What degree did you pursue and why?
I chose to do a unique dual program. I pursued an MBA with a concentration in Business Analytics and an M.S. in Mathematical Finance with a Financial Analytics concentration. I wanted to combine what I have learned in Advanced Business Analytics, Machine Learning, and Neural Networks in particular, with my knowledge of derivative asset modeling from finance.
Why did you choose the Belk College of Business over others?
I like the flexibility of the program, the quality of the program and classes, as well as the ease with which I can attend classes here in Charlotte while working. I’m a full-time employee of a bank and have been able to take at least 9 credits (3 classes +) each semester and summer classes. The unique dual-degree master's option was really what hooked me in.
Tell us about your job. What lessons have you learned in your courses that you were able to apply to the job?
I work on financial reporting design and automation. Additionally, my role includes responsibilities around data governance and database management. I provide resourcing data to internal customers in order for the Global Banking and Markets Technology organization to plan, forecast and execute strategically. I seek to improve financial reporting while automating products and processes. From the program, I have directly learned and applied concepts of database design and maintenance. I have incorporated data modeling and data provision through data-marts and data-lakes. Moreover, I have more technical insight when creating meaningful models used in predictive analytics to help forecast the financial impacts of business decisions.
What activities are you involved in when not working/studying?
I like to hit the gym, run, lift and do conditioning. When I can, I run half-marathons and Spartan races. I do a lot of yoga for stretching and meditation. Recently, I have also become an active volunteer with the Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency, where I help provide resources and work directly with recent refugee arrivals to the United States who are trying to build lives for themselves in the Greater Charlotte area.
What has been the best part of your academic experience so far?
The best part of my academic experience has been my ability to loop course material in with real-world applications. I’ve met some great people along the way as well, who I hope to stay in touch with.
How would you describe the Belk College of Business to someone considering a master’s program?
I would say that this is the best value MBA program around here. I think that given the quality of students coming out of the program, the national rank of the program will continue to rise. You have to think about what you really want to get out of a program for the time, effort and money you put it. I can honestly say I’ve been pleased in every aspect.
How valuable do you feel this degree will be to your career?
I think these degrees will truly change the trajectory of my career.