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Job title: Business intelligence reporting analyst
Company Name: Partners Federal Credit Union
Job Description: I create dashboards and reports for the business. This allows our company to make informed decisions. I work with SQL, Tableau, SSRS, and excel.
Career Summary: My career started within PACM with my internship with the Walt Disney company. After my internship ended I returned to buffalo to finish my masters. I then went to Merchants Insurance company as a data analyst. After that I returned to the Walt Disney company to work as a business intelligence analyst for their credit union (Partners).
Proudest Accomplishment: Finding a career that I love. Being able to go to work each day and enjoying what you do. Being a data analyst gives me a lot of fulfillment and flexibility.
How did your experience in PACM help you find your first job?: I would say the SAS classes were a huge help as my internship utilized SAS. The Markov chains class gave me a wonderful project to reference when I was interviewing. Any of the regression classes, I used regression techniques in multiple projects. The business classes I took also prepared me for the professional side of my career. How to interview, resume building and the importance of networking.
How did the PACM program contribute to your success: It gave me the tools I needed to get started. Before PACM I didn't have any experience in the computer programs that many companies look for. Gaining experience in these programs along with projects gave me examples to reference when interviewing and the skills needed to do the job.
What was your favorite part of program?: The people I met and the skills I learned along the way.
What did you enjoy most about Buffalo?: Buffalo will always be a second home. There is just something special about it that makes you forget how terrible the winters are. There are great restaurants and many places to explore.
If you could do it again, what would you do differently?: I would ask more questions. Now that I am in my career I understand more the connections between what I was learning and what I am doing at work.
What advice do you have for current students?: Get as much out of the program as you can. Retain the projects you complete. Find a internship that interests you.
Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn if you have any questions in data analytics or my career path.
Job title: Senior Business Analytics & Reporting Analyst
Company Name: M&T Bank
Job Description: In my current role at M&T bank, I provide analytical and modeling support that provides insights into managing the Consumer Deposit portfolio.
Career Summary: Since graduating from the PACM program in March 2019, I started at M&T Bank as a Treasury Data Analyst and am currently a Senior Business Analytics & Reporting Analyst with Consumer Deposits.
How did your experience in PACM help you find your first job?: Networking with former PACM graduates and building relationships with PACM staff helped with both internship and job opportunities.
How did the PACM program contribute to your success: The exposure to programming with SAS, SQL and python languages and using those languages to complete various modeling projects.
What was your favorite part of program?:Creating life-long friendships with my classmates!
What advice do you have for current students?: Take advantage of as many opportunities as possible that will provide you with additional opportunities to learn a new application (tableau, Power BI, etc), programming language or modeling experience.
Job title: Lead Quantitative Analyst
Company Name: M&T Bank
Job Description: I lead the development and analysis of quantitative behavioral models used for credit risk and capital planning.
Career Summary: After graduating, I landed a temp job with M&T which lead to a full-time quantitative position. I have been there for a little over 7 years now. I am also working on an MBA at UB and expect to graduate in 2023.
How did your experience in PACM help you find your first job?: The networking by far. Being connected to members of the Buffalo community in different industries helped me get a lot of interview opportunities after graduation.
How did the PACM program contribute to your success: Coming from a quantitative background, I already had fairly strong mathematical skills entering the program. The PACM program helped me learn to combine my technical skills with communication and leadership skills needed to succeed in a business setting.
What was your favorite part of program?: The people! I'm lucky that some of the friends I made in the program are now my co-workers, and there are many others who I still keep in touch with.
What did you enjoy most about Buffalo?: So much! I loved going out anywhere in the Elmwood Village or Allentown with my classmates.
If you could do it again, what would you do differently?: I would look for more opportunities to learn/use different programming languages.
What advice do you have for current students?: Take advantage of ANY opportunity that pops up whether it be internships/electives/etc. I passed up a modeling elective that revolved around banking data because I thought "I will never go into banking" and now look where I am!
Job title: Data Manager
Company Name: Learning, Engagement, and Development Services
Job Description: I work with a team to conduct research, analyze data and report findings to our current funder, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. I've had the opportunity to work with my team on developing and administering surveys. Most recently, I have been mapping training data throughout NYS. I also run the Learning, Engagement, and Development Services Twitter page (@LEADSatBSC) where we put out information regarding health and wellness pertaining to our research. One time, we even shared that we were looking for an interested graduate assistant to help with research and analyze some health data – give us a follow.
Career Summary: I started an internship on campus at the Institute for Community Health Promotion during PACM. A year later, it led to a full-time position as a research assistant. I got to work with epidemiologists in population health and learn how to map community health data alongside one of the best geographers. I went on numerous conferences (one of them with BSC President Dr. Kate Conway-Turner). The focus was to represent Buffalo State College and speak on our efforts and impacts to advance the long-term social, economic, and physical health of the campus and surrounding communities. Currently, I am a data manager at Learning, Engagement, and Development Services researching, analyzing data, and learning how to impact health throughout social service programs in NYS.
Proudest Accomplishment: My proudest accomplishment would have to be presenting at the 2018 Symposium on Data Science & Statistics. I had a session in Data Sciences Applications for Critical Health Issues and spoke on SUNY Buffalo State College’s efforts and impacts to advance the long-term social, economic, and physical health of the campus and City of Buffalo. My presentation, Making Data Speak to User Needs: The Anchor Institution Dashboard ended, and I walked out, drenched in sweat but smiling. I just presented at a statistics conference 2 years after graduating with a degree in applied mathematics - I was elated.
How did your experience in PACM help you find your first job?: Dr. Ghosh's classes have helped me the most; we focused on the application of statistical methods in epidemiologic analysis and community health. I didn’t know it at the time, but her classes were pretty much ‘real-life experience.’ Immediately after graduating, I was doing what I learned in Ghosh’s courses – linear regressions, design and analysis of experiments, nonparametric statistics.
How did the PACM program contribute to your success: PACM introduced me to many different computer programs and languages that the private and philanthropic sectors were interested in. The professors used real-life examples, data, and models and we had tons of presentations on our work. They brought in local business owners who allowed us to get involved on mini projects with them. All this helped, especially when it came to research and communication skills.
What was your favorite part of program?: The relationships I built with faculty, staff, and students at Buffalo State College, for sure. I see Dr. Xu around campus sometimes and it’s such a good feeling, like “Hey! You taught me once and now I’m here!”
What did you enjoy most about Buffalo?: At the time, I was living on Grant Street and came to love the West Side of Buffalo. As a refugee myself (from Kosovo), I felt connected to my surroundings. Buffalo is accepting of every kind of person, from whatever walk of life. There are so many cool dive bars and coffee shops that celebrate the history of Buffalo. Then, there are small, but growing events, such as Taste of Diversity or the West Side Bazaar (a small business incubator serving rich ethnic Burmese & Thai, Mexican, Japanese, Indian, Pakistani, and Ethiopian food) that celebrate the future of Buffalo.
Coming from The Bronx, what I loved most is how Buffalo made me feel accepted and how it embraced me. From the food to the loving, genuine people who make it, the West Side of Buffalo and everything it has to offer has been one of the reasons why I cannot leave.
If you could do it again, what would you do differently?: I would have pushed myself to get more involved with the campus through research or the Civic and Community Engagement center. Buffalo State has so many opportunities for students to use their voice in order to make an impact.
The college is surrounded by a very diverse community and interested partners; there’s always this desire to work together. This is the City of Good Neighbors! Knowing everything I know now I would have made more deliberate efforts to contribute to the name by involving myself in both the campus and community culture.
What advice do you have for current students?: Don’t be afraid to ask your professors for help, especially after class. I can’t recall all the times I met with Dr. Carbonara to ask for his help – he always said yes, and I could tell he was truly invested in helping.
Also, keep your eyes open for the opportunities at Buffalo State – don’t be afraid to apply for an internship, put your resume in.
Lastly, make sure you check out the West Side Bazaar and Café 59. Your taste buds will thank you.
Job title: Senior Internal Auditor and Actuary
Company Name: Highmark Western New York
Job Description: I currently work in Internal Audit. I conduct assurance and advisory audits, specializing in audits of data and analytics functions. As a Lead Auditor, I conduct all phases of my audits, including scoping/planning, fieldwork, and closing. I frequently present the results of my audits to senior leadership as well as to the business owners. I also manage our audit reporting function, which involves reporting on the status' of our open management action plans and producing exhibits shared with the Audit Committee.
Career Summary: I've been at Highmark Western New York (formerly known as HealthNow New York) since 2011. I began my career at HealthNow as an Actuarial Analyst working on the Trend Team in the Medical Economics Department. In 2014, I earned my Associateship of the Society of Actuaries (ASA) and transitioned into the Actuarial Department. I worked on the Reserving and Financial Reporting Team for 4 years and then earned my Fellowship of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) in 2018. In 2019 I decided to move into the Internal Audit Department and I'm currently working in Internal Audit. Also in 2019, I taught a course in 2019 in the PACM program as an adjunct faculty member. In 2021, I became a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA designation).
Proudest Accomplishment: My proudest accomplishment was passing all of my Actuarial Exams and earning my Fellowship of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) in 2018. I remain the only female fully-credentialed Actuary at Highmark Western New York.
How did the PACM program contribute to your success: I learned so much in the PACM program. I think the applied statistics courses taught by Professor Ghosh were extremely practical and applicable to the real-world, especially given the explosion of data science and data analytics in the past few years. I am also glad to have been exposed to so many analytical tools. Dr Carbonara introduced us to many programs that are used daily in business, such as SAS, SQL, R Studio, and Python.
What was your favorite part of program?: I really enjoyed the faculty members. They were easy to get to know and I still keep in touch with many of my former professors.
Additionally, I made a few life-long friends in the program. I will always look back fondly at my time in PACM.
What did you enjoy most about Buffalo?:I have lived in Buffalo my entire life and I still live here. I love the Southtowns (Hamburg is my home town) in particular. I enjoy visiting Niagara Falls and the Erie County Fair in the summer. I also love our beautiful waterfront and enjoy biking and boating in the summer.
If you could do it again, what would you do differently?: I would try to learn even more programming languages and/or improve my skills in the languages/programs I already know. I think that is a very valuable skill and transferable to so many jobs and companies.
What advice do you have for current students?: I encourage students to explore their career options early on in the program. If you have an idea of what you want to do long-term, be sure to get an internship and/or arrange a job shadow experience. If this is not possible, consider interviewing someone who works in the profession of interest to you. I cannot stress enough the importance of researching the job you want ahead of time to make sure you will be satisfied and to confirm it is what you're expecting. Finally, when all else fails, consider networking through LinkedIn. I receive messages all the time from students who are interested in learning more about the Actuarial Profession and I'm always happy to answer questions and offer advice.
Feel free to contact me with any questions. I'm always happy to chat with students and/or other professionals. I have lots of tips to share about taking and passing Actuarial Exams!
Job title: Assistant Professor
Company Name: Beijing Union University
Job Description: I am responsible for a number of activities including counseling students, organizing student files and paperwork, and reporting. I also complete the comprehensive assessment of students, including the comprehensive assessment data required for post-secondary education, merit awards, and student recognition.
Career Summary: Since I was an international student, I chose to return to my home country immediately after graduation. With my background in the PACM program, I was able to take a job at Beijing Union University.
Proudest Accomplishment: Independently finish research projects and write papers.
How did your experience in PACM help you find your first job?: Data analysis skills, especially statistical data analysis. Fluent English expression and ability to write English papers. Most importantly, research skills.
How did the PACM program contribute to your success: Time flies fast, I cannot believe that I graduate a year ago. I still remember clearly why I chose to study abroad at Buff State. There are three reasons: first of all, I like the US and American English. Secondly is about the weather, I don’t see the beautiful snow in the winter of Beijing. The remaining is the major. I did computer science as my bachelors’ degree, and I tried to find a major that combined computer science and mathematics. As it turned out, I made the right choice! I learned a lot of things including how to analyze the data from real life and interpret it to people professionally. Like my internship project, I analyze the alcohol consumption of adolescents, and from that, I see the family factor is a critical part influencing their children drinking alcohol. It is very interesting!
What was your favorite part of program?: Statistical classes. It was the most challenging part.
What did you enjoy most about Buffalo?: It is nice to spend my study abroad period at Buff State. Buffalo is a peaceful city, very quiet, a good fit for doing research. (The winter is not friendly sometimes).
If you could do it again, what would you do differently?: Doing more research and make my paper published ASAP.
What advice do you have for current students?: Please never give up and believe your abilities, especially in Dr. Ghosh classes. From my perspective, I will suggest the coming students keep opening and participating in more activities. Buff State is a wonderful university, you can see the beautiful campus, you can meet knowledgeable faculties, and finally, you can get more than you imagine.
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