Niraj Sharma is a Business Analytics and Project Management (BAPM) graduate student in the OPIM department who was able to see the benefits of a BAPM graduate degree after working for two years. Sharma began his career as a test analyst at an international company called Tata Consultancy Services. Sharma’s job was to test capital market applications before they were released to the public. The process of testing was relatively manual, involving time consuming script writing, and Sharma realized this wasn’t the most effective use of his time. In an effort to improve efficiency, Sharma and his team introduced the concept of automation. This digitized the script writing so the employees could save time and still make their clients happy. After showing his innovative skills and gaining valuable experience in the field, he was able to meet directors and, most importantly, business analysts.
“A business analyst is actually the one who is the messenger. They are in contact with the topmost people and they bring the information from the CEO and CFO to the people on the bottom. They understand both the business and the technical parts of the company.” It is because of Sharma’s innate interest in both the business and the technological aspects of stocks and capital that he decided to go back to school and get his graduate degree. BAPM will give Sharma the the tools to be successful on the technical side as well as on the management side, and the curriculum at UConn gives him the flexibility to direct his own path.
The flexibility to taking electives, such as Predictive Analytics and Business Statistics, was what attracted Sharma to the UConn’s BAPM program the most, broadening his horizon to a new world of opportunities. Through the program, Sharma was able to land an on campus job as a lab assistant in the Gladstein Lab, home of OPIM Innovate. This job is not only good for the experience, but it gave him the opportunity to take on the data analytics track which he helped to build from the ground up. “I like this job because it is similar to what I am learning (so I can explore) and I also love to work with technology.” Working in the lab exposes Sharma to a variety of new tools, including Splunk, an emerging platform in the field of analytics.
Although Niraj has just begun his graduate program here at UConn, he has big plans for his future. After graduation, he wants to join a firm in the capital market domain because of the rapid growth the market is experiencing and the increase in consumer demand for these domains. However, this is not his ultimate goal. Sharma wants to climb the corporate ladder to become a chief technical officer in the capital market domain. As chief technical officer, he will guide the firm on which technologies to focus on in order to benefit the company in the future.