Every industry analyzes data to understand and predict customer behavior, and, in today’s data-driven world, executives must be able to understand, make sense of the data and tell stories that help drive profitability. The Fox MSBA program has shaped minds to understand data and visualize and analyze it for decision making. This requires a mix of hard and soft skills.
Graduates of the Fox MSBA program are equipped with these skills and secure careers at top companies. For example, Vasundhara Dubey, MSBA ’19, works as a full-time program manager at Amazon, where she optimizes the supply chain of Amazon’s U.S. territory. “My studies at the Fox School, such as Linear Programming and Data Visualization, are helping me excel at Amazon. My MSBA, along with hands-on experience during my internship, paved the way for my career,” says Vasundhara.
Similarly, Olayinka Adams, MSBA ’19, is a risk product strategist for Instagram, Facebook messenger and WhatsApp at Facebook. He believes his MSBA gave him the skills necessary to make decision models based off of data and this brings him closer to his customers.
In addition to a world-class curriculum, the Fox MSBA offers experiential and real-world opportunities, as well as ways for students and alumni to network and build a professional community. For example, we interviewed Jason Knudson of Aramark, analysis director at Aramark and a friend of Fox, so he could share insights with our community.
At Aramark, Jason is responsible for finding growth prospects for the company via various business models. “A key aspect to my journey has been learning through experience,” says Jason. “However, it’s important to get the right education, which hones your passion and acts as an escalator in your career.” He uses various tools at work to help him efficiently analyze tables/models for stakeholders.
According to Jason, data comes with its own set of challenges. It is a niche segment and not always easy to comprehend. Hence, working with people who are not adept with data can turn out to be a real challenge. Additionally, data-driven solutions are fact based and not everyone would agree to those solutions. Thus, customization is the key. A graduate course imbibes these skills in students.
For all the interested and upcoming students, Jason offers very helpful advice. He abides by Henry Ford’s saying “Try to find a solution to the question that has not been asked,” which means innovation is the key. He wants students to ask as many questions as they can and build strong relationships. He believes in not only getting hands-on experience but also in developing soft skills. He urges students to get technical training and to learn different languages to bring differentiation to your profile. In doing so, students will become stronger assets for the companies they hope to work for.
Another way the program offers to stay connected is through its LinkedIn platform. The Fox Analytics and Data Science Group on LinkedIn is a meeting point for a thriving community of professionals comprising current MSBA students and alumni.
“Our program enables students to become effective business communicators by translating data into profit. Data analysis languages covered in the program include R, SQL and visualization software including Tableau,” says Samar Khan, assistant director, MS in Business Analytics & Data Science programs. “Companies nowadays are searching for candidates who can act as a bridge between data collectors and decision-makers. Having technical skills is not enough. The MSBA program at the Fox School of Business enables graduates to be storytellers who use data to communicate information effectively to business leaders.”