NYU Stern
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Craig Vaughan, MSBA 2014

MSBA Student Craig Vaughan

I'm only two weeks into the job, and the MSBA program is already making a difference. It's great to be able to interface with the engineers and data science teams at our customers and be able to meaningfully participate in the conversations.

Craig Vaughan tapped into NYU Stern alumni network before he’d even joined its ranks. For Vaughan, who is set to receive his master’s degree in business analytics in May 2014, that connection proved fortuitous: he was hired by the Stern alum he contacted, as vice president and head of marketing and product management for Grok Solutions Inc., in Redwood City, Calif. Grok is a leader in the emerging field of predictive software, providing a cloud-based service that takes in big data in real time to help it calculate predictions that optimize performance in a range of industries, from energy to computer networks.

Craig, who has a Wharton MBA and an undergraduate business degree from Cornell, was already a senior executive with more than 20 years of experience and a strong record of success in enterprise software marketing and product management. For the previous eight years he’d worked for software behemoth SAP in various executive positions, most recently as global vice president for demand management and analytics. In that position he designed a global initiative to increase demand predictability and operational productivity across sales and marketing, drove thought leadership around the internal usage of predictive and business analytics to increase performance insights and improve decision making, and delivered overall standard process architecture to support demand planning, generation, steering and pipeline management.

But he was anxious to move on to the next stage of his career. “I had contemplated making a job change almost two years ago and started thinking about what interests me. I wanted to stay in enterprise software but had a growing interest in big data broadly and predictive analytics in particular.” After surveying available options, he decided to undertake the Stern program as a way to build on his deep functional experience by adding analytical domain skills that would facilitate this transition, he says.

The decision is already proving valuable. Not only are the Stern faculty and his fellow classmates excellent, Craig says, but “the program gave me confidence by validating that this new field is a good space” to go into. “I'm only two weeks into the job, and the MSBA program is already making a difference. It's great to be able to interface with the engineers and data science teams at our customers and be able to meaningfully participate in the conversations.”