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Erik Olson, MSBA '15

Erik Olsen '15 Body Image

“I don't think a day goes by without my teammates and I chatting with one another.”  Although it’s more than a year since Erik and his cohort earned their MSBA degrees from NYU Stern, their connection hasn’t diminished.  Erik went into the program anticipating he would be impressed with his fellow classmates, he says. “What I didn't expect,” he adds, “was how quickly the class would bond and form lasting relationships with one another.”
 
Erik was a senior financial analyst at Edge Systems, in Long Beach, Calif., when he made the decision to obtain a master's degree to support his ambition to move into financial services. Now an associate in Operations Management & Strategy at Goldman Sachs applying advanced analytics to client service, he says he felt a need for an advanced degree that would provide competitive skills in the job market and a desire to understand how businesses can leverage big data. 
 
“Having the right skills leads to success in one's career,” he reasoned, “but you have to get your foot in the door first. Having the Stern name on my resume was and remains important, as it opened the door for me to demonstrate my skills.” 
 
What keeps Erik connected to Stern are the people. “There is always an occasion to connect with your cohort whether it be to revisit a concept learned in class, exchange career advice, and especially just getting together to see some friends. There are also a number of alumni that I reach out to for advice from time to time. I think, for me, the greatest benefit is that the alumni network has connected me with other ambitious individuals who share a passion for data.”
 
Another passion he was able to share—and integrate into his capstone project—was for mixed martial arts. “I'll never forget walking in front of the class playing the Rocky theme song on my iPhone speakers to set the stage for what would become a capstone project on the idea of helping MMA fighters prepare for upcoming fights. I daresay I recruited many MMA fans from my class to a sport I am passionate about. I think incorporating data analytics into the sport will one day transform mixed martial arts into mixed martial science.”