Liyi Zhu

Senior Advisor for Market Development and Insights, IBM

MSc Social Research Methods and Statistics (2004)

I am working as the senior advisor for market development and insights in IBM China.

Being a marketing professional, my responsibility includes to provide thought leadership and timely, actionable market insights derived from the market data and research.

In other words, my work is mainly dealing with data, huge scale data to find the insights, eg market opportunities and potential customers to help the business growth.

My current job is highly relevant to what I was studying at the University - the MSc Social Research Methods and Statistics. I was well trained on how to face the data, how to work with data and how to love with the data. All of these are just what I am requested from my current job.

How has your degree helped you in your career?

It does help a lot. I have been in my current role and company for more than seven years after the graduation...more and more i have released that what i learnt from the degree has kept me continually pursued in my career selection and development.

You know, nowadays everyone is talking about 'big data, big data'... It really changes how we see the world and carry out research. But,the core part of data analysis methods do not change. Thanks to what I learnt from the degree, I can understand it and practice it. This is the most rewarding aspect of the degree for me. 

What advice would you give to someone thinking of pursuing a similar career route and what skills/experience do you consider to be necessary?

Look at There is an increasing number of data management and analytics job opportunities available. 

Social research is the base for everything, not only in academia but also in business. You will find this degree more straightforward if you have a basic statistics background. 

What did you most enjoy about your time at Manchester?

I love this question. A year I will never forget. The teachers were nice, the classmates were friendly. We went out for meals, hiking and other activities, but most important of all were the friendships I made at Manchester.

I would love to go back to have a look on the University, the department and the people there.