Julie Parrish

MSBA student Julie Parrish hopes to use statistics to improve education.

Business Analytics & Statistics - Student

Julie Parrish hopes to use statistics to improve education

Julie Parrish started out in statistics and became an educator. She earned her bachelor’s in statistics and master’s in teaching before going on to teach kindergarten and first grade for 12 years. One day, she hopes to use statistics to improve education.

“I started thinking about a career change about two years ago,” Parrish says. “I’ve always been interested in statistics, and was drawn back to that. I desired a change in career, a change for my family and wanted to use my analytical skills.”

Although her previous degrees came from other universities, her quest to bolster her experience in statistics led her to UT. “Where business is now, with so much change in programming and computer technology, I wanted to learn all of that before jumping into a new career,” she says. “I decided that the MSBA program at Haslam would be a good place to update my knowledge.”

A nontraditional student, Parrish had to balance her coursework with the responsibilities of being a parent. She says that Haslam’s faculty always supported her needs, even when COVID-19 complicated matters. “It has been very difficult having my kids home with me since their schools and daycare shut down,” she says. “But my professors were really great at helping me through that and giving me extra support when needed.”

Parrish finds the Haslam MSBA program rigorous, challenging and cutting edge. “They’re always updating the program and gathering feedback from companies on their advisory board about what they might want employers to know,” she says.

She completed a summer independent study in the math department, helping to write a data science course curriculum. This fall, after interning with Pilot Corporation in the business intelligence group, Parrish will graduate in December 2020 with plans to work in business analytics.

“I want to use my data skills, along with educational skills, to explain data and what we do with data, so business leaders can make better decisions,” she says.

With teaching such a large part of her background, Parrish envisions using her experience in statistics to provide teachers better access to educational data. “I don’t think the education system does a very good job of giving teachers the data they need,” she says. “I’m really interested in using data science to help teachers and students succeed.”