The master's in business analytics program teaches all the in-demand skills that employers are looking

Q&A with Dagny Wilkins '21, '22, MS Business Analytics
Dagny-Wilkins '22 MSBA

Dagny Wilkins earned her bachelor's degree at Paul College and received a scholarship to continue her studies to her her master's degree in business administration. She fell in love with the campus and atmosphere and says the professors are "amazing," the curriulum and good "structure and flow" as they build on one another.

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree? Why your particular program?

I wanted to purse a graduate degree to further my education and gain a better, deeper understanding of the concepts I learned during my undergrad program at UNH. I also wanted to gain more confidence using the skills and concepts that I learned. I loved my time at UNH and all of my professors, so I decided to pursue my graduate degree at UNH as well. Business analytics allows businesses to take data and a mass of information and turn it into meaningful insights that can help improve their company. I've always been interested in making processes and systems more efficient, and business analytics allows me to do just that.

Why did you choose UNH and Paul College?

I chose UNH because both of my parents attended, and I saw how successful they became. They used to tell me stories of all the fun they had, and I wanted to find out for myself. When I competed in winter track in high school, all my meets were at UNH. I fell in love with the campus and atmosphere. When I eventually toured the campus officially, everyone was so welcoming and friendly. I also always knew I wanted to pursue a career in business, and Paul College is breathtaking. All the classrooms are so nice, and there are so many collaboration spaces. Additionally, Paul College is accredited, so I knew I would be getting a top of the line education.

Tell us about a favorite class and/or professor.

My favorite class so far has been my Business Analytics and Spreadsheet Modeling class. It was fascinating learning about all the advanced features in Excel. The class was very hands-on which allowed me to learn better. Our professor had an in-class example each week that he would walk us through, and we could follow along.

Looking back on your time at UNH, what are you most proud of and why?

Looking back at my time during the undergrad program, I'm most proud of the fact that I was apart of the Paul Honors Program and completed a thesis. I competed in the Undergraduate Research Conference at UNH with my thesis and came in second place within my section. It was a lot of hard work on top of my regular classes, and I'm happy I pushed myself and learned lots of new skills in the process. In terms of my time in the graduate program, I'm proud of the fact that myself and six others are building a brand new club from the ground up. This club, Wildcats Kaggle, will allow students to compete in multiple competitions using data analytics and skills learned in the classroom in order to solve real world problems.

What do you like most about Paul College?

I love how Paul College is continuing to grow and expand their course offerings and programs. It's a very innovative college, and they truly want to give students more options and opportunities.

What do you consider to be the strengths of your academic program?

The professors! They are amazing. They are all so helpful, knowledgable, and empathetic. Additionally, the curriculum seems to have a really good structure and flow. The classes build off of one another. During my undergraduate program, I completed my thesis on the data analytics job market. This allowed me to learn all about which skills are in demand that I should focus more time learning. This graduate program's curriculum highlights all those popular skills. It really confirmed my choice in this program especially coupled with the great staff teaching these skills.

Do you have any advice for others who may be interested in this program?

It's a great opportunity to take your undergraduate knowledge to the next level. This program gives you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the methods, techniques, and programming languages that you learned during your undergraduate program. Additionally, it's really cool to work with a diverse group of people who all have different experiences and skill sets. This program teaches all the in-demand skills that employers are looking for in their candidates such as SQL, Python/R, Power BI/Tableau. My advice is to apply, so you don't miss out on this amazing opportunity!

How do you hope this program will help you advance or pivot in your career?

I really hope this program opens up new career opportunities. I'm learning new programming languages and more advanced methods. This program is expanding my knowledge base and strengthening my current skill set. After only one and half terms, I already feel more confident in my abilities which will hopefully shine through in interviews.

Is there anything you feel is important to know about you that we haven't asked about?

I thankfully received a $5,000 scholarship from UNH for continuing my education with them. I worked three jobs during my undergraduate program to help pay for my tuition and save a little towards grad school. This scholarship helped bridge the gap between what I owed after my savings and financial aid. It allows me to focus my time and energy on the program and my education instead of working. It truly made this program attainable and relieved a lot of financial stress that I would have felt otherwise.