Meet a Business Analytics Major


Denise Bernard ’14

Extra-curricular activities: 

  • Beta Alpha Psi (honors society)
  • Finance and Economics Club

Why did you choose your major? 

I took Introduction to Information Systems (CIS 110) and was surprised at how interested I was in the course. Professor Zhe Shan is an amazing professor and I ended up taking his Business Statistics (CIS 227) class where he mentioned the business analytics co-major. I was fascinated with the idea that I could learn how to manage data and apply those skills in the real world, so I declared the business analytics co-major along with my finance major. 

What has been your favorite class? 

My favorite class to date has been Business Analytics. I am currently taking this course and it allows me to use prior knowledge to understand more advanced concepts. The best part is being able to use the concepts to create answers that are useful from a specific data.

Have you done any internships?

I currently intern at a Fortune 500 company in Manhattan. My department collects data from 14 different programs and creates high level dashboard for the senior executive team that they use to inform their decision making. The opportunity to see concepts I'm learning in both finance and statistics class merge to create solutions for a large corporation is very rewarding.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation I hope to continue working with data analyzation in the finance department of a company. My dream job would be to manage a profit & loss function for a major product or service. This will allow me to track profitability and determine ways to be more effective by collecting and analyzing data from clients.

What are the faculty like?

In business analytics, Professor Zhan is the most helpful and engaging professor I think I will ever have. There isn’t a question he isn’t willing to answer and a suggestion he isn’t willing to consider. By far, he exemplifies the true passion of what it means to teach.

What’s your favorite thing about this major?

I really like this major because it's all about analyzing massive amounts of data to create efficient solutions. It's fascinating to see principles we learn in class applied in real world setting at my internship. I really get to see power that data has, what data can tell you and how data creates more transparency and responsibility in a company.

What’s the most difficult thing about this major?

It can be easy to become flustered with some of the math. You have to take everything step by step, and learn how to determine what's useful with a big volume of information.

What advice would you give to new students trying to select a major?

I would highly recommend new students to try different things. I started as an art major and realized that it wasn’t for me. Do an internship the summer of your freshman year in your area of study, to discover whether it works for you. Discover what you think you want to do and pursue it. If you realize that you no longer want to be in that field of study, notify your academic advisor and switch. Don’t wait to make the switch, the sooner the better!