I’m really interested in how analytics can improve the ways that public sector organizations are run. Over the summer with McKinsey, I had the opportunity to work on a very interesting public sector project that provided a firsthand perspective into the unique, complex challenges that public sector organizations face. Since returning to SOM, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with my classmates about their summer experiences and their longer-term interests engaging with public institutions. I’m really heartened by the number of students I come into contact with, not just at SOM but at Yale as a whole, who are interested in thinking about how we can address some of the problems that we see facing the public sector.
One of my favorite electives was working on a project for IBM with the Yale Center for Customer Insights. It allowed me to address a real-world problem that spoke to my interests in data science. We were working with IBM to develop a predictive social media index using its Watson Analytics software. It was fascinating, and it gave me the experience of working on a long-term project with a company as a student. We had to learn to adapt to changing priorities and idiosyncrasies in the data that impact your workflow on these types of projects, and how to communicate it all to our client.
I have a big interest in sports analytics, especially in how you can look at the available data that are currently used in sports decision making in a more sophisticated way. I launched a group called the Yale Sports Business, Law, and Analytics Group. One of the really nice things about Yale is that it is very interconnected in terms of the various schools. I found students and faculty in various pockets of Yale—in the law school, in Yale College, in the economics PhD program, and in SOM—who were really interested in these topics. I wanted to create a nexus for people to connect with other students, with faculty, and with alumni who are working in the field. We got to visit with the front office of the Baltimore Orioles over the summer, and Professor Barry Nalebuff just gave a talk about his role negotiating on behalf of the owners during the most recent NBA lockout.