Undergraduate Student Award Winner Andres Quintero, BS Data Analytics ‘21, first enrolled at GGU because he was working right across the street at Deloitte. He wanted to complete his undergraduate degree in data analytics, an area of interest, but he never expected to enjoy being in school as much as he did.
“In the past, I wasn’t a strong student,” said Andres. “If you ask my parents, they would say I was always more interested in sports. But once I discovered data analytics that became my passion and GGU helped me to change my experience of school. I’m really grateful for that.”
Andres particularly appreciated the hands-on, real-world projects he completed in the classroom.
“We were taught theory, but we were given real-world projects and the professors all come from professional experience. In our social media analytics class, we used the programming language R and all the data the professor provided was real-world and from a business standpoint. In my machine learning class, we learned Python and practiced on real-world data sets from Amazon, hotel reviews, Yelp, or Airbnb.”
However, balancing school and work during the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t easy.
“My wife was really amazing supporting me. The other thing that helped is that I treated GGU as if it was a professional job with work deadlines, and I treated each professor as if they were my manager. The teachers were great at supporting me and the material made it really easy to do online. All of that together contributed to my success.”
Even though Andres was enrolled online, he found ways to connect with his classmates. He and four other students who were taking the same classes started a Slack channel. They talked every day on Slack, sharing industry trends, articles, and job announcements with each other.
“Our professors gave us an amazing foundation,” reflected Andres. “All the skills we have learned at GGU are the in-demand skills in the field of data analytics. Employers are looking for people with these skills to fill data analytics, business intelligence analytics, and marketing analytics roles.”
All of Andres’ hard work paid off. Today, he’s Lead Analyst for the Marketing Analytics team at startup company Aspiration in Los Angeles. Aspiration works at the intersection of finance and climate change, helping consumers protect the planet with everyday transactions. In his role, he queries large datasets, creates dashboards, and builds machine-learning models to present his findings to stakeholders across the organization.