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Raghav Kidambi

Five reasons why I chose the business analytics program at Daniels

Raghav Kidambi is a first-year student in the Master’s of Business Information and Analytics program at Daniels. He shares his first-person account of his journey applying to graduate school during a pandemic.

I had applied to the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business around December 2019. At that time, I was considering few other universities, most of which were situated in the East Coast. I decided that I would drive down to Denver for my interview as I lived about seven hours east, in Lincoln, Nebraska … attempting to grasp any chance I could to sneak a peek into what campus was like.

I felt my interview went well, and my interviewer was kind enough to show me around the Daniels College of Business. I was taken to the Business Information and Analytics (BIA) Department, and at my request, I was granted an impromptu meeting with the department’s chair, Associate Professor Kellie Keeling. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to assess if the University of Denver (DU) really walked the talk.

I’d learned about DU’s graduate program in business analytics before I had arrived. But, this meeting where I went over each aspect of the program with the department’s chair was fulfilling. This allowed me to understand how DU worked as an organization – embedded with a sense of community, great values and intent to teach the most relevant skills necessary to succeed in one’s field.

Not too long after my interview, I was privy to good news, and bad news. The good news was that around the first week of March 2020, I found out that I had been accepted into DU’s master’s program in business information and analytics. The bad news was that the term “pandemic” swept through the air waves, reminding us that a time was to come where certainty about anything was debatable.

Many of the universities I had applied to were taking much longer to get back to applicants, presumably because they had much planning to do given that predicting what the next few months looked like was close to impossible. This peculiar moment prompted me to go ahead and lock in DU as the university to attend. DU was decisive when it came to keeping the community safe and was constantly updating me about how it planned to educate us during an uncertain time period. At the time, it felt as if the pandemic controlled several variables I was considering whilst making a decision to go to graduate school. However, it would be unfair not to mention the pre-pandemic reasons behind why I had even applied to DU and considered this particular program in business analytics.

First, Daniels always arranged for plenty of opportunities for me to get to know current students. I was put in touch with members of the Business Analytics Club and had ample opportunities to ask questions. This gave me a sense of familiarity that I did not have with other programs I had applied to.

Second, the program courses were all relevant – I’d gone over them with my cousin, a business analyst, who was impressed at the level of breadth the program covered to create a business analyst who could also navigate different types of databases with ease, an aspect she wished she had been taught when she was in graduate school.

Next, I am able to craft my program so that I don’t graduate in a hurry and have the time to soak up the curriculum was important to me. This was possible at DU, when many of the other programs I had applied to were fast-tracked in 10 months or had rigid requirements to graduate within certain semesters. This particular element allows me the leeway to intern full time over the summer and still graduate in a year and eight months.

In addition, the Daniels Career Center is easily one of the most resourceful places on campus. My experience working with my career coach was so fruitful that I was able to land a summer internship back in November 2020.

And, finally, I am really excited for my capstone project which is a unique feature that only very few universities in the US offer. The capstone project is unique in that it matches individual students with companies where we solve real world complex business problems with the skills we had just learned in the program. What a fantastic way to ensure that students are prepared for real world jobs before they graduate.

Overall, the program is run by professionals who are really good at teaching their subject area. It prepares students not only to crunch data, but also to recommend business decisions that are backed by noteworthy analysis.