Intern, Strategic Partnerships City of San Jose
When she was a child, Neeti Tulsyan liked to dress up and pretend she was a fashion model being photographed on red carpets and runways. She never dreamed she would one day launch a career in business analytics. As a fashion management graduate, she had moved to the Bay Area with her new husband in 2011 and found techno-speak was the lingua franca of Silicon Valley. That’s when she discovered the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.
“I tried to find a fit between my interests—I had worked with manufacturers and home textile retailers analyzing regional participation—and opportunities in the valley. When I learnt about this unique MBA program that offers a concentration in Business Analytics, I knew that’s what I wanted to do!”
She says the graduate business foundation courses gave her a fresh perspective on business, culture, and management techniques, but it was the concentration in Business Analytics that opened a whole new world for her.
“I was nervous initially, as I thought that not being an engineer might deter my understanding of the subject material but it was smoother than I had imagined,” Tulsyan says. “I especially enjoyed Professor Das' class on R Programming. His guidance thereafter boosted my confidence in pursuing Data Analytics as a career.”
The combination of SCU’s Silicon Valley location and its Business School’s broad array of courses and networks was a plus as well. Tulsyan took advantage of the Business School’s California Program for Entrrepreneurs (CAPE) over the summer. “With like-minded classmates I was able to work on an idea of creating a data-driven fashion app that connects personal stylists with online shoppers.” She’s currently the operations officer of StyleBAR, the business she co-founded with classmates.
“There is no better place to be than in Silicon Valley if you are pursuing business analytics as a career."
She’s also serving the City of San Jose as an intern in the Mayor’s Office, where she works closely with a newly appointed data analytics team in the city’s initiative to become a data-driven city. “I help with this change management process by creating a framework for data smart governance. I develop predictive models to forecast for time and cost for various city services and provide recommendations based on the findings.” She researches other cities’ work in data modeling to adapt for San Jose, citing the New York City Fire Department use of 60 factors elevating fire risk to prioritize inspections.
“Getting different departments to easily share data with our team to experiment with project was a challenge,” she admits, “but it’s important for a city in the heart of Silicon Valley to move toward being a data-driven organization.”
And Santa Clara University is central to developing leaders adept in using data analytics for strategic planning and decision-making. As Tulsyan points out, “There is no better place to be than in Silicon Valley if you are pursuing business analytics as a career. All businesses, be it technology, medicine, retail or finance, depend on analytics today and Silicon Valley has ample opportunities in each of these. SCU being right in the heart of the Valley has the right network of people, right knowledge base with expertise in latest trends in the subject. I wouldn't look elsewhere!”