When an employer benefit covered college costs, Christine Vaudo seized the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree at Middlesex Community College. She didn’t stop there: Vaudo went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Manning School of Business and then decided to pursue her master’s degree in business analytics.
Returning to school after a long gap means you know better what you want, Vaudo says. When she heard about the Manning School’s new business analytics degree, she knew it was for her. A lover of math, she has experience in computer science and working with databases. And the career opportunities are booming.
 “Everyone’s looking for analytics. Whether it’s fundraising, finance, marketing – there are lots of jobs,” she says. 
The program has been a good fit. Vaudo especially appreciates the many opportunities to interact with industry professionals, whether they are offering guest lectures or evaluating students’ project proposals, as is required for the program’s capstone project. 
Those projects address a current problem that a company faces. Student teams propose solutions to them, which are then evaluated by the company’s executives and members of the MSBA program’s industry advisory board, who themselves are experienced professionals. Vaudo was also on a student team selected to present research at a national business analytics challenge in 2017 in Anaheim, Calif., for a study on “Summer Olympic Games: A Holistic Data Analysis of Factors Influencing Women’s Performance.” She and a classmate looked at how a country’s social, economic, political, health and education conditions impact the performance of their female Olympians. At a research symposium offered in tandem with the competition, Vaudo and the other students had the opportunity to network with Big Data experts from more than 900 companies and 45 countries. 
It’s not only these experiences that Vaudo says excite her about the program, but it’s also the faculty. “The professors are all so friendly, and they bring different strengths, different backgrounds and different job histories,” she says.
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