Year of Graduation: 2008
Current Position: Web Analyst
Please give a brief description of your current position and where you're working.
I'm a Web Analyst at Thomson Reuters in Eagan, MN. As such, I analyze traffic on our eCommerce site-where visitors to our site are coming from, what pages they land on, how they navigate around the site, which elements on our pages help or hinder the customer experience, etc. I then use this data to present a comprehensive picture to business partners and marketers to show how various marketing campaigns or sections of our site are performing.
What path did you follow to arrive at your current job?
During the fall semester of my junior year at St. Ben's, I found an internship through the Career Resource Center to work as a Financial Analyst at IBM. I completed the six month internship during the summer/fall semester of my senior year, and was offered a full time job upon graduation.
After five years as a Financial Analyst I was ready for a change. I was referred to the Web Analyst position after meeting someone who works for Thomson Reuters and thought that my skill set would be a match for the open Web Analyst position on her team. You never know when you're going to stumble across a networking opportunity!
What skills are important in your field?
The most important skill is probably the ability to look at mass amounts of data without feeling overwhelmed! You need to be able to take data, interpret it, and turn it into a data driven story that makes sense to people who usually don't interact with raw data. I use Excel on a daily basis, so any spreadsheet manipulation skills are helpful.
Attention to detail and good communication skills are also key. Whether on the phone, through email, or in an instant message, you need to be able to ask clear questions and provide clear responses. Some new hires will come in apparently not realizing that the style used to write a business email is different than the style used when writing an email to a friend, which can be problematic.
What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career?
Some of my Econ classes, such as Econ 334, were key in helping me learn how to handle huge spreadsheets full of data, and all of them helped me develop the type of analytical thinking that a Web Analyst role requires. My Econ 384 Research Project in particular helped me learn how to interpret data and explain it to non-data people, which I now need to do daily. The fact that I studied abroad while at CSB/SJU has also been beneficial. Working in a multinational corporation often means working with co-workers who reside in other countries, and my study abroad experience has made me more empathetic to the fact that every country has its own business/culture norms, which might be very different to the business/culture norms in the United States.
What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your job?
I like investigating and digging into issues to solve problems. Nothing's better than that "ah-ha!" moment when you've finally figured out the solution to something.