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Yerddy Sosa, MSBA '17

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“It was a pivotal life event,” says Yerddy Sosa, Director of Analytics at Publicis Media, about completing the Stern MSBA program. 
 
With a masters in economics and mathematics, Yerddy had previously been a manager in the financial services industry when she began to tune into the buzz around data analytics—an area of business in which she did not feel as fluent as she wanted to be. “I was missing out,” she says. “There has been so much work done in terms of the development of new analytics tools and new data applications. I couldn’t maximize the value of my experience without learning the new tools.”
 
Yerddy was drawn to the Stern MSBA program in part because of the opportunity to build relationships with the cohort over the course of fifteen months, from the pre-module work to graduation. “I am a very social person and I knew that the strong bonds I could develop during travel would really enrich my experience.” Not to mention, she says, “NYU’s reputation is hard to top. It is one of the best business schools in the industry, and I strongly believe that they live up to that reputation. Holistically, NYU is way ahead of other programs.”
 
The program delivered beyond Yerddy’s expectations in terms of its rigorous academics, the life-changing travel and the tight-knit cohort. “The program gave me a feeling of completion in terms of my value as an analytics professional. It gave me a broader understanding into how businesses are run in a holistic sense.” She adds: “I loved the multicultural component of the class cohort itself; we all came from different countries and traveled together to places I would've never imagine going without this program. You also get an international perspective from the guest speakers and lecturers. It just changes your entire perspective about business analytics practices being used around the world.”    
 
A highlight of Yerddy’s experience was the work on the capstone project, which challenged her to apply her new skills and knowledge in real-world ways. “I was a part of such an exciting capstone project,” she says. “We created the MoneyBallers Baseball Roster Optimization Model. This is an optimization model that helps teams select players for their team roster while minimizing their risk. The tool is groundbreaking in the way the industry can look at players and maximize their returns—in this case, returns are winning games. My capstone team and I are thinking about patenting the idea and creating a startup with it.”
 
A month after graduating from the program, Yerddy had an opportunity to interview for her current positon as Director of Analytics at Publicis Media. “It was a step up, career-wise, from where I had been. I leveraged my new skill set in the interview process, particularly the Digital Marketing Analytics Course, and demonstrated the predictive and prescriptive elements I learned in this class. I even brought some of my work examples from class to the interview.” She adds: “The Stern MSBA played a very important part in my landing this new role.”
 
Not only has she been able to utilize her new skill set, Yerddy has also found a new confidence in her professional contributions and potential: “Going through the program definitely boosted my confidence. I now feel that I am able to speak to colleagues in the data sciences, finance, and marketing teams; colleagues look to me to tap into my expertise in different areas that they never would have before.”
 
As far as her long-term return on investment, Yerddy says the program offers great value beyond getting the actual degree. “The biggest resource the program offers is its people—I would say 50% of what you learn comes from your classmates, the experiences you have travelling, and the relationships you build. You’re working alongside nearly seventy others who come from different backgrounds but all have in common a drive and commitment to challenging themselves and their own perspectives.”
 
She adds, “When you graduate from this program you gain sixty-nine lifelong friends, coworkers and advocates in different industries, and you gain sense of ‘Wow I can’t believe I did that!’ It definitely boosts your confidence, not to mention your marketability.” 

Words to live and work by:
Work hard, Play hard. Be passionate about everything you do. Get the most out of things—if you’re not having fun, you’re not in the right place.

Proudest professional moment:
The time I’m in now. I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished in terms of moving to a new industry and into a new role as a director.

If I had a month off work to do anything I wanted...
I would go to the beach and re-read Data Science for Business. 

If I wasn't in this profession, I would be...
In the travel and hospitality industry. I love travelling and I love helping people make the most out of their experiences.

I define “professional success” as...
You are in a role where you feel challenged and valued, in an industry you’re passionate about. If you wake up every morning excited about your contribution, you feel motivated, and feel that you are adding value—that’s a win.