Turning customer information into company insights

Barcelona native Carla Romagosa felt a need to course-correct after her first marketing job in LA wasn’t what she’d hoped it would be. Initially she considered an MBA, but her interest in analytics led her to look at specialized master’s programs.

When she saw an Instagram ad for the University of Iowa’s Master’s in Business Analytics, she jumped at the chance to add a data-focused skillset to her resume. Plus, the University’s proximity to Chicago gave her confidence that she’d be able to secure work in the U.S. after graduation.

No programming background? No problem.

 “I knew I wanted a job where I could use data to help companies solve problems. Companies have so much information about their customers and transactions, but they need people who can work with the data. That’s what analytics does.”

Even without a programming background, Carla quickly realized that tech-savvy isn’t all it takes to make a good analyst.

“If you’re someone who’s open-minded and can learn fast, you’ll succeed,” she says.

Build your foundation

Since most of her experience was in Excel, Carla was excited to be in a Data Management and Visual Analytics in her very first semester. In the course, Professor Weiguo “Patrick” Fan not only taught the students SQL, he also included Tableau data visualization.

“Tableau allows you to make visualizations and play with them. You can create a dashboard with graphs and add filters that effect all those graphs. My mind was blown,” she says.

Group project also gave Carla insights into what it takes to succeed in analytics.

“There were a lot of things in the data that I didn’t understand. The master’s helped me to find out how to ask the right questions about the data set, so that I could understand what it was telling me,” she explains.

This discovery-mindset, along with her ability to spot patterns and take multiple approaches to the data, helped her land a coveted internships at PWC during her summer semester.

Putting what you learn to work

At PWC, Carla immediately realized that everything she’d learned in the program was directly applicable to her role. She dove right into an internal auditing project that required her to clean data, spot duplicates, and visualize it in Tableau.

“It was incredible to see how I could apply all the tools that I learned the previous semester. They used SQL, they used visualization -- they were using all the tools that I’d been learning. I felt very comfortable, and very prepared.”

Her success at PWC led to a full-time job offer with the firm, and she plans to begin working as an associate in the digital risk solutions department after graduation. She credits her success to her experience at Tippie.

“This is a great program that lets you get your hands on data and learn all the tools from scratch. The professors and the career services team really care about you and help you prepare for your future career. I would encourage others to take advantage of every single resource that the programs offers.”