Meet The MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2019

Marlyn Diemunsch 

MIT, Sloan School of Management

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Passionate scholar. Compassionate teacher. Supportive friend. Proud South African

Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa

Fun Fact About Yourself:  Scared of heights but recently started rock climbing.

Undergraduate School and Major:

  • University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), MSc Computational and Applied Mathematics.
  • University of Wollongong (Australia), MSc Financial Mathematics

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:  

  • VP Front Office Quantitative Analytics, Barclays Africa Group Limited.
  • Market Risk Analyst, Sanlam Capital Markets.
  • Physical Science and Mathematics Teacher, Closing the GAP.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As the first woman to join the Barclays Africa front office quant team, I felt it was important to encourage other women to join analytics teams within the bank and to equip them with the skills to do so. I founded a coding boot camp for women that taught novice colleagues how to code in Python. 84% of our graduates earned a certificate in data science and the top performers secured collaborations with various analytic teams. Thanks to this initiative, Barclays Africa is a finalist in the Gender Mainstreaming Awards which cover all companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Effective time management is key to executing a strong application. Get the GMAT out of the way. Approach your prospective recommenders early and ensure that they are committed. Set aside enough time to work on your essays: you will need this time to introspect, write, rewrite and rewrite again.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you?  MIT Sloan has a flexible curriculum that allows you to gain more focused experience in an area you want to specialize in. The MBA program has launched a Certificate in Business Analytics in response to growing demand for students with strong data science skills. This was a major draw for me as I am especially interested in the applications of machine learning in business.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Securing an internship, creating a strong network and making some good friends.

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