Current Position: Management Consultant and Chief Operating Officer, Topaz Educational Services, LLC
Previous University: Lehigh University
Undergraduate Degree: Accounting
Q: What skills are you building at D’Amore-McKim that you will use in your future career?
A: I am building a knowledge and deep understanding of data analytics. My course of study is a focus both on data analytics as an instructional area but also how it is used and interpreted in the business world.
Q: Why did you choose D’Amore-McKim?
A: I have been working for 25+ years and have had senior level positions in the publishing and entertainment space. I also have a CPA that I earned soon after college.
The industries I work in and with have been significantly impacted by the rise of data and data analytics. More and more of my work includes discussions around data analytics. I want to have a deep knowledge that will inform my decisions, not just a cursory understanding.
Originally, I started to look at taking a few classes and found that there were now masters programs focused on data analytics. I methodically went through all the programs available and wanted a program that had a strong business focus as well as a strong analytics focus. Many programs were under the MIS or Computer science departments, but that was too “techy” for me. I wanted something that I could apply to my everyday business life—a good solid understanding of the technology but with a clear business focus.
After looking at many programs, I applied to four, including D’Amore-McKim. I was fortunate to get into all four programs and chose D’Amore-McKim because of the course of study offered here, the delivery of the program, the reputation of Northeastern and honestly because my college age son told me that Northeastern had such a phenomenal reputation in this area that I should choose Northeastern.
Q: What would you say to a prospective student considering D’Amore-McKim for their business degree?
A: I would say to a prospective student that the program has absolutely fulfilled and exceeded my expectations and I have been able to apply my learning starting with the first course. The courses are taught entirely by D’Amore-McKim professors. Many of the programs offered by other institutions had part-time instructors or business professionals teach the courses. At Northeastern the same professors who teach on campus teach the online courses—and they encourage you to stop by their offices if you’re ever in the area. There is tremendous thought and care taken by each professor in creating each course and the interaction with the professor and the students in the classes has been outstanding across the entire program. The professors are incredibly committed to the students, to the program, and to achieving the learning objectives.
There has also been a great balance in the coursework between math, technical knowledge, business, and marketing. There’s a lot of opportunity to learn and a lot of opportunity to share your knowledge and experience.
The program does a great job of introducing and teaching the newest tools and technology such as R programming, Tableau, SPSS, and Python. These tools are included in the program and it is done in a way that a non-techy person like me can learn and become proficient while more technologically proficient people are expanding their existing skills. This part of the program has been incredibly valuable and tools such as Tableau have become an everyday part of my work.
I also think that the program uses the technology well. I feel like I know my fellow classmates and I have gotten to know my professors as well, in many ways better than I might have in a classroom-based course. There is constant interaction that really supports and enhances the learning.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A: I’ll probably be doing something similar professionally that I am doing now. But, I have so enjoyed the program here at Northeastern that it has rekindled my interest in formal education. Who knows, in 5 to 10 years I may be back at Northeastern adding to my degrees!
“The analytic, technical skills, and the corporate connections that the school has will give students the experience and maturity to pursue their careers,” says Young.
“Taking the program online allowed me to set my own work time, which for me is after my son goes to bed, and that was a tremendous help. I developed relationships with some of my professors and classmates that are just as strong as if we had been in a brick-and-mortar classroom together.”
“Data technology and business needs are changing so fast that you can’t be good at just one thing. There’s always going to be a new tool, a new framework. The MS in Business Analytics program will push you to pick up new skills”