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Navigating the AI landscape: Schulich’s MMAI program prepares students for a career in AI

We spoke to Tarnem Afify of the MMAI program at the Schulich School of Business to find out what the program is all about and where it can take you in the field of AI.

In short

The Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence (MMAI) at Schulich

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. With so much growth to come, businesses need the expertise required to implement AI within their organizations. That’s where cutting-edge degrees like the Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence (MMAI) program at York University’s Schulich School of Business come in. 

During the MMAI program, students learn AI fundamentals and how to manage AI implementation within a business. Tarnem Afify, an MMAI student, describes how the program is ideal for students with a background in science or technology. Still, the program also provides an opportunity for students with a pure business background to learn about AI.

“I think it’s important to have a mathematic background. Like a background in mathematics and statistics and technology and maybe computer science before you come here,” Tarnem says. “I have friends who came from pure business … but I think to get the full experience, come from a science background.” (04:19)

How Tarnem came to study AI at Schulich

Tarnem has a personal mission to encourage more women to pursue careers in science. While studying for an undergraduate degree in biophysics, Tarnem founded the Future Women in Physics (FWiP) club. “The student society was advocating for equal opportunities and accessible education. Especially for women in physics and underrepresented communities,” she explains. (00:47)

“This society has done so great, so well. It brought some evolutionary ideas and had impacts on the life of so many. To the point that York University gave me the silver medal when I was graduating from The Faculty of Science. Then gave me the honor of being one of its top 30 under 30.” (01:13)

Of course, Tarnem’s York University story didn’t end with earning a place among the Top 30 Alumni Under 30. Tarnem has returned, this time at Schulich, to study for the MMAI program. She’s had a long-standing interest in joining the corporate world, and this master’s degree provides the requisite business knowledge. At the same time, it expands her scientific knowledge into the field of AI.

Tarnem’s favorite courses from the MMAI

Tarnem’s science background meant she was naturally drawn to the technical aspects of the MMAI program. However, always keen to learn new things, she found that the chance to learn new soft skills helped her create those all-important links between business and science.

“The two big courses that I really liked were the AI fundamentals, of course, because it’s the core of the program,” she says. “And also the case analysis and presentation skills course. I’ve never done business case analysis before … I learned a lot about companies and their strategies and problems that they face.” (06:36)

Tarnem’s internship involves a lot of speech-to-text transformations. Understandably, she’s looking forward to the next AI fundamentals course, which includes natural language processing. While following the curriculum, she’ll be able to apply the content of the master’s course directly to the tasks of her internship. (07:25)

Connecting the MMAI to a career in AI

The AI industry is valued at $328 billion and is forecasted to explode to $1,400 billion by 2030. If you want to take a job in AI to share in the wealth, you will need a head start from somewhere. The Master of Management in Artificial Intelligence can provide that start.

In addition to the technical and business skills the MMAI program provides, Tarnem also emphasizes the importance of the network and resources that the Schulich School of Business offers students. She plans to take full advantage of Schulich’s Global Alumni Network of over 34,000 people working in more than 90 countries.

“[Schulich] has a very rich network. It’s going to connect you with lots of opportunities with big names in all of the industries that you’re interested in,” Tarnem says. “Also, its alumni have accomplished great things. So being a Schulich student, you have access to a lot of things – a lot of valuable and high-quality opportunities that will for sure get you far.” (13:12)

The Schulich School of Business is one of the top schools in Canada and is in Toronto, one of the world’s most innovative cities. Being in a central economic hub fosters the strong network and opportunities Tarnem experiences. Even if you don’t immediately end up working at Google or LinkedIn, simply studying next to their offices can inspire you to keep going.

“It’s the capital of corporate Canada. It’s where the top companies in the world exist. So if you want to get inspired after a lecture, just take some of your friends and be like, ‘Oh, let’s go walk in the financial district downtown,’” Tarnem explains. (12:18) Given Shulich’s strong reputation, Tarnem is confident there will be plenty of career opportunities once she’s graduated. 

Whether you come from a science or business background, the MMAI puts you in the perfect position to take advantage of the vast forecasted growth in the AI industry. Are you ready to say hi to AI?

If you want to learn more about studying AI or life at Schulich, feel free to reach out to one of our master’s ambassadors.

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