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The Master of Science in Business Analytics alumni community is committed to supporting aspiring Business Analytics professionals. With unique career trajectories full of passion projects, surprising opportunities, and diverse backgrounds, our alumni have important insights to share. Learn more about the achievements and contributions of Foster MSBA students from previous years and how they have shaped our program to rank high at a global level.

Caleb Aguiar

Caleb AguiarMSBA Class of 2021
Program Manager, Security,
A military veteran with 7 years of professional experience in hand, Caleb came to Foster MSBA with a determination to emerge with the global data and technology trend. Now a Program Manager at Microsoft, he is making the most of his learnings from the military and the MSBA classroom.

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Prarthana Kejriwal

Prarthana KejriwalMSBA Class of 2021
Sr. Business Analysis Manager, Media Attribution, T-Mobile
With an MBA and over 6 years of professional experience, Prarthana has been open to learning whether it was inside the classroom, during team projects, or outside of class. From case competitions to networking (with the remote nature of the program in 2021), she has tried to grow holistically in the program.

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Dan Oranski

Dan OranskiMSBA Class of 2021
Sr. Data Analytics Consultant,
Dan came to Foster MSBA with 22 years of professional experience in the Manufacturing/Engineering industry. As a seasoned leader and manager, he brought a unique touch of market knowledge, which he wished to leverage to become a proficient data analyst.

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Jeffrey Pan

Jeffrey PanMSBA Class of 2020
Sr. Customer Service Analytics Manager,
Jeffrey has a wealth of experience in several industries including consulting, e-commerce, and travel. At his new job as a Sr. Customer Service Analytics Manager at Chewy, he is employing a broad range of skills from his academic and professional background. Having worked full-time while managing the Foster MSBA course load, he has some tips for mid-career aspirants!

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Program Manager, Security, Microsoft
Class of 2021

Why did you choose the MSBA program?

I chose the MSBA program because I needed some technical refresh after working for the government, which is working hard to modernize their technology stack. I wanted to return to Information Systems and work at a company that uses technology. My background in the field made me choose MSBA over an MBA.

Did you have experience in Business Analytics before joining the program?

No, but my work experience was in solving problems and optimizing processes, managing groups of people most efficiently, workflows, and I knew that when transitioning out of military, I would need to leverage technology and data to tell stories. And that is a whole skillset that I knew about but I also knew there were better tools and programs out there that I could learn from.

What advice do you have for balancing a full-time job, personal and family life, classes, team meetings, and other program activities?

Don’t try to do multiple things at the same time! If you’re going to come to class, focus 100% on the curriculum; if you’re going to spend time with your family, unplug from the computer; and if you’re at work, try to apply the things that you’re learning in class. Over time you’ll see the benefits of it by being more efficient and optimizing things. The biggest thing I saw in people was that they were paying money for a degree but they didn’t engage with classmates and they weren’t learning in class. I knew I did not want to miss out on that opportunity.

How did your classmates (and other Foster students) enhance your time at Foster?

I would say 50% of the things you learn is from other students so it’s really critical to build relationships and make connections with other students because they come from diverse backgrounds and they all have something to teach you. A lot of your classmates might go on and become hiring managers and that’s something to consider when developing bonds with peers!

Senior Business Analysis Manager, Media Attribution at T-Mobile
MSBA Class of 2021

What aspect of the Foster culture is best serving your career?

The balance of being both technical and data-driven and acquiring business knowledge! Classes on Marketing Analytics, Digital Marketing, and Customer Analytics were the perfect blend. I learned how to make data-driven decisions and how to tie the data back to the business world. Even the capstone project with Microsoft provided me with real-world insights and was a great learning experience.

How did your classmates (and other Foster students) enhance your time at Foster?

The cohort-based learning approach exposed me to many new backgrounds, different ways of looking at things and provided me with fresh perspectives all the time. Plus, my peers brought complementary skills, which helped boost my learning. Teamwork is of essence at Foster. I made some really good friends while working in teams, and got to learn from their expertise and experiences. It was more like a sneak peek into working with coworkers!

What was your biggest accomplishment while a student/since graduating?

As a Foster student, I thoroughly enjoyed making the most of my time in the program. I loved participating in case competitions, attending virtual events, making friends despite the entire program being remote at the time. Since graduating, I’ve been applying my learnings from the program in a more real-world scenario and in a field I’m passionate and enthusiastic about.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer to students entering the program?

I’d like to mention that everybody’s journey is unique, so be open to lots of learning every day and make the year a holistic experience, even though it might be daunting at times. Professionally, I use so many technical skills I learned at Foster on the daily such as SQL, Tableau, Statistics, Marketing Analytics, and Digital Marketing.

Sr. Data Analytics Consultant, Calligo
MSBA Class of 2021

Why did you choose the MSBA program?

The Foster MSBA program presented an opportunity to learn how to combine advanced analytics with business operations. MBAs are flooding the market and having the data science/advanced analytics skillset is a key differentiator as it applies to leading groups in a business setting. Data literacy is essential as the business world transitions to higher analytics and data science usage rates.

What did you do before you joined the MSBA program?

Prior to joining the Foster MSBA program, I worked as the Engineering Manager for a PNW furniture manufacturer, where I managed 11 people. My job was focused on improving throughput velocity and operational efficiency for orders and custom furniture modifications. The job prior to this was working as the group manager for a software suite used in nuclear maintenance and engineering.

What skills, personal qualities, or abilities are important for succeeding in the program?

Curiosity, self-starter mentality, objectivity, open-mindedness.

How would you describe your transition from full-time professional to full-time student?

The transition from full-time professional to full-time student took some adjustment. My previous two jobs involved managing people and I intentionally tried to avoid having a manager’s mindset during matriculation. I thought it was important to let those with less experience in the job field, and as managers step into student/project roles that required some management purview. It was a challenge to step back from leading working sessions, project meetings, etc. Outside of this adjustment, the Foster MSBA staff and faculty made the transition quite smooth.

Sr. Customer Service Analytics Manager, Chewy
MSBA Class of 2014

Why did you choose the MSBA program?

I’m originally from New Jersey and went to the University of Chicago to pursue a major in Economics with a minor in Statistics. Having an interest in problem-solving early on, I decided to try management consulting for a few years before I decided to move to Seattle and work as a Merchandise Strategy Analyst for Zulily. After that, I transitioned to Expedia as I was interested in traveling and I worked as part of their Travel Package E-commerce team. During that time, I was at the MSBA program and while I was there, I wanted to try a different field altogether, so I moved into product management and marketing at Amazon. Finally, I wanted to return to analytics, so I moved back into e-commerce and currently work as a Sr. Customer Service Analytics Manager at Chewy. I’ve been lucky enough to always work at a company that I’ve had a passion for in their services or am a customer of myself.

What advice do you have for balancing a full-time job, personal and family life, class, team meetings, and other program activities?

Let’s not forget about the most important one – sleep! Honestly, you have to choose what you want the most and prioritize the rest. Think hard about what’s most valuable to you in the near-term, medium-term, and long-term, and do the things that will get you there. I’m not just talking about academics but about all aspects of your life.

What skills, personal qualities, or abilities are important for succeeding in the program?

Try to have a goal of what success looks like for you when you graduate from the program. And try to be very specific as well. Many people are very happy to get into the program, but that is just the beginning. For example, if your goal is to get a job from being in the program, try to be specific and envision exactly what type of role and in what industry. Then work backward and identify which classes, projects, datasets, and classmates will get you to your goal. What I see many people doing these days is trying to get everything they can from every single part of the program, which is fine. Still, in today’s world, it’s better to show a specialization instead of a general breadth of understanding of all business analytics topics and skills. My final advice is that it’s fine if your goal changes during the program, that’s all a part of the ride. I’d say cherish that part as much as you can.

How are you leveraging your experience for future success?

The Sr. Analytics Manager role is part of the Chewy WOW team, which attempts to surprise and delight customers with memorable gifts and moments as pet owners. This requires expertise in a variety of e-commerce, marketing, and customer experience data. Supporting customers throughout the highs and lows of their pet parent journey (from sending them hand-painted portraits, birthday cards, or even sympathy flowers) is our top priority at Chewy, and it requires communication skills to align multiple independent stakeholders, including senior leadership, on a data roadmap that drives us forward. Fortunately, I’m at a stage where I can combine my past business analytics and product management skills to succeed in this role, while continuing to learn new methods to analyze data and work with incredible team members and customers at Chewy.