Ryan Jacovich, 2009, Watertown, CT
What are you up to? Currently working as a database marketing analyst at Reed Exhibitions in Norwalk. They are the worldwide leader in organizing trade shows in both the business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) realms. Some of the more well known shows we organize include the PGA merchandise show, New York Comic Con, PAX shows, and Book Con.
My job comes into play on the data side. I spend a lot of my time writing SQL code to pull data from our internal database of contacts. This determines our set of individuals that would receive messaging about an upcoming show.
The other major portion of my job is devoted to special projects mostly of a statistical nature. This is the area that interests me the most because I can try to literally predict the future! We use statistical modeling techniques to try and solve business problems. A few examples include predicting which of our exhibitors are likely to not come back to the following year's event, and scoring a specific list of individuals to try and figure out who the best customers are. Some of these projects are being done for the first time within the company, so I've been able to grow with these projects. The fact that all of this can be done using math is honestly pretty amazing.
My most recent project has been to build an entire database from scratch using a newly learned programming language. Myself and two others from the team have been pulling our best "Silicon Valley" impersonation by not only building the database, but putting that data into a visualization software program for others in the company to be able to consume it easier. Rather than having to make some charts and graphs in excel, you simply just pick what you want to see and everything you need to know appears at the push of a button. It has been the most difficult thing I've ever tried to do, but it has been incredibly rewarding.
I have been granted the opportunity to work on some amazing projects here. It is easy to go to work when you love what you do and enjoy who you do it with. Our team knows how to stay loose and have fun.. certainly not your stereotypical data nerds.
How'd you get here? I graduated from Bryant University in 2013 with a degree in Business with concentrations in Finance and Applied Math and Statistics (quite the mouthful). I started off planning to be some sort of Wall Street banker managing my investments, but quickly learned that it wasn't all that interesting to me.
I've always been a math person and my first statistics class had me hooked. I graduated with a 4.0 in my stats concentration and got my first job right out of college at Mohegan Sun. I was privy to all sorts of interesting data on our customers and was able to learn my second programming language. I also was able to apply the statistical modeling techniques I had learned at Bryant. I was there for a year and half until I was headhunted on LinkedIn (get a profile if you don't have one) and wound up at Reed 3 weeks later.
What are your goals? I want to keep learning. I have the privilege of working with a full-time statistician, which has been amazing for advancing my knowledge in the field. I want to be able to answer questions with data rather than opinions. An answer backed up by numbers and facts is a powerful answer indeed.
It's also a goal of mine to get my work-life balance back in order. I've been spending a lot of time focusing on work, so I've made it a point to go out more. I've picked up golf in the last year, joined the company softball team, and made some more appearances at happy hours in the Norwalk area. I'm still undecided, but I've thought about moving down to Fairfield/Norwalk as well.. great area!
Advice for WHS Students?
1. Although you may be a ways away from the work world.. make sure you find something you enjoy doing. Sitting down at a desk job would be brutal if I didn't honestly love working with data.
2. I mentioned it earlier, but get a LinkedIn and keep it updated. I've come across countless opportunities from it and it's the only reason I'm at Reed right now.
3. Be respectful and open to helping people. They will remember; trust me!
What is your greatest weakness? Probably my attention to detail. Sometimes I get too wrapped up and focused on a problem. I can do 90% of the work in 30 minutes but the last 10% might take 2 hours. That 90% might be good enough already!