Colleen Frank

M.S. in Business Analytics 2022

“I have learned so much that I have already been able to apply to my job, and I am excited to think of the doors [the MSBA program] will open in the future.”

What’s your professional/academic background?

I am currently a Senior Manager at Capital One, serving as the product owner for a data visualization platform. I have a background in UX/UI, so I also perform design consultations and mockup creation for other software development teams within my organization. This entails designing frictionless, intuitive tech platforms based on user research, complex data architecture, and business requirements.

I received my B.A. degree from Fordham University, where I majored in Communication and Visual Arts, with a concentration in Graphic Design. After undergrad, I studied software engineering and human-computer interaction through online classes and pursued a career in tech. Throughout my career, I have functioned as a front-end software engineer, UX/UI designer, user researcher, and product owner.

Why did you decide to pursue an MSBA?

In the beginning stages of my career, I served as an individual contributor, working as a front-end software engineer and UX/UI designer. As I stepped into a leadership role on a software development team, I felt the need to learn more about business strategy and machine learning/AI. In order to be an effective leader, I understand that I need to be able to leverage the power of business analytics to inform corporate strategy.

What led you to the UVA program?

UVA’s program hit the nail on the head in terms of what I was interested in studying. I was also attracted to the curriculum and how it blends so many subjects together. It was important to me that I would be able to use all of my newfound skills in harmony with each other and apply them to my job in real time.

What's your favorite memory from the program?

My favorite memory has been the Charlottesville residency at the beginning of the program. This was a great way for everyone in the cohort to get to know each other and enjoy Charlottesville. It was a great mix of immersive learning and team bonding. I did not expect to make such great friends through a hybrid remote/in-person program, but this program has done a great job of connecting everyone.

What’s your best piece of advice for prospective students?

I would encourage prospective students to challenge themselves to continue their learning journey. The thought of going back to school can be scary, but this program has been one of the best decisions I have made. I have learned so much that I have already been able to apply to my job, and I am excited to think of the doors it will open in the future.

What are some of the skills you’ve learned in the program?

I have gained experience in data analysis, model building, business strategy, finance, leadership, teamwork, effective presentation building, public speaking—the list goes on. I have learned much more in this program than I had originally anticipated, which has been great.

  • Current Job Capital One, Senior Manager of Software Engineering & UX/UI Designer (Washington, DC-Baltimore, MD area)
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