M.S. in Commerce 2012 (Finance Track), University of Virginia
B.S. in Physics and Mathematical Economics 2011, Hampden-Sydney College
After: MicroStrategy, Consultant (Charlotte, NC)
Now: BI Platform Engineer, Facebook (Menlo Park, CA)
Leveraging science with business
My undergraduate classes were very technical. Although I attended a liberal arts institution, the classes outside my major only partly prepared me for the real world. Finishing off my education with business-related classes at UVA rounded out my skillset so that I could hit the ground running.
Preparation for the first job
We were able to get valuable perspective from professors who have plenty of real-world experience. It’s great getting perspective from professors who were in industry before teaching and were able to pass on their knowledge to us. In addition, the entire curriculum and staff are centered around helping you succeed in your job search and after.
Taking advantage of Commerce Career Services
Commerce Career Services was amazing. The staff helped us perfect our résumés and interview skills in time for the job application rush in the fall. We also knew what to expect going into job fairs and second-round interviews from the resources and information CCS has gathered and made available on their website.
Advice for future students
In your job search, consider carefully if you're okay with traveling. Even though it sounds exciting, spending every week all year on the road wears down some people. If you’re considering business intelligence, make sure you love working with data. There's a lot to learn out there about business intelligence and you'll be spending much of your day learning how to solve new problems.
Most of all, have fun. The program starts off fast and doesn't let up until winter break, so it's easy to get caught up in it. Make sure you manage your time well enough to go out and enjoy Charlottesville, one the best college towns in the United States. This program will end, and you’ll start your career in the blink of an eye.
Most memorable GIE cultural visit
The most memorable cultural experience by far was visiting the Great Wall. Being able to walk on it really puts in perspective how big it is. It's amazing to be able stand atop one of the wonders of the world and it's a memory I'll never forget.
Favorite Charlottesville activity
UVA football games stand out in my mind. Coming from a small college, I didn't have the same football experience as I did here. The atmosphere is really amazing, and I look forward to the next time I can attend a Virginia game. Make sure to try to see UVA vs VT!