Graduate Spotlight: Safia Jalil

Safia Jalil, in graduation cap and gown, holds her diploma
Safia Jalil. Photo by 24/7 Digital Media Production

Safia Jalil, a Class of 2023 graduate from Mercer University‘s School of Business, earned a Master of Science in business analytics.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, my plan is to leverage my Master of Science in business analytics degree, coupled with my diverse professional background in digital marketing, to establish a career that bridges the gap between data science and marketing.

Who was your favorite professor and why?

Among my many esteemed professors, Dr. Myriam Quispe-Agnoli, associate professor of economics, and Professor Jody Blanke, Ernest L. Baskin Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Law, hold special significance. Dr. Quispe-Agnoli, my data mining instructor, has inspired me with her nurturing teaching style and passion for the subject. On the other hand, Professor Blanke’s insightful lessons on legal and ethics in big data have made me a better analyst by highlighting the ethical implications of data strategies. Their exceptional guidance has significantly shaped my academic journey.

What is one of your favorite Mercer memories?

One of my favorite memories at Mercer has to be the epic study sessions my friends and I pulled off during our data mining exams. We camped out in the library for more than 24 hours, immersing ourselves in our studies. Additionally, our late-night campus walks created a sense of camaraderie and adventure that made the challenging exam periods bearable and even enjoyable. These experiences, while exhausting, were also incredibly fulfilling and epitomize my Mercer journey.

What was your favorite class and why?

My favorite class at Mercer was data mining. This class provided me with a profound understanding of how to extract meaningful information from vast datasets. It was in this class that I really saw the power of data analytics come to life as we worked through real-world examples and complex case studies. The challenge of turning raw data into strategic insights was truly engaging and further fueled my passion for data analytics. This class was a cornerstone in my academic journey and continues to shape my professional approach.

How do you plan on changing the world?

I strongly believe in the power of data in amplifying the voices of the marginalized and underrepresented, and that’s an area I’m particularly interested in. By translating complex data into understandable insights, I hope to help policymakers make decisions that better serve all communities.

In essence, my plan to change the world is to use the power of data to drive better decision-making, foster sustainable development, promote social justice, and ultimately create a more equitable society.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

Embrace every learning opportunity and keep an open mind. Success comes from a blend of hard work, persistence, and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone. Remember to also make time for self-care and building relationships — these are equally important for a fulfilling university experience.

How did Mercer prepare you for your future?

Mercer’s comprehensive curriculum, combined with real-world projects, sharpened my analytical and problem-solving skills, equipping me for a future in data analytics. Its diverse community also enriched my cultural understanding and collaboration skills, aspects that are crucial in today’s global business environment. Furthermore, the faculty’s mentorship and career guidance have significantly contributed to my readiness for post-graduate opportunities.

What makes Mercer special to you?

To me, Mercer’s special charm lies in its close-knit community, personalized mentorship, and the unique combination of a strong academic curriculum with a real-world application emphasis. It’s a place where I’ve experienced immense personal and professional growth, made lifelong friendships, and found a faculty genuinely invested in my success. The memories created here and the skills acquired will always hold a special place in my heart.

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