I am currently a Senior Associate on the Brand Insights team at Capital One, where I conduct brand measurement studies as an internal research partner to other marketing or product-focused teams. I studied Political Science and English during undergrad, and have previously worked in political polling and agency-side market research.
I started thinking about pursuing an MSBA after I transitioned from working in political polling into market research and insights. In my first few years of work after college, I knew I wanted to continue growing my analytics skill set to more expertly explore and tell stories with data. However, especially after I started working in a more business-heavy setting, I was excited to learn about data analytics specifically within the context of everyday business problems. I also wanted to expand on my leadership, strategy, and presentation skills to help me more effectively communicate insights and facilitate data-driven decisions.
To start, the UVA MSBA really aligned with my professional and academic interests. I loved the idea of using the Darden case method to learn about analytics and coding, since it added discussion, collaboration, and business context to tools that could otherwise be learned in a more isolated way. I was also excited about the ability to explore real data in many of the courses and the opportunity to work with actual companies as a part of the module projects. UVA also has a particular emphasis on building a strong class cohort, which was very important to me (especially given the working professional format). I could tell there would be a lot of opportunity to build relationships and community with classmates during classes, team projects, weekend residencies, and beyond.
I have loved getting to learn alongside an extremely bright and collaborative group of students in the program. Our class discussions are made so much more interesting by people bringing in their different work and life experiences, and it has created a really supportive learning environment to tackle learning all of the different analytics approaches. I also enjoyed our extended residency in Charlottesville, where we got to spend time exploring the campus, seeing a UVA football game, going on a scavenger hunt, and making a lot of fun memories as a cohort.
I feel lucky to live in the DC area, where there is always so much to do! I love getting out in the community with friends and trying new restaurants, seeing shows at the Kennedy Center or 9:30 Club, or going to the many events that are put on here throughout the year. I am also involved in a few different music ensembles in the area, and enjoy running and playing tennis.
I recently traveled to Istanbul and loved it! We went over the summer, and it was so beautiful to walk around the Bosphorus in the evenings and see the sun set over the skyline of the Old City. The food, history, culture, and people made it truly unforgettable.
The residencies are super immersive, and it has been great to be present with my cohort and our professors for extended sessions in both Rosslyn and Charlottesville. There are different kinds of learning moments that happen organically this way, from a class discussion that continues into the hallway after it ends to connecting with a new peer at the snack station between classes. (Also, to that point, the food and accommodations are always so nice!)
I would encourage prospective students to stay open-minded to what you can achieve during the program, especially if you’re newer to business or analytics! As someone from a more ‘non-traditional’ business background, I have found it to be a rewarding experience to learn so much in just a few short months. There will definitely be some trial and error along the way, but the professors and cohort create a supportive learning environment where that’s okay (even encouraged!) and everyone is working through it together as a group. I’m excited to see what’s to come in the months ahead!
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