Whitman Student Discovers Passion for Data While Working as a Financial Analyst
Nien-Tzu (Nancy) Shih ’23 M.S
The Whitman School has not only provided me with a robust academic foundation but has also been instrumental in fostering my career development. The collaborative and supportive community at the Whitman School has made my journey a truly wonderful and unexpected one, defying the concerns often associated with international master's programs.”
Nien-Tzu (Nancy) Shih ’23 M.S. always dreamed of pursuing her master's degree in the U.S. Shih’s passion for problem-solving and practical experience resulted in her pausing her career in Taiwan to begin studies in business analytics. She believed obtaining a master's was the next step in upgrading her career and reaching the next level of professional development.
Attracted to the Whitman School program's flexibility, Shih was drawn to Syracuse University for a master’s degree because she could align her educational needs and professional goals by taking classes at other colleges or schools on the University campus. Additionally, she found the program provided a wealth of resources and valuable one-on-one consulting.
From her work as a financial analyst at the Taiwan External Trade Promotion Council for six years, Shih discovered the significance of data, realizing that everything is data-driven and can be analyzed. In this role, she was able to understand the intricacies of external trade, while also feeling inspired to dive deeper into data analysis.
“Witnessing the power of data in making informed financial decisions sparked my interest in combining new techniques with the knowledge I had acquired in my previous roles,” she says. “I am drawn to solving questions with data as evidence and enjoy uncovering the stories behind the numbers.”
Before coming to Syracuse, Shih’s peers had expressed concerns about the limited support and access provided during their master's programs at other universities, in terms of academics and career prospects. However, she found nothing but delight, dedication and assistance from all those at the Whitman School.
She explains, “The Whitman School has not only provided me with a robust academic foundation but has also been instrumental in fostering my career development. The collaborative and supportive community at the Whitman School has made my journey a truly wonderful and unexpected one, defying the concerns often associated with international master's programs.”
Upon completion of the program this past December, Shih envisions her career path evolving in a dynamic and promising direction. The successful assistance from the Whitman School helped her secure a summer internship last year and resulted in a significant milestone with a return offer to work as a business intelligence analyst at eClinicalWorks. This marks a pivotal moment in her career journey as she transitions into a data-related role in the intriguing field of healthcare.
“I want to inspire both future and current students who might be hesitant about making a change in their lives. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be daunting,” she says. “I urge others to reflect on the kind of person they aspire to be in the next 10 years. Remember, if you never start, you will never arrive at a different destination.”
by Anna Rooney ’24