Degree: MS in Business Analytics
Class Year: 2018
Position and Employer: Data Scientist, Opentext
Hometown: New Delhi, India
When Arjun Arora found himself in the position of choosing from multiple job offers after graduation, he credited the experiences and connections he gained during his time in the MS in Business Analytics program at Drexel.
Arora wasn’t always interested in business analytics. His love for data science ignited while he was pursuing an undergraduate degree in Marketing and Sports Management at Kutztown University. After suffering an injury while playing for the university tennis team that left him sidelined, Arora started working with the university athletics department studying fan behavior. “That really sparked my interest in research and analytics,” says Arora. “It was the first time I realized how much fun it was. I was also collaborating with faculty, and they pushed me to develop the critical skills and ask the right questions.”
After graduation, Arora joined a market research firm named MSI International. At the company, he worked as a research coordinator and focused on data processing, where he learned programming skills on the job. “I started helping out other teams – project managers. I’m always curious to learn what other departments are doing and how I can help out. I think helping out is enabling my growth,” says Arora. His obvious passion and dedication lead him to be promoted to a project manager position within the first six months on the job.
But despite his rapid career growth, Arora knew he wanted to learn more in the field and be able to bring more to the companies that he worked with. After working with MSI for a year, Arora started looking for graduate programs in business analytics field and found Drexel had the perfect balance for him. “Drexel was one of the few schools that was aligned with the business skills plus the analytical skills,” says Arora.
Starting the program in fall 2016, Arora enthusiastically jumped right in, doing everything from case competitions to additional projects. “Doing work outside the classroom really helped me stand out from my peers in terms of when I go and speak to recruiters or employers,” says Arora. “It’s allowed me to learn these technical skills and also learn what I want to do and where I see myself going in the future and I think that’s very important.”
Arora’s achievements while working on these competitions and projects were no small feat. After placing fifth internationally at the INFORMS OR & Analytics Competition in 2017, Arora knew he had found the perfect field. Though the project wasn’t in an area Arora was familiar with – it involved working with a seed biotech company to create a prediction model to determine which seeds should be commercialized – Arora presented his project to an international audience in Las Vegas, Nev. “It was a life-changing experience for me in terms of developing a solution and understanding what goes into using the right tools and language and having the right data mining and data science that are specific to my future career.”
Outside of the competitions and projects, Arora knew he wanted an extensive amount of internship experience for opportunities to apply what he learned. When Arora returned for his last term, he took two courses while working with CompassRed in data science and analytics. “That’s when I recognized, I really enjoy this and I really like to do this. I saw where my career was headed,” says Arora.
Arora says that the skills he learned from Drexel helped him in his work in the professional world. “What really stands out is having the ability to understand which machine learning model and which analytics solution can be applied to a particular business case,” he says.
After graduation, Arora received multiple job offers, but chose the one he thought worked best for his career goals, crediting the graduate advising team for showing him the way. “The advisers have helped me build a professional profile, but also helped me understand what industry or job positions would be the best fit,” says Arora. “The program has helped me figure out what I want to do and figure out where my skillset is positioned with employers. I think that’s helped me tremendously in my professional growth.”
Arora recently accepted a position in San Mateo, Calif. as a data scientist at Opentext.