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How Data Analytics Gave Me My Confidence Back

Sunday, June 6, 2021

shanise and student posing for a picture

When data analytics was offered as a concentration at the business school, I knew I had to join the new trend of learning about this topic. I’m not going to lie -- I was really nervous going into this concentration. That is until I took one of my favorite classes, Management 288: Programming for Business Applications. This was my first class that dealt with data analytics. I was excited since I always thought it was really cool and I wanted to gain computer programming skills. The only thing that was holding me back was my confidence; I never thought I would be able to do it. But I decided to ignore that thought and take a leap towards my passion instead.

This class was one of the key moments that made me more excited to complete my concentration and I feel more confident than I ever did before. I now know that these courses aren’t as scary as I played them out to be. I think what really helped me was figuring everything out on my own instead of relying on other people. Taking it day by day and piece by piece helped me realize that classes are supposed to challenge you, and that your skills will grow over time.

This class gave me the most valuable life lesson that I still use to this day. There was a lab assignment that I was really struggling with, and I went to every office hour I could to receive help. I kept emailing back and forth with my TA when I realized that I had done my code completely wrong and had to start all over. May I remind you that this code was due in 24 hours. I knew I had a short window to complete it, but the state I was in mentally would not move me forward. So, I decided to take a break and go on a walk to get some fresh air. After getting back, I decided to create a relaxing environment to help me get in the zone of studying. Stepping away helped me realize that the world was not crashing down around me and that I was capable of completing this assignment. Luckily, I did!

shanise and student posing for a picture in a stadium

Recently I wondered to myself whether data analytics would be able to connect to finance. As you might have guessed, I found out that it does. During my Bank of America internship last summer, I worked with the Public Sector Credit team. I was talking to a colleague about how I am in a data analytics concentration, and he decided to pull me into a different project. He showed me things that related to Python or Excel, and it was a really cool moment for me to see new projects within the bank. This experience showed me that I can integrate what I love into my work to create opportunities that I would never have gotten if I hadn’t taken the chance to complete a data analytics concentration.

I will never forget the first day of Management 288. My professor had given a long speech about integrity and how important it was. It showed me how passionate he was about this course and how he wanted us all to learn useful skills and not treat the class as just a core requirement for our majors. I saw his passion and took that and turned it into my own confidence in completing my courses. I always knew it was going to be hard to follow your passions, but this course showed me that I can do it, and so can you.


Shanise Buford

Shanise Buford is a junior from Plainfield, IL, majoring in Finance with a concentration in Data Analytics. She serves as VP of Member Development of Business Ambassadors and VP of Communications of Black Data Processing Associates and is a member of the Business Opportunity Program and the Boilermaker Support Network. She has interned at Plante Moran and Bank of America, and will be a Commercial Real Estate Banking intern at JPMorgan Chase this upcoming summer.

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