M.S. in Commerce (Management & Marketing) 2014, University of Virginia
B.A. in Chemistry, University of Virginia
After: First Manhattan Consulting Group, Analyst (New York, NY)
Now: Vistar Media, Analytics Manager (New York, NY)
Transition from UVA undergrad to grad
I received my undergraduate degree from UVA, so I thankfully did not have to acclimate to new surroundings. The largest transition I had to make was from the textbook/lab-based work as a science major to discussion/deliverable-based work at McIntire.
Leveraging chemistry with business
As a Chemistry major, analytical thinking, research methods, and hypothesis testing were taught in the classroom and applied in the laboratory. The M.S. in Commerce tailored those skills so that they could be applied to business, and now I can leverage both backgrounds to approach problems from all angles.
Most compelling class
“Foundations in Global Commerce” with Professor Peter Maillet was my favorite class. Every discussion was engaging, and understanding globalization and the complexities of global commerce is becoming increasingly important, given the continually shifting geopolitical climate.
Preparation for the job
Three classes have helped me excel on the job. “Marketing and Quantitative Analysis” with Professor Rick Netemeyer prepared me for my job, as I apply topics covered in his class every day. Also, the opportunity to analyze the Kate Spade dataset and present to the CEO was an invaluable experience. “Strategy and Systems” with Professor Ira Harris established a mental framework that taught me to always think at a higher level when approaching any problem or task. Lastly, “Consumer Behavior Research and Marketing Strategies” with Professor Amar Cheema taught valuable concepts and theories for anyone in the advertising technology industry.
Value of Commerce Career Services
Commerce Career Services was a huge help in my job search. The team worked with me throughout the school year on everything from cover letters to practice interviews. CCS continued to be helpful after my return from GIE until I received my offer letter.
What makes the job great
The startup environment is stimulating because no two days are ever the same. Our team does a great job of balancing time spent on deliverables with the freedom to test different analyses to explore potential solutions for our clients. Also, working at a rapidly growing startup allows me to witness the evolution of the company firsthand.
Typical day at work
Last week, I worked on analyzing the geospatial movement patterns of retail banking customers in a highly populated designated market area. My team found that foot traffic to bank branches was largely composed of commuters who resided outside the city. We leveraged that insight to recommend that the clients incorporate commuters into their target audience to further increase foot traffic to branches.
Advice for future M.S. in Commerce students interested in analytics
My biggest piece of advice is to develop your technical skills. Desirable candidates are experts in SQL/Excel and always open to learning new programming languages. In analytics, the end product is the analyst's insights and recommendations; however, the ability to properly query, manipulate, and analyze data structures to derive those insights is equally as important.
Leveraging the Global Immersion Experience (GIE)
From a marketing and advertising perspective, GIE taught me how advertisers need to tailor their messaging to their target market. Various cultures respond differently to messaging. Understanding those intricacies is valuable in maximizing campaign effectiveness.
Most memorable GIE company visit
My most memorable company visit was with a textile factory in Ho Chi Minh. It was amazing to see the amount of hard work that goes into the clothes we wear every day.
Most memorable cultural experience
The most memorable cultural experience for me was visiting Bagan, Myanmar. This part of the trip was not on the original itinerary for our track, but the opportunity to explore the network of pagodas in Bagan was an experience I will never forget.
The single most important thing I took away from the program was the importance of working as a team. No matter what role a student takes after graduation, being able to effectively work with others is crucial to succeeding in that role.
Life after graduate business school
The UVa Club of New York is great at organizing volunteering, social, and networking events for alumni in the city, but nothing beats getting together during basketball season to watch the Hoos. I also play on a few soccer teams in the city with coworkers and friends.
Favorite Charlottesville activity
Playing a quick nine holes at Birdwood.