Karen Ficenec

Class of 2018

Hometown: Southborough, MA
Undergraduate University: William & Mary
Class Year: 2017
Major/Minor: Physics/Math
Current Employer: National Renewable Energy Lab
Position: Commercial Vehicle Data Analyst

How was the transition from being an undergraduate student at William & Mary to a graduate student in the Business School?

It was easy. The program had really good teachers, and everyone in my class loved working on problems together and helping one another. It really brings the material to life when everybody is interested in it. That year in the master's program was one of my favorite years I've had in school.

What were some notable highlights for you during your time in the program?

The team atmosphere was something that I really loved. I also learned really cool stuff. In particular, I really liked learning about optimization, machine learning, and AI. The professors liked to work on assignments alongside us and engage in interesting discussions, which was a highlight for me.

What did you do professionally after the program?

After the program, I got a job with the National Renewable Energy Lab in the Commercial Vehicle Department. I built models and draw insights that can actually help our clients. For example, a company may come to us and say, we have this huge fleet of trucks, and we want to reduce the amount of pollution we put out into the environment by electrifying some of our vehicles, but we don't know what would be the most cost-effective way to do this. So, I would then analyze their driving patterns and recommend which trucks out of their fleet they should electrify.

How would you describe the William & Mary MSBA program to a prospective student?

It's a really amazing program. The teachers care about the students, and they're there to help you regardless of what type of coding experience you come into the program with. It allows you to go on to get a good-paying job and help to make the world a better place.



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