I graduated from UVA in 2018 and majored in Commerce at the McIntire School. Since graduating from UVA, I have been working as a product engineer at ESRI, a geospatial technology company. I never imagined I would be doing geographic information system (GIS)-related work, but I have really enjoyed it.
I specifically work on two products in our R&D center, and a lot of my day-to-day involves essentially project management work. For people who are less familiar with this field, one product I work on is called ArcGIS Mission, which deals with situational awareness and is often used by public safety teams when staffing large public events – for example, the World Series. This product was used by the Cobb County Police Department for the 2021 World Series!
I was familiar with UVA from my time at the McIntire School of Commerce as an undergraduate student, and I knew the quality of the education I would receive. At UVA, I felt like professors really cared about and worked to ensure you were learning. This program emphasized not only how to analyze data, but also learn how to effectively communicate it. I also liked the fact that the MSBA program was just 12 months, start to finish, and that I could continue working while pursuing the degree.
I have really enjoyed being able to work while doing the program at the same time. It is not always easy to fit everything in, but attempting to balance work, life, and school has given me such a great feeling of accomplishment. I’ve also enjoyed learning a lot about analytics, and it has been interesting to think about how I can take the things we are learning about in class and apply them to products we are developing at work.
As a working professional student, you have to acknowledge that you can’t do it all – and that’s okay! Just focus on doing the best you can, and remember that you are here to learn. Soak it all in, and enjoy your time in the program. Everyone is awesome, and your classmates, like you, are also here to learn. My classmates are all so smart and so hardworking, and they make me want to show up and be better, too. Seeing them working hard makes me want to work harder. They’re also fun people, and I can definitely see myself continuing the friendships I’ve built here once the program is over.
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