Huntington, West Virginia Data and Analytics at INTAX Inc.
Tell us a little bit about your personal/professional background. What drew you to study business analytics? When did you plan on pursuing a career in accounting?
I never really wanted to pursue a career in accounting, I just got my foot in the door at a few financial institutions and accounting and numbers came naturally to me. I always wanted something much more technical, and that’s why I chose the MBAN program.
You currently work in data and analytics with INTAX, which provides accounting and taxation services. Can you tell us more about your role?
I was brought in as a consulting role over a year and a half ago to help organizations get a handle on all their client data for the real estate side of the business. I found immediate needs for the company from the beginning to automate mundane tasks that they were having to do every day.
I began writing scripts and utilizing databases to centralize and normalize the data in a way that is easy to analyze. Recently, I was given a promotion to head up all the data and analytics for the organization, which entails much of the same thing on a larger scale. I am now creating data pipelines, managing workflows and developing live dashboards for clients to have access to at any time to see breakdowns of their properties and INTAX’s activity.
What was happening in your life when you decided to earn your master’s in business analytics?
I was not happy being stuck in a routine doing the same work every day in business, and I wanted something much more technical. I rushed through my undergraduate degree in three years and then realized that I wanted something more than business. So I thought that business analytics might take me there.
Why did you select the online format versus attending a program in person?
This was the best way for me to continue working full time given that I am located two hours away from Dayton.
Tell us about your classmates. Have you been able to learn from their experiences in other fields? Have you made any connections that now exist outside of the classroom?
I have made several connections with classmates, and we text and email regularly to bounce ideas and ask each other questions. We are all here to further our education, and it really feels like we are all here to help each other.
What does a typical day look like for you now that you’re back in school and working full time? How do you manage to balance school, work and your personal life?
Well, I worked full time through all of my undergraduate degree so I don’t really know anything else. I have learned to keep my priorities in line for school and that school always comes first, but I also make sure that I take weekend trips and vacations whenever I can, just to get some personal time.
Why is earning a master’s in business analytics the next step in your career? How has it or will it enhance your current work? What do you want to do once you graduate from the program?
My last promotion is actually more than I thought I’d get out of my master’s degree. The program really laid the foundation for what I plan on doing in the future, so I have been in the position to really take the next steps outside of the classroom to grow my knowledge in programming languages, data management and analytical understanding. My ultimate goal is to be a data scientist for a large technology company where I am dealing more with machine learning and deep learning. I am in the position now to take INTAX to another level in the next three to five years, and that will also put me in a great position to land a dream job.
Have there been any standout moments from your time in the program you’d like to share with prospective students?
Lakshmi Nittala and his machine learning class really shaped what I want to do in the future. His class was challenging — I love that — and he was also there for all the students to make sure that everyone got the most out of the class. I cannot speak highly enough about Lakshmi and his class in general.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
I recommend that before you choose a program to make sure that you are going to be all in for the next one to two years. If you don’t set aside the time, or aren’t focused on the program and your future, then you will fall short of getting the most out of the program.