Aliyah Wooten

Class of 2019

Hometown: Richmond, VA
Undergraduate University: William & Mary
Class Year: 2018
Major/Minor: Finance
Current Employer: Bank of America
Position: Business Analyst

Why did you decide to pursue an MSBA degree?

During my time as an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to take two courses outside of my finance curriculum, Developing Business Intelligence (SQL) and Big Data (R). Each course exposed me to cutting-edge technology being used to address data concerns. I realized the importance of story-telling through data and how those stories impacted high-level decision-making. From there, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the newly booming industry of Business Analytics. Those two courses changed my career trajectory and inspired me to pursue my MSBA. It is one of the best decisions I've made.

What appealed to you about William & Mary's program?

I appreciated that William & Mary's program was an accelerated one-year program. Like many recent graduates, I was experiencing slight burnout from being in school and needed a break. I could not imagine committing another two years towards my education. When I realized that the MSBA program was only a year, I was able to soothe my concerns and find the ability to push toward a goal that I knew I ultimately wanted to pursue. Additionally, the well-rounded curriculum was attractive in that it introduced an array of topics that are prevalent in the industry.

Why did you ultimately decide to enroll in William & Mary's MSBA program?

I had to juggle between two choices of deciding to transition into the workforce or to continue my education. Initially, there was a lot of uncertainty, but that was quickly reduced by the amount of support I was given from the MSBA graduate program office. The director helped me to weigh all my options without trying to sway my decision one way or another. The level of care that was given proved to me that this next step would not be one that I would take alone. Instead, I would be supported throughout the entire process by people who truly prioritized my success.

Discuss some of the highlights you enjoyed in the program.

Some of my best memories stem from the team collaboration sessions. The MSBA program is collaborative in nature, so I spent a lot of time with my peers. Often, I looked forward to study breaks filled with impromptu karaoke, watching memes, or playing the latest Nintendo Switch games. I never knew what experience I was going to have with my teammates, but I did know that it was going to be a good time. In addition to my awesome team, I thoroughly enjoyed traveling to Houston, Texas, with my classmates to attend the Grace Hopper Conference. This conference was so inspiring as I was surrounded by all women at all different levels in their technology and computer science careers. Being new to coding, it was necessary to be in an environment that encouraged women to pursue STEM and learn about the unconventional opportunities waiting for me upon graduation.



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