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Roma Koulikov

For Haslam alumnus Roma Koulikov, the key to success is looking ahead.

Business Analytics & Statistics - Alumni

For Haslam alumnus Roma Koulikov, the key to success is looking ahead.

In 2014, Koulikov was a consultant for a solar energy company—but found he was ready for a career shift. He researched other fields to see which ones held the most promise. “I thought about what I could excel at,” he says. “I also looked at the market to see where there would be demand, and saw a lot of potential in business analytics.”

Haslam’s MSBA program equipped him with a valuable skill set and prepared him to thrive in an ever-changing field. “We gained the ability to learn on the job and continue learning after graduation, because the field develops so fast,” he says. “Although the program was tough and kept us busy, we also had fun.”

After graduating from the MSBA program in December 2015, Koulikov worked for more than three years as a data scientist at McKinsey & Company, receiving several promotions. That Boston-based role took Koulikov to Russia, the United Kingdom and several U.S. cities as he worked with consultant teams for companies from a variety of industries to address their business needs. Now a senior data scientist for Aetna, he continues to draw on the training he received at Haslam.

“Our job consists of deriving value from data and then communicating the results to business stakeholders, who use them to improve operations or cut costs,” he says. “From soft skills to the day-to-day technical skills like programming and statistics, everything I do is based on what I learned in the MSBA program.”

With an eye toward the future, Koulikov wants to add skills that will keep him relevant in the industry decades down the road. He’s particularly interested in the potential of self-writing code. “The idea is to program the computer to write code to find the data you’re looking for,” he says. “It’s a developing field, but it has the potential to eliminate some of the time-consuming and repetitive aspects of data analyst roles today.”