Ahsen Safeer stumbled upon the Berkeley M.Eng. program when he was searching for a data-oriented graduate program on Google. An ad came up for the M.Eng. program on his Facebook page, so he dug deeper into the program, attended an online information session, applied, and got accepted! Ahsen shares that the program is perfect for him, as he works in Silicon Valley and didn’t want to leave his job as a Product Specialist at Facebook (which by the way, he got through a connection in the M.Eng. program). The program offered him the prestige of the Berkeley brand, and the ability to stay local, which he felt was essential for furthering his career in the Bay Area.
What is your favorite part of the Berkeley M.Eng. program?
As of now I feel like the classes are very interactive and everyone wants to participate, and the courses are very effective. I don’t have to stress out about studying a lot while trying to juggle work; it’s a perfect balance. The program understands that I’m a part-time student so I can focus on learning and not bang my head against the wall with tons of work on my plate.
What do you love about Berkeley, as both a university and a place?
That’s a tough question! I would say I love that everyone is very helpful; everyone is there to learn and very intelligent. It’s a really good environment for me to study in, and I feel like I can be myself at Berkeley which is probably what I love most.
What do you hope to get out of this experience?
I want to sharpen my skills. I love working with data and I want to make a better future out of it, so that’s what I’m really striving for, and I feel like I’m really getting that from Berkeley. I wanted to make a solid foundation for my data analysis field that will help me get to where I want to be in the future. As of now I want to be a data scientist and I need a graduate school degree for that, so everything is coming together with being in the M.Eng. program. The program is basically everything I need.
What does a typical day at Facebook look like for you?
I work for ad products, so there’s millions of people advertising and whenever they encounter a bug on the platform of tools that Facebook has to advertise, they send those bugs to Facebook where it goes through many different layers, and I’m the last layer. I look into the bugs and escalate them to the engineering team. So I would say no day is the same, there’s always a new kind of bug that I am not familiar with, so I have to pull strings, talk to different departments and do some analytics to figure out how much revenue is being impacted. So a typical day for me…I come [to Facebook], work out in the morning, go to my desk and look at what’s chaotic at the moment, and once I take care of that I look at my analytical stuff, seeing if improvements can be made in the product, and then I attend meetings with the engineering team, and then I get free burritos at lunch. There’s so much free stuff over here it’s crazy! They also have this replica of In-N-Out. Basically I’m really happy that I’m here. And actually, fun fact: I got this job through someone at Berkeley who was another part-time student in the same cohort and referenced me to the position.