Gio DeFrank

Class of 2022

Hometown: Fairfax, VA
Undergraduate University: Christopher Newport University
Class Year: 2018
Major/Minor: Marketing/Leadership Studies
Current Employer: Deloitte
Position: Consultant

Why did the William & Mary MSBA appeal to you over other programs?

This program is very technical in nature, and I was interested in pursuing a more technical path. William & Mary's goal is to create hands-on analysts or scientists who work directly with the data to understand its implications in a business context. I also liked that the program was a mix of many different populations—students fresh out of undergrad, people with a few years of work experience, and professionals who have been working with data for 15+ years and need a credential. There were a lot of fresh perspectives, and learning from their breadth of experiences made the program more fruitful.

How did you prepare for the technical nature of the program?

The William & Mary MSBA is unique in that it requires a lot of boot camps before you start. While that felt intense initially, I quickly realized that I wasn't the only one who was overwhelmed by the information we were expected to absorb in a short amount of time. Our cohort immediately started helping each other, and we built fast connections. By the end, we were exposed to what a lot of other programs take half a year to cover. We were able to jump in and do more advanced work throughout the fall and spring semesters.

What value has the MSBA experience brought to your professional skill set?

I've been exposed to a lot of concepts and technical training that I had no prior experience in machine learning. I am excited to leverage these tools in my career. I am able to understand the high-level math behind the data analysis and how to build these models from the ground up, but I can also talk about their value during presentations.

How have the faculty supported you throughout your journey?

You're expected to do a lot within the one year you're here, but it is extremely rewarding. The professors are aware of how fast-paced the program is and what you're expected to accomplish. The strike a really nice balance between supporting you through all of the things you need to do with also pushing you to your absolute limit to make sure you're getting your money's worth.



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