Name: Jessica Tyler
Undergraduate University: Columbia University
Graduation Year (Undergraduate): 2013
Graduate Degree: Business Analytics
Graduation Year (Graduate): 2015
Internship Company: Catalist
Internship Position: Data Science Fellow
Two years ago, I came out of university with expertise in two incredibly different fields. One of these fields was Slavic Studies, and the other was Economics, a field that, while quantitative in nature, had by and large only been introduced to me in theoretical terms. When the time came to decide which career path I should pursue, I examined the current job market with its demand for data-savvy individuals, and recalled my experience in an introductory econometrics class (one of my favorite undergraduate courses). I realized that I wanted to pursue a career that involved analyzing data to allow companies to make sound business decisions; the best way to do this, given my background, was to apply to graduate programs in analytics. During the application process, one school—spoiler alert, the University of Tennessee— immediately stood out from the rest. UT’s Business Analytics master’s degree distinguished itself from the pack, not just because of the balance between quantitative skill-building and soft skills training, or because of the fact that we are given exposure to multiple analytics tools (R, SAS, SQL, Tableau, Excel, etc.) What truly made me convinced me that I belonged at UT were the conversations I had with the department personnel, faculty and students. It was only at the University of Tennessee that I felt the professors and staff really took an interest in my interests. At UT, I was treated as an individual, whose strengths are not just enumerated by a GRE score or a single application response. No other program particularly cared, for instance, about my work on two political campaigns following my graduation from college, or my experience as a former competitive figure skater; the MSBA program at the University of Tennessee did. To this day, I feel completely assured that the business analytics program at the University of Tennessee is not just able to impart the knowledge I need to succeed in the field of business analytics, but also to prepare me for a rewarding and intellectually satisfying career. Our program is not just superb in terms of its faculty and staff, but also in terms of my fellow students. I am continually in awe of the abilities of my peers, who come from a variety of educational backgrounds. It is probably because of this that they all bring important knowledge to the table every single day in our courses. The environment is certainly competitive, but above all, we find it important to help each other succeed. Having completed countless team projects, the quality of teamwork I have witnessed since starting the program is unparalleled. My experience with the MSBA program at UT, in terms of its faculty, staff and students, is absolutely a testament to its excellence. Anyone considering a career in business analytics should definitely apply.