Hometown: Salem, OR
Undergraduate University: University of Hawaii
Class Year: 2017
Major/Minor: Natural Resource Management
Current Employer: The Chronicle of Higher Education
Position: Data Engineer
Tell me about your first role after the program as an Emerging Leader at GEICO.
I was in a rotational program where every six to nine months, I rotated IT departments at GEICO. The program itself was geared to train the next wave of leaders at GEICO. It was a wonderful mix of hard skills and soft skills. There was an emphasis on leadership skills while rotating through the necessary IT departments and their roles to learn the technologies and industry trends.
How has your MSBA helped you professionally?
The MSBA really tied together all of the fundamental pieces that William & Mary's program gave me—like listening to the signal in the noise, working through ambiguity, taking a big task and narrowing it down to smaller, bite-sized pieces—and now I am applying it to real life in industry, in business. I can go into meetings and promote different technologies confidently because I've learned how different applications and systems can fundamentally help business processes and increase efficiency. I find it extremely at the end of the day because I'm able to make a huge impact on projects.
Why did you decide to pursue a Master's degree in Business Analytics?
The degree equips students with the right skill set that businesses are looking for. It definitely stands out on a resume when you can say that you have experience in things like R and Python because those are being used in the real world. It gave me a technical edge that I didn't have from undergraduate school.
Why was William & Mary's MSBA program the best fit for you?
The University of Hawaii was a wonderful experience, but the class sizes were really big, and they did not have staff dedicated to help me find a job. In doing my research, I also found that the Board of the MSBA program at William & Mary actually reaches out to businesses and ensures what they're providing their students is real-world, applicable skills for their resumes. So the smaller class sizes, the ability to have the Graduate Career Management Center help me look for jobs, and having the skills I knew would be applicable in the real world were all reasons why I wanted to move to William & Mary.