After receiving a BS in Environmental Engineering from Clemson University and starting a new job, Mary Boken 21MSBA quickly realized her career aspirations were changing. Her passion grew for the intersection between technology and business, which drove her to make a switch to work for a more innovative industry and function, particularly FinTech. “Through my work experience, I started to realize the power of data and analytics for the success of a business and how sought-after these skills were in the more innovative job functions that I was interested in. I decided that I wanted to build on my technical skills that I gained as an engineer to become a data scientist, which led me to the MS in Business Analytics program at Emory.”
Switching careers can be a daunting task, which is why Mary looked at programs that focused on and catered to career services and placement. The career services and resources specifically curated for MS in Business Analytics (MSBA) students at Goizueta was one of the driving factors in her decision to attend Emory. “While I was a prospective student, I came to Atlanta to attend the MSBA Insights Day and was blown away by the industry connections that Emory has with top employers.” Mary was also immediately impressed with the intimacy of the program. She could tell from the beginning that professors and the program office not only worked closely with students, but they were also deeply invested in their success.
Her time in the program helped her grow as a leader, navigating challenging projects in team settings. “As I progressed through the program, I became confident directing projects, managing deadlines, leading team meetings and corresponding with clients. This newfound confidence in my leadership abilities carried through to my job search, as I felt surer of my skills and the direction I was headed in my career.”
One of her most valuable experiences was completing the MSBA Capstone where she worked with Truist Bank on a real-world data science project. Throughout the project, she and her team met with the client weekly to provide updates on progress and learn how they could best design the project to meet the client’s needs. “We were able to present our final outcomes to senior leaders at Truist and also at the Goizueta Business Analytics Conference. The experience allowed me to grow holistically as a data scientist – in technical, communication, project management, and presentation skills.”
While Mary had strong problem-solving skills coming into Goizueta, the MSBA program not only helped expand that skillset, but also taught her how to look at problems from a business perspective by asking why does the problem need to be solved and how can a solution add value. “The MSBA program helped me not only to gain the technical skills needed to be successful as a data scientist, but also the soft skills and business acumen that I will carry with me throughout my career.”