Ashley Chiasson

Class of 2022

Hometown: Grand Island, NE
Undergraduate University: Azusa Pacific University
Class Year: 2021
Major/Minor: Applied Mathematics; Actuarial Science
Current Employer: Ferguson Enterprises
Position: Demand Planner

Why pursue a graduate program in analytics so quickly after completing undergrad?

When I came out of undergrad, I thought I was going to be an actuary. Actuarial science has a lot to do with probability, and there are software and programming tools, like R, that I had no experience with. I also realized I needed more business acumen in addition to learning how to use the different software and programming languages. I joined William & Mary's program because a business analytics degree would make me a more marketable candidate for jobs, and I would gain the knowledge I needed to perform my job in the real world.

Why William & Mary?

The William & Mary MSBA program has a very high job acceptance rate before graduation. I wanted to come to a college where I would have access to help during the job search process because the market is so competitive, and I had no prior work experience in business. The Graduate Career Management Center (GCMC) has helped me so much with my job search, especially the career fairs they host. I wanted to invest in a future that I knew would give me a good return.

What have been some highlights for you during this experience?

It has been super beneficial for me to work in groups because I've learned so much from my teammates. I've built some strong relationships and made many connections with people in the program who I know I will stay in touch with through my professional network and throughout my career. I also made a lot of friends. I joined intramural flag football last semester, and that was a huge highlight because it was nice to spend time with my classmates outside of our school environment. Everyone was so friendly and nice.

How will you apply what you've learned in the program to your job at Ferguson?

One of the reasons they hired me was because I have an analytics background now. I plan to use the skills I've learned in the program to help the company achieve change by improving the way they forecast demand, as well as integrate more analytics-driven processes into their systems.



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