Analytics Explored: To The Brink and Back
By: Tanima Chakraborty
Having spent a fairly large amount of time deciding my MBA major, I couldn’t help but end up seeking guidance from Graduate Business Career Services (GBCS) at Zarb School of Business, Hofstra University. Amidst their priceless direction, some of the best learning I have savored is through the employer networking events. Being a graduate student in Business Analytics, I never miss to grab any opportunities to explore Analytics and its impacts on the present and future of the business world. Recently, I attended two back to back events hosted by GBCS, the Analytics Career Panel and the GroupM Open House:
Last Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 GBCS hosted the Analytics Career Panel in the Student Center. Shari Lindner, Associate Director at GBCS moderated the event. The employers at the Analytics Career Panel were Russ Ahrens, SVP of Data Recruiting at Connections of New York, Keith Crumpler, Analytics Manager and Website Marketing at 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc., Brian Hauswirth, Senior Analyst of Insights and Analytics at MediaCom, Jiten Patel, Senior Analyst at Altice, and Liz Raschke, Manager of Strategic Solutions for Google 360 Suite at Google. Each of these employers shared their valuable experiences, including how they ended up in Analytics without having prior experience and how they are enjoying their career decisions. I especially loved when Liz stated, “In Analytics, data is the benefit and the challenge as well”. Another important point I learned from Keith was, data tells us different stories and it is up to us on how efficiently we create and communicate those stories to management. This is vital because, data visualization is all about telling a story from the data which is the ground for management to make decisions to ultimately drive business decisions. Jiten’s feedback supported the other employers by offering tips on Analytics tools such as Tableau, R, and Altrix which provided students with platforms to focus on and improve skill sets.
The following day, I attended the GroupM Open House with their agencies, Metavision, Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom, and Maxus. This experience was my first corporate visit and well worth attending! I learned a great deal that day about Analytics, with two major components being highlighted – modelling and visualization. As part of the Zarb experience, GroupM organized an Analytics Panel led by the Analytics team at Maxus, Kevin McCarthy, Managing Partner and Head of Effectiveness at Maxus, Amanda Daudelin, Data Analytics Manager, Aggrey Ambenge, Data Analytics Manager, and Ankur Sikka, Manager of Digital Analytics. The most unique aspect about the panel that awed me was their approach of communicating, which was a question-answer targeted session on how their team uses analytics, what analytics means, and how as a student I can be successful. They were very honest in terms of their views and suggestions and I appreciated that candid feedback. Kevin mentioned what soft skills students should focus on, stating curiosity and confidence as two elements he looks for when interviewing. Amanda also reinforced what was offered at the previous event, that not having prior experience in Analytics is not disadvantageous, as she has a background in marketing. Lastly, during networking with Ankur, I learned about the several free data platforms like Tableau Public and Kaggle, which allow you to work with real-time data and learn in the process. This event was the perfect opportunity to network, which is one of the key elements of landing an offer. So, as a student it is our responsibility to utilize opportunities like these events in a wise manner which will help us in future endeavors.
Analytics is something which I’m hungry to dig deep and this couldn’t have been a better opportunity for me.
I went to these events with an expectation of getting more insights into careers in Analytics and ensuring my direction towards it. I believe students should take advantage of these opportunities because it is a great platform to interact with employers who have quality experience in the industry on a more personal level. Moreover, students have the chance to find career and industry solutions they never would have discovered without attending these types of events. Personally, I was motivated by the employers and their suggestions about the Analytics industry and hope other students take advantage like I did. “It should be your own passion and how curious you are in exploring the data. Data is huge and complex, you might fail several times but what matters is your effort quickly you can learn from it and be successful”.