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Alumni Profile: Trung Nguyen

Name: Trung Nguyen

Major: M.S. Finance

Graduation: 2016

Dream job: to work at a financial institution or financial services company that publishes financial advice regularly and be the one to overlook both the commentary aspect as well as the visual branding.

How has the Business Analytics Lab helped with your major?

Since my study was in Finance, nine out of the ten classes I took were heavily quantitative and all relied on the tools that the Lab provides in one way or another. All the computers had the software and other resources that allowed me to work inside and outside of the classroom. Quinlan also provided and regularly updated the software so I didn’t have to subscribe to or buy to use them to their full potential.

What did you like most about the Lab?

Other than the availability of all the professional software, I also enjoyed the camaraderie that I developed with a group of students who were frequently in the Lab. We were all part of the same finance club (the Rambler Investment Fund) and quickly found out within the first two months of school that we would be seeing a lot of each other because of our similar schedules and interests. The Lab wasn’t just the place where the club held its meetings, but it was also where we met for classes and collaborate outside of school. We often found ourselves at the Lab late at night long after the last class has ended and even on Saturdays and Sundays. This was all very beneficial because we were all studying and pursuing the same things. We had the same goals and were able to help each other. The Lab was where I could meet colleagues, friends, and classmates who were like-minded.

The other thing I really liked about the Lab is the small room in the back. It allowed us to continue working on our assignments while classes were in session or late into the evening.

Lastly, I was allowed the opportunity to improve my capabilities in the Lab at my own pace and time and without excessive pressure to master the skills quickly since it wasn’t a work/professional environment but still had all the tools.

What was missing in the Lab that you wished you had?

I kind of wish there were a cabinet for us to put our utensils and things for storage overnight or throughout the day because we all used the Lab so often. Joking aside, I honestly don’t think the Lab is missing anything.

Are you currently interning or working in a field that requires analytics? If yes, how has the Lab helped prepare you?

I am working in a field that doesn’t necessarily require analytics but having some basic skills would certainly be advantageous. I am, however, still working on a project with Professor Todd that requires R Studio and VBA for Excel, and the few classes that I took which covered R and VBA prepared me with solid fundamentals for the two relatively simple but widely used coding languages.

Additionally, just the fact that I’ve been able to know, learn, and understand the programs the Lab offers already allows me to stand out among the competition. I can put the skills on my resume and it is a big differentiating point.

Is there anything you would like to share with prospective students, parents, or even current students who haven’t been in the Lab before?

If you ever get the chance to use all the tools that the Lab offers, you should take advantage of that because not everyone has the ability to access all the software, databases, and services that are currently available. Just knowing what the interface looks like and what the software is capable of already puts you a step ahead. Understanding the foundational levels of various programs can certainly help you compete in the job market and get you ahead more quickly in the business world. And probably the best thing is that many of the software have online learning portals so you don’t even need an instructor to get started.


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