Graduation Year (Graduate): 2016
Internships: Ferguson Enterprises, PYA Analytics, and Pyxl, Inc.
A senior majoring in business analytics with a marketing concentration, Josh McMillan has sharpened his real-world skills with three internships during his time at the Haslam College of Business. The first was at Ferguson Enterprises, a wholesale plumbing and HVAC company, where he worked in operations. “The next was with PYA Analytics, a software development and analytical consulting firm working with more technically-advanced analytics,” McMillan says. “Most recently, I interned at Pyxl, Inc., a digital marketing consulting firm working to improve the use of insights in client reporting.”
Hands-on experience enhanced his education, but McMillan says his on-campus learning gave him the ability to thrive in a real business environment. “This major prepares students in three critical areas needed to be an effective business analyst—business knowledge, communication skills, and technical skills,” he says. “I’ve gained a holistic picture of business, the ability to effectively communicate technically advanced findings with people who have limited knowledge in analytics, and a foundation in advanced technical skills.”
A Knoxville native, McMillan says UT was a natural choice for his undergraduate education. “I have always loved UT and have dreamt of going here my whole life,” he says. “I was unsure of what career path I wanted to take, and UT was able to give me a variety of paths to choose from.”
He chose business analytics because of its broad range of applications. “Analytics can be used in any field of work, in any department of a business, to help processes become more efficient and to increase profits,” McMillan says. “As a people-oriented person, I want to work more on the front end of analytics—communicating with people on the back end of analytical projects and relaying their work to people who wouldn’t otherwise understand, developing strategies for analytical initiatives, and being the creative piece for figuring out ways to grow the company and be innovative.”
McMillan currently serves as president of the Business Analytics Society at UTK (BAS), an undergraduate organization. “We’re here to help students with the transition from college to the real business world,” he says. “We provide information and advice about things they need to know and do as they enter the world of analytics.” During McMillan’s time as president, BAS membership increased by 50 percent and the group hosted a number of popular events.