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Krannert Masters Student's Take on Business Analytics: A World of Opportunities

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Alex Hartman

Sometimes you don’t need a plane ticket or passport to have the most eye-opening, international experience of your life. Just ask Alex Hartman, MS Business Analytics and Information Management (BAIM) student at Purdue University Krannert School of Management. As a French-American having lived and worked abroad in Canada, Europe, and Asia, Hartman wanted to find a school and program that excelled in global business education with a diverse student body to match.

According to the Institute of International Education, Purdue University has the fourth largest number of international students among U.S. public institutions. This provides Purdue Krannert Masters students the unparalleled opportunity to work with individuals of multiple nationalities and backgrounds on a daily basis, further developing their international business acumen and skill.

During his time as a Purdue Krannert Masters student, Hartman has enjoyed working with his international cohort, stating:

“It’s interesting to see how people from different backgrounds approach problems. Certain cultures have a granular analytical approach, whereas others focus on a strategic overview. Understanding cultures other than your own and the underlying socio-economic fabric from each country helps you think about how to solve problems in different ways. This, coupled with an increased understanding of how business is conducted across the world, is critical to solving our biggest global challenges together.”

Along with the great camaraderie Alex has experienced within the MS Business Analytics program, Hartman has also been able to learn more about diverse cultures.

“Today's world is extremely connected and globalized. Many companies work across borders, and for that reason, it is an invaluable experience working with an international team. My work overseas and time at Krannert have challenged me to think strategically when approaching problems. This global approach coupled with the ability to understand market specific factors has proven very useful when networking and interviewing with multinational companies” – Alex Hartman

In addition to the international experience inside the classroom, Krannert Masters’ programs also offer short-term global study abroad courses in March that allow students to gain an international experience outside the classroom.  

When he is not globetrotting, studying or working on group projects, Hartman enjoys grabbing a coffee at the Purdue Memorial Union across the street from Krannert and following Purdue Basketball and Football. As a true Boilermaker with an innovative spirit, he is also interested in the various technologies on campus:

“This university has a long history with technology and it is ever present when walking around campus. For example, walking into Armstrong Hall and reading the history of Neil Armstrong never gets old, especially as an avid astrophysics hobbyist. While the school is heavily dominated by this engineering history, the business school has been paving the way in the information age. Business students are currently working with corporate partners on anything from advanced analytics and forecasting to strategies surrounding the implementation of the internet of things.”

In terms of real-life application of knowledge, Hartman currently holds the title of VP of Marketing for Krannert Graduate Student Association (KGSA) where he oversees the implementation of internal and external marketing campaigns and sits on several advisory committees. He is also currently working on consultation projects for Electronic Arts and a global manufacturing company.   

With graduation soon approaching, Hartman explains how the difficult times come and go, but the rewards of the program are long-lasting:

“The most challenging aspects of the MS Business Analytics program have been the rapid integration of analytics, statistics, and computing into your daily workflow. There is a very steep learning curve to becoming proficient in utilizing scripting languages (Python, R, SAS, etc.), especially for someone coming from business, but the payoff is rewarding. This intensive program provides you with the skills needed to succeed in today’s business environment. In addition, I really appreciate the strong relationships that I have formed with my cohort and professors. Some of my fondest memories include working alongside Professor Lanham on corporate projects and discussing consumer behavior/decision making through online channels with Professor Rahman.”