Kayla Ellis

As an MSBA candidate, Ellis enjoyed real-world projects, "doing market basket analysis and figuring out correlations between products and marketing tools.”

Business Analytics & Statistics - Student

As an undergraduate studying mathematics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Kayla Ellis saw a future in business. “My minor was in statistics, so I took a lot of undergraduate business courses – and loved them,” Ellis says. “It was easy to see myself working in the field as a business analyst, so I decided to join the MSBA program last year.”

Set to graduate in December 2021, Ellis has enjoyed the real-world projects she’s completed with classmates. “Last year we spent a lot of time on Kroger data, doing market basket analysis and figuring out correlations between products and marketing tools,” she says. “Projects like these prepare us well because they mirror what we would do out in the field.”

Ellis looks forward to participating in the program’s capstone course this fall, when she and her teammates will partner with a company or organization to tackle a problem it faces using analytics tools. Meanwhile, she hopes to pursue an internship this summer focused on retail analytics, an area of special interest. “I have a background in retail so it’s really interesting to me,” she says. “After graduation, I’d love to work on an analytics team for a company in the retail space.”

While Ellis misses the in-person interaction that Covid-19 precautions currently prevent, she appreciates the virtual tools that allow her to connect with professors and peers. “My classmates and I are really close,” she says, “and I’m grateful for that.”

With a few fellow MSBA students, Ellis helped to start a Women in Analytics club this year. “We’ve met a few times so far, and we’re planning outreach programs to get people involved,” she says. “In the future, we’d love to host speakers and events to support women in this field.”