engineer

Ted Haley, Applied Materials & Software Engineer at UBC

"Coming from a Civil Engineering background, I was initially unsure if the MDS program would benefit me. My uncertainty was quickly put at ease seeing more and more industries leveraging the benefits of Data Science. There is tremendous opportunity to use the skills learned in the MDS program and apply them to solve hard problems in traditionally low-tech industries."


Previous Degree: Bachelors of Applied Science in Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia
Prior Experience: RJC Engineers
Program:  MDS Vancouver, Class of 2018

I came to the UBC MDS program because I knew that I wanted to learn as much about Data Science as I could and I wanted to broaden my skill set. The UBC MDS program accomplished this by supplying students with world-class educators and by providing engaging labs to apply this theoretical knowledge, in a hands-on environment. I learned a lot this way in the short 10-month program, but I also can attribute this to having helpful and knowledgeable peers, and thought-provoking work. This program attracts brilliant people from all over the globe, and I'm very pleased to have them as friends and potential future colleagues. 

About Ted Haley

Ted is a civil engineer with 6 years of experience in construction management and consulting industries. He has experience managing construction projects from minor renovations to multi-billion dollar design-build projects. He hopes to apply his skills from the MDS program in conjunction with his experience from the consulting industry to solve tough problems facing society and industry. Since graduating, Ted is now an applied software and materials engineer with the University of British Columbia where he has developed a data management platform for an automated robotics platform using Python.

Rodrigo Coronado, MDS Class of 2017

Rodrigo Coronado, Director for Advanced Analytics at Avande

"MDS gave me a great insight into the data science value chain, and provided me with a deep understanding of algorithms, statistical models and development practices."

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Management Information Systems, Technologico de Monterrey
Prior Experience: Hewlett Packard, Microsoft
Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2017

With my background in business and global enterprises, combined with the data science experience I gained in MDS, I’m eager to pursue a strategic role translating the benefits of data science into business value. I’m passionate about how enterprises and society are leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning—from retailers using AI bots, warehouses powered on AI robots, utility companies forecasting energy demand, hospitals automating triage processes, and researchers predicting heart attacks. I get excited thinking about the possibilities of applying my skills to drive change in industry and in the world.

About Rodrigo Coronado

Prior to completing the UBC Master of Data Science program, Rodrigo earned a degree in management information systems. He has a wide range of experience leading delivery teams and international projects and has worked with Hewlett Packard and Microsoft for 18 years in a diverse set of positions in business development, project management, enterprise applications, and global enterprise architecture practices. Rodrigo currently works as the Director of Advanced Analytics for Avanade in Calgary, Alberta.

Nasim Taba

Nasim Taba, Data Scientist at BC Stats

"I am excited to participate fully in the sweeping changes in data science, and the ideal next step is to use my MDS knowledge for social good. I am interested in exploring factors that contribute to youth homelessness; using hard data to shed light on social patterns may help alleviate problems of teenagers and their families."

Previous Degree: Master of Management Sciences, University of Waterloo
Prior Experience: Deloitte
Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2017

In the MDS program, I learned to extract and analyze data from both unstructured and structured forms and communicate the findings to enable organizations to make informed decisions based on data. We were well trained in Python, R, and SQL. Projects included working with both structured and non-structured data; data cleaning and imputation; applying cleaned data to various machine learning models to provide multivariate assessments, classification and prediction; visualizing data using Matplotlib, Shiny app and ggplot.

About Nasim Taba

Nasim Taba has more than 4 years of management consulting experience gained through her career at Deloitte IT Consulting. With experience in implementing small and large scale IT project implementations for Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, Nasim has experience working throughout the entire project lifecycle. From managing JAD sessions with stakeholders, developing functional design and specifications to quality and transformation requirements to developing test cases for highly complex projects, she has also simultaneously managed project staff and resources to ensure all milestones are delivered on time and within budget.

Kai He, MDS Class of 2017

Kai He, Data Scientist at BGC Engineering

"My capstone project involved Natural Language Processing using topic modelling tools, where I learned about not only model and feature selection, but also collaboration, exploratory data analysis process, and much more."

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science, University of British Columbia
Prior Experience: University of British Columbia, Bioinformatics Laboratory
Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2017

I realized early on in my undergraduate studies that I also have a strong interest in mathematics and computer science. I took many math and algorithm electives while studying Life Sciences, and decided that I'd like to learn more about how to process large amount of raw data, build practical statistical models, and derive insightful and actionable solutions. That's exactly what I learned in this intense, accelerated program. I was trained in data wrangling, machine learning as well as communicating my ideas and insights as a data scientist.

About Kai He

Kai has worked in multiple Bioinformatics labs as a data analyst/research assistant. He is currently a Data Scientist at BGC Engineering, where he is applying machine learning techniques to real industrial problems in the field of geoengineering. He believes that this is a new domain with a large amount of data in all forms, such as time series, unstructured text, images, and even 50-year-old paper maps with coffee stains on them. He is learning more everyday and is very excited to find new ways of utilizing all the historical data. 

Nada Salem, MDS Class of 2017

Nada Salem, Data Scientist at Microsoft

"My goal is to empower management to make better and more informed data driven decisions for the organization."

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Carnegie Mellon University
Prior Experience: EY
Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2017

My background as a management consultant as well as my MDS degree have made me aware of the value a data scientist can drive from large amounts of information already present inside an institution. This program has allowed me to amass a large amount of skills that extend from data wrangling and visualization to training machine learning models and algorithms. Hear more about Nada's story.

About Nada Salem

Nada has 2 years of experience as a management consultant and has worked on solving business problems through structured and data-based analyses to improve client performance. Prior to being a consultant, Nada completed a degree in business administration with a focus on marketing analytics. With a passion in Behavioral Economics, Nada’s thesis analyzed and classified consumer risk-taking behavior using a wide range of features collected from various data sources. Nada is currently working as a data science contractor for Microsoft.

Subi Zhang - MDS Vancouver, Class of 2017

Subi Zhang, Data Science Consultant at Delloite

"My passion is to understand and empower business through data science approaches."

Previous Degree: Bachelor of Management, Beijing Forestry University 
Prior Experience: Xiaomi, Publicis Media
Program: MDS Vancouver, Class of 2017

Two years ago, I decided to make a bold career change moving from human resources into data analysis. I made it happen through the UBC MDS program. MDS helped me gain the knowledge and skill sets required as a data science professional. The final capstone project was amazing: I obtained hands-on industrial experience on real-world data science problems in a collaborative manner. As an international student, I also felt MDS provided an excellent immersive environment that greatly improved my English in a short period of time.

About Subi Zhang

Subi is a self-motivated learner who keeps extending her career through her curiosity for business and technology. She started her career as a technical recruiter at Xiaomi supporting the advertising algorithm team, where she got in-depth exposure to multiple business applications in machine learning. This peaked her interest in data science and she took a job as a data analyst in Publicis Media where she helped advertising clients make informed decisions. She is currently employed as a Data Science Consultant at Deloitte in Toronto, Ontario.