MS Reflections: Vatsal Popat ’17

In this “MS Reflections” blog post series, we will be featuring the profile and thoughts of a select few Whitman MS students graduating in 2017.

Name: Vatsal Popat
Hometown: Bilimora, India
Major: M.S. in Business Analytics (December 2017)
Background: MBA in marketing from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University.
LinkedIn Profile:

Why a master’s degree?
There were many factors that contributed to my decision to pursue a master’s degree in business analytics. I became very interested in analytics after taking courses in data analysis while earning my MBA. During the last semester of my MBA program, I also had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant to Don Harter, associate dean for master’s programs at the Whitman School and an associate professor of management information systems. Those experiences had an immense impact on my decision to pursue a second graduate degree because I learned how critical analytics are to a company’s decision-making process and how there is a growing need for people who can understand data.

Why an MBA?
Making the decision to pursue an MBA was an easy choice. I have always been a curious individual that yearns for knowledge, and I am a firm believer in professional education leading to a successful career. While working in the event management sector in India, I realized that there are a lot more aspects to management. I also wanted to gain new perspectives on how the businesses world operates. An MBA gave me all that.

Why Whitman?
Some of the many reasons I chose to attend the Whitman School include cultural diversity, world-class faculty, proximity to New York City, value for the money and the Syracuse University brand.

What have you gained from your time at the Whitman School?
In the past two years of studying in the MBA and master’s degree programs at the Whitman School, the experience of working with multi-cultural teams, knowledgeable faculty and top industry professionals has given me the confidence and ability to succeed in the corporate world.

What is your most memorable moment from your time at the Whitman School?
Playing “Jail or No Jail” in the law course with Professor John Petosa was a highlight of my Whitman experience. Additionally, every moment that I spent with my classmates was wonderful.

I had the opportunity to intern with Phocuswright New York in 2016, as a marketing analyst. I worked on various analytical toolsets to generate reports and actionable insights on updating the marketing strategy of the company products. Since last summer, I have been working as a digital content developer in the marketing department of the Whitman School. That has been one of the most important and valuable experiences from my time at Whitman.

Are your goals or plans different since starting your master’s degree?
My goals are the same right now as they were when I began my master’s program. I want to gain relevant skills and become proficient enough to get a become an asset to future employers.

What is your dream job?
My dream job is to be an analyst at an innovative company where I do not get lost in the crowd. I want to work with an inclusive team where I have opportunities to grow quickly and become a critical resource to the workings of the organization.

Arielle Spears