Emma Barrow has had a long career in financial management in the service industry. In August 2021 Barrow started a new job as a Business Controller.
“My new employer was seeking a strong expert in financial management, with competence in data analytics and artificial intelligence. I had extensive work experience, a higher university degree in financial management, and I had also just completed Aalto EE’s Diploma in Artificial Intelligence program,” Barrow explains.
“As a Business Controller, I work closely with our senior management, and translate financial data into business insights. Thanks to the Diploma in AI program, I now speak the same language with our organization’s data analysts, and I understand the business opportunities that artificial intelligence unlocks. It’s tremendously beneficial in my job,” she adds.
The training enabled me to take a step forward in my career.
Barrow participated in the Diploma in AI program as change training after she was laid off from her previous job due to the corona pandemic.
“The training enabled me to take a step forward in my career. Participating in the program was a great idea, as I was very quickly recruited,” Barrow emphasizes.
Inspiring examples of how artificial intelligence is being applied in business
Aalto EE’s Diploma in Artificial Intelligence program consists of six two-day study modules, which include effective in-class sessions and learning by doing. Barrow describes the study experience as intensive.
“I found the content extremely interesting. Our numerous guest lecturers deserve special praise, they shared many concrete examples of how artificial intelligence is being applied in their organizations. It was really eye-opening,” Barrow says.
“The program also rid me of many preconceived ideas. I realized how vast the opportunities are for utilizing AI in business. You can analyze data and explore issues with AI in most every area of life,” she ponders.
The program offered a comprehensive overview on AI. I have a better understanding of the AI technologies currently in use and how they can be utilized in business. One of the program’s most important lessons was the importance of high-quality data."
Barrow says that she now has a much more versatile perception of artificial intelligence.
“The program offered a comprehensive overview on AI. I have a better understanding of the AI technologies currently in use and how they can be utilized in business. One of the program’s most important lessons was the importance of high-quality data. You cannot emphasize it too much. If your data quality is sub-par, you will never get good results from an analysis,” she remarks.
“We also looked into closely linked topics such as the protection of personal data and privacy, risk management, and ethics – and we had the opportunity to develop artificial intelligence applications ourselves in various exercises, which I found very beneficial,” she lists.
Now is an excellent time to attain AI competence
Barrow encourages others to educate themselves in artificial intelligence.
“You will close many doors if you don’t jump on the artificial intelligence bandwagon. In some industries these things are already commonplace, but for the masses they are still in the future. Now is an excellent time to obtain AI competence. Aalto EE’s Diploma in Artificial Intelligence program will guarantee your value in the job market,” she points out.
“AI skills are useful in almost every industry. In my own line of work, financial management, gaining a good understanding of AI is certainly necessary. AI is becoming a part of financial management the same way that e-commerce became integral to most all commerce back in the day,” she underlines.
Barrow affirms that she is happy to recommend the Diploma in Artificial Intelligence program, but she urges participants to familiarize with the topic beforehand and make time for the studies.
“I warmly recommend participating. A few tips are good to keep in mind: first of all, you should earmark enough time for your studies, because the program is challenging and you acquire a lot of new knowledge during each in-class session,” she says.
“You don’t need to have prior knowledge about AI, but if you have some kind of numerical background, it is a great asset. And if you start from zero, I recommend you study the pre-reading material thoroughly and also seek additional information with an open mind. I participated in a separate course on the basics of coding alongside this program,” she adds.