Matthew Lang

Cleveland, Ohio
Business Analyst, Sherwin-Williams

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I am originally from Avon Lake, Ohio. I’ve always felt I’ve had more of an analytic mindset and approach to life. That’s how I found myself interested in data and the insights data can bring to an organization.

I did six years in the United States Air Force, where I had the opportunity to work in intelligence and use my analysis skills in a way that provided value to the national intelligence community.

What was your experience like in the Air Force?

I was a language analyst. I had the opportunity to do specialized training in different parts of the U.S. and overseas. My responsibilities included searching for, collecting and analyzing communications. It was an unbelievable experience. I had the opportunity to meet some of the best people I’ve ever met, build lasting relationships and make an impact towards the greater good of the country.

How was your transition from the military?

The transition was rough at the start. I had a plan and set myself up for success by getting my bachelor’s degree while I was still active duty. Unfortunately, I left the military during the pandemic. This made it very difficult to find a job. I pushed forward with the decision to leave the Air Force at the end of 2020 and ended up finding a great role at Sherwin-Williams.

What is your current job?

I work for Sherwin-Williams as an IT business analyst apprentice. They’ve given me a great opportunity to work and learn skills on the job while allowing me time to attend school and supporting me in that personal development.

Day-to-day, I assist in the development of a new application we are bringing into the automotive collision market. I help define how the application will work, testing out new functionalities and cleaning up any bug fixes as necessary.

What made you want to pursue a master’s in business analytics?

I have always had an analytical mindset, but I really didn’t know what that could do for me professionally. As an intel analyst in the Air Force, I realized that wasn’t the sort of analysis and critical thinking I wanted to be doing long term.

During my career research, I came across business analytics and learned what analytical methods, specifically those related to data, could do for businesses. This intrigued me, and talking to the recruiter here at UD solidified my path.

Why did you choose the University of Dayton and this program in particular?

I wanted to stay in Ohio. I also wanted to go to a school that offered flexibility and an online program. I was able to narrow my search down to two schools.

One thing that distinguished the University of Dayton from the competition was my admission counselor. My first impression of the school was outstanding because of her. She made the process and, ultimately, the decision easy.

Why did you choose an online program?

Learning online gives me flexibility and eliminates the hassle of driving. I’m able to stay in the comfort of my home and receive the same quality education I would have in an on-campus program.

Do you have experience with online education?

I had some experience with online education during my undergrad program; this environment is exceptional in comparison. The courses are designed to be online and still provide a “classroom” setting through Zoom, which gives us the ability to ask questions and interact with professors.

Tell us about your classmates.

I’ve definitely learned from many of my classmates. Professors frequently use breakout rooms and provide other opportunities for us to get to know each other and work together on projects.

There are so many intelligent people in this program, and they all have unique life and professional experiences to learn from. I have formed a few relationships outside of the classroom, and I look forward to creating more!

How has what you have learned in the program so far influenced your current work?

I think the main difference for me so far is just having a fresh perspective on certain things. I’ve become familiar with tools like Tableau, and I’ve learned a few analytic techniques that I can potentially bring to the workplace.

How will this degree help you pursue your professional goals?

This degree will allow me to reach new heights in my organization. I will be able to provide an analytic background to some of the problems we face and even help across divisions within my organization.

What advice do you have for others considering this degree?

If you enjoy critical thinking and learning about an ever-expanding field, this is the degree for you. Data analytics has a significant impact on companies and the global economy — one that has barely been touched. It’s a very exciting field, and the techniques and tools we learn are all very useful. I can clearly see a path to their impact.

What has stood out to you from your time in the program (so far)?

My relationships with classmates have stood out. Everyone is so helpful and ready to put in the work to get projects done, or even just make friends and professional acquaintances. The staff has been incredible; they’re all so helpful and truly want everyone to succeed.