Learning and Practicing Business Analytics Skills Concurrently

Balancing a full-time job and a full course load is no easy feat. Darcy Ma, a student in the MSBA class of 2023, has managed to find time to make the most of the learnings in class and at his job. In fact, his recent transition to a new industry while a student at Foster has brought about the challenge of adapting. 

“I have had to hone very quickly in being efficient and optimizing each minute,” shared Darcy about his work-life balance. “It did take sacrifices like of my sleep, but it was an enriching experience academically, professionally, and personally to be stretched in that way.” 

Darcy is now a Credit Analyst in the IT consulting industry at Tango after spending about two years in various capacities in the entertainment industry with The Pokémon Company International. With over seven years of professional experience in the finance and analytics industries, he is now focusing on credit risk and compliance analyses to ensure credit limits are within appropriate thresholds.

Leveraging Background in Finance 

After graduating with a degree in finance from Seattle Pacific University, Darcy pursued several professional experiences to broaden his scope. Two of those experiences have particularly shaped his career dreams that are at the intersection of finance and analytics. First, a data analytics boot camp with SpringBoard, and second, a certification in business analytics at the University of Washington.  

His early exposure to the field, UW Foster’s reputation in the industry, and a strong willingness to grow brought him to the Foster MSBA program. “After the early experiences with finance and analytics, I still wanted to explore the technical opportunities in the workflow automation space, and I saw great potential in business analytics as my stepping stone,” said Darcy. 

Learning and Employing Skills Both Academically and Professionally 

According to Darcy, Professor Michael Wagner’s class, where he learned logistic regression models was particularly beneficial while on the field. And he brought expertise in SQL and Python from his professional life to the classroom. “It’s as though I’m compiling the information I gain in class and at my job to culminate my industry knowledge and skills,” shared Darcy. 

Darcy’s Interviewing Tips 

While a student, Darcy was also engaging in the job search process, which ultimately led to a new position in his desired field. Some tips he kept in mind when interviewing:

  • “Know your resume and work experiences really well.” 
  • “Document your story with some anecdotes that can portray your different skills to show your background and interest in the job and the company.” 
  • “Have an updated portfolio and make sure you answer the interview questions in the STAR format (situation, task, action, result).” 

“I’ve learned so much from my faculty and peers,” reminisced Darcy. “It has been a rewarding experience and I look forward to celebrating our achievements.” 

Interested in a professional journey like Darcy’s? Check out the Foster MSBA curriculum to see what skills you can learn and leverage for your professional journey.

Written by Niv Joshi
Writer & Content Strategist
[email protected]

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