Mendoza School of Business

Finding Success through the Notre Dame Family: Tim Luzano (MSBA ’18)

Published: September 14, 2020 / Author: Tim Luzano

During his time in the Chicago-based M.S. in Business Analytics program, Tim Luzano (MSBA, ’18) not only developed the technical skills necessary to contribute to today’s data-driven business world, but also gained a community of mutual advancement dedicated to his personal and professional growth.

Here, he shares the story of how Notre Dame prepared him for a promotion, kick-started his skill set and welcomed him into its tight-knit alumni family:

Tim Luzano (MSBA ’18)

Becoming Part of the Notre Dame Family

I consider myself an Indiana kid through and through. I went to Indiana University as an undergrad and even received my MBA from IU. But the decision to get my M.S. in Business Analytics (MSBA) from Notre Dame was a no-brainer.

The main driver for deciding on Notre Dame was its prestige and notoriety. Coupling Notre Dame’s reputation with the program’s schedule flexibility – while being located in downtown Chicago – made the decision even easier.

As soon as I started the program, I felt like I was a part of a family – the Notre Dame family. I can fondly recall numerous professors sitting at our tables eating breakfast and lunch with us during our breaks. Those moments led to personal relationships, many of whom I still keep in touch with to this day. From day one, the faculty and staff reminded us of Notre Dame’s legendary advantage and to utilize its vast network.

“It was the program’s hands-on, real-world, technical programming that made an invaluable difference to my career progression and advancement.”

It was the aforementioned advantage that helped me obtain a job after the program. My current manager graduated from Notre Dame’s MSBA class of 2017 and needed to hire on his team. He reached out to Mike Chapple to see if anybody in the program was interested. I reached out, and the rest is history. Since then, we’ve hired two more MSBA grads from the class of 2019 to our team.

New Skills Kick-Start A Promotion

During my two years at Grant Thornton LLP, I was quickly promoted from a senior associate to a manager. I can proudly say it was part of the MSBA’s curriculum that attributed to my success.

As a consultant, soft skills are a must. The MSBA program provided numerous opportunities to give oral presentations to the rest of the cohort, as well as [public speaking] training with guest speakers lecturing us on presentation best practices and advice.

Although soft skills are important to have, the foundation of being a data science professional are technical skills. Prior to Notre Dame, I hadn’t typed a singe line of SQL, R, or Python. It was the program’s hands-on, real-world, technical programming that made an invaluable difference to my career progression and advancement.

Advice to Future Domers

My advice to future graduates would be work on your soft skills. Whether you’re a consultant or a business analyst, it’s crucial for you to be able to tell a story with data, in a non-technical way that C-suite leaders will understand.

Also, don’t forget about the foundations! Working in data science, knowing the fundamentals such as data management, data architecture and even data modeling will be crucial as you advance in your career.

Lastly, leverage the Notre Dame network. I receive numerous emails and messages on LinkedIn from the Notre Dame [alumni] network looking to hire from within the Notre Dame family. It was cliché while I was in the program, but that “legendary advantage” has paid off for me in more ways than one. Go Irish!

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