Hanhan Wu

Class of 2017.

Tell us a little bit about your life before you enrolled in the Big Data program.

I was born in Nanjing, China, where I completed my undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems (MIS). In 2011, I went to the University of Arizona to pursue my master's in MIS, and, there, I became interested in software development as well as web mining. During my undergrad, I completed an internship as a software development engineer with Amazon.

After graduation, I worked as a software development engineer at Microsoft for two years. In this role, my focus was on back-end software development, databases, reporting dashboard, and ETL. I also had an opportunity to get involved in a big data project alongside data scientists. My time at Microsoft helped me realize that I was good at providing creative solutions, so I asked myself: why not use my strengths in the area of data science? I chose SFU’s Professional Master’s Program in Big Data because I felt that this program would provide me with more complete and advanced skills in data science.

What do you consider the greatest strength of the program?

The "Programming for Big Data" lab course is what I consider the greatest strength of the program. We are able to apply machine learning techniques to big data development in a hands-on, practical way through this lab. Also, everything that we are working on will be transferrable to industry needs when we graduate.

What is the most important thing you have learned in the program so far?

The most important thing I have learned so far is the importance of being resourceful. Professors teach us the knowledge and theory behind data science, so students have the freedom to explore and try different tools and solutions to solve problems or produce better results.  

What types of jobs are you looking for?

I am looking for a position where I can tap into my creativity, knowledge, and skills to extract useful business insights for the organization. I also really enjoy coding, because I love solving problems, so I am open to opportunities that allow me to do this!

What are some of your other interests and hobbies?

I enjoy swimming and jogging. Aside from this, I am studying Chinese history, and I have discovered that the lessons learned from this group of early people can be applied to my own personal and professional life.

What would you tell potential students looking at SFU’s Big Data program?

I believe it is important for students to be able to apply the learning as soon as possible, so that they can gain an in-depth understanding of data science and be more familiar with how big data platforms and services work.  SFU’s Big Data program will provide students with a strong platform for doing this.