Meet Sudipta Dasmohapatra: The Professor With a Passion for Data
Sudipta Dasmohapatra, professor of the practice in data science and business analytics, joined Georgetown McDonough in June 2020 as the academic director of the new online M.S. in Business Analytics (MSBA) program, which launched in January 2021. With experience teaching in a similar program at North Carolina State and leading one at Duke University, Dasmohapatra brings with her the experience to lead a successful program and the desire to share her passion for data with future generations of business leaders.
How did you choose your career path?
During my Ph.D. program at Penn State I realized I had a passion for statistics and data. I especially enjoyed working with data and new programming languages (SPSS, Stata, Minitab, and SAS at that time). Following my Ph.D., I interviewed with consulting firms and joined a boutique firm in Denver for about a year where I had an opportunity to put my learning into practice. Following that, I moved to a larger consulting firm in Chapel Hill, N.C., where my focus was on delivering segmentation and advanced data-driven marketing solutions, which paved my way further into data analytics. Then, I joined the nation’s first M.S. in Advanced Analytics program at North Carolina State as a faculty member in 2008 where I taught for about 10 years prior to joining Duke and then Georgetown.
What is your personal philosophy?
Personally, I am passionate about learning and passing it on to others so they can derive success from it. I believe in doing thorough research and doing something really well, no matter how small it is. I love to try out new things, am constantly looking for personal development, and am quite spontaneous and creative.
What are students surprised to learn about you during the program?
I am not sure if all the students know, but some of the students (class representatives) were surprised to hear that I am a vocalist and that I learned classical Indian music for close to 10 years prior to graduating high school.
What can we find you doing outside of Georgetown?
I enjoy trying out new restaurants and new dishes. I am a new age foodie and enjoy hearing the history and story behind the food – this is very closely tied to my love for travel and experience of new cultures. In fact, if you really want to get to know a place in a short visit, I would suggest a food tour of that place (it comes with stories behind the establishments and the town). During the weekends, you can find me hanging out with friends in our boat or kayak at the lake behind our house or spending time reading.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My dad has always said, “you need to have faith in yourself, and remain committed to what you are doing – and hopefully the outcomes will follow.” I try to follow that principle in everything I take on.
What has been the biggest change to the business world since you started teaching?
I am seeing more and more business decisions made based on data in all industries and across organizations – small, medium, and large. Additionally, the world has gone digital – this has brought about new and transformational business models that are making things more efficient and accessible.
How would you describe the sense of community at Georgetown McDonough?
The Georgetown community shares a sense of bond that I believe will possibly last a lifetime for our students. In our MSBA program, the students share their perspectives inside and outside of the classroom and within a couple of months since the program launch, our first cohort of students had begun exchanging job information and even recruited from among their classmates. There is a type of collaboration that I imagine will go far and beyond their professional lives to create lifelong friendships.
One of the reasons why I personally joined Georgetown McDonough was because of the camaraderie and the friendly atmosphere among the faculty and staff – this has always been my priority in any job position.
What do you hope students take away from Georgetown’s M.S. in Business Analytics program?
The confidence to lead a data-driven project and team.
What is the one thing you recommend a student does before graduating from your program?
Do a walk through of the Georgetown campus – the MSBA is an online program but we offer two opportunities to students for residency at Georgetown. I hope students take the opportunity to know the campus and the Georgetown area with their peers and participate in any Georgetown activity. Believe me, it will really be a wonderful experience to remember!