Meet our MSBA Ambassadors

Wake Forest MSBA Ambassadors are current students who are available and eager to answer any questions you might have. Our Ambassadors know the MSBA program and the path to get there better than anyone, so they can give you the first-hand student perspective you need. We encourage you to reach out any of the ambassadors listed below via email regarding questions about the program, application process, career resources, life at Wake Forest, living in Winston-Salem, or any other questions you may have.

Khushi AryaKhushi Arya

Hometown: New Delhi, India
UG School: Wake Forest University
Major/Minor: Economics / Communication

Why Wake: I chose the MSBA program because I was interested in developing technical skills which seemed like the missing piece in my resume. Data is the future and analyzing it is a skill almost every employer is looking for. I wasn’t interested in hardcore data science so business analytics was the perfect fit given my background in and passion for economics. I have a lot of love for Wake and the support it offers in terms of networking, small class sizes, and campus resources.

Tianyi “Ty” ChenTianyi “Ty” Chen

Hometown: Guangzhou, China
UG School: University of California, San Diego
Major/Minor: Cognitive Science

Why Wake: The most impactful part of my program experience has been the hands-on projects that simulate real-world challenges, such as assigning us to our practicum teams. This experience has enriched my perspective and honed my problem-solving skills.

Bryce DrynanBryce Drynan

Hometown: Stamford, CT
UG School: Southern Connecticut State University
Major/Minor: Applied Mathematics

Why Wake: I chose to pursue the MSBA program because I wanted to expand and enhance my analytical experience. Additionally, Wake has a tremendous dedicated career services group that I wanted to take advantage of. I think those things combined helped me to choose the program.

George EconomusGeorge Economus

Hometown: Columbus, OH
UG School: Elon University
Major/Minor: Finance, Business Analytics

Why Wake: I chose Wake to develop a professional skillset. The ability to work one-on-one with my career coach while building a technical arsenal was ultimately most appealing to me.

ShengEr “Samuel” ZhouShengEr “Samuel” Zhou

Hometown: Shanghai, China
UG School: Boston University
Major/Minor: Sociology / Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Why Wake: After graduating from the MS in Management, I chose to pursue MSBA because of the growing importance of business analytics in the realization of strategy.

Kendall HillsonKendall Hillson

Hometown: Simpsonville, SC
UG School: Anderson University
Major/Minor: Marketing, Computing & Data Analytics

Why Wake: I felt like Wake Forest was the best program to help me pursue my future career goals. Meeting with the faculty, staff, and students made Wake Forest feel like the perfect fit for me. I also feel like this program will provide me with the skills to apply my knowledge to real world scenarios.

Lauren JohnsonLauren Johnson

Hometown: Ashburn, VA
UG School: High Point University
Major/Minor: International Business / Spanish, Dance

Why Wake: I chose to pursue a MSBA because I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to gain more technical skills which would allow me to conduct analysis on industries, markets, etc. I enjoy marketing, and in order to be successful within that field, you have to be able to conduct market research and analysis. This program will further develop my analytical skills, soft skills, and my knowledge on business practices. I was also highly intrigued in the practicum project. The opportunity to work hands-on with a company was highly influential in my decision to come to Wake Forest.

Max KoontzMax Koontz

Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC
UG School: Hampden-Sydney College
Major/Minor: Business, Economics

Why Wake: I chose Wake to enhance my knowledge of real world business practices and give myself a competitive advantage in a contentious employment market.

Andrew LoftisAndrew Loftis

Hometown: Lexington, SC
UG School: Wofford College
Major/Minor: Finance, Spanish

Why Wake: I chose to pursue the MSBA degree here at Wake Forest because the program provides crucial skills for the modern-day workplace which is driven by analytics. I also have friends who have completed this program and spoke about their positive experiences, which further encouraged my decision.

Eric MayoEric Mayo

Hometown: Jonesboro, GA
UG School: University of Georgia
Major/Minor: Agribusiness / Agricultural & Applied Economics

Why Wake: I chose the MSBA program because I was not satisfied with just my undergrad degree. While I do not regret my major, I knew I wanted to take this a step further and break into the business world. With this program, I will be able to mix agriculture and analytics to work in the supply chain or food production industry.

Mary Martha MilcoffMary Martha Milcoff

Hometown: Atlanta, GA
UG School: Wake Forest University
Major/Minor: Economics, Sociology

Why Wake: The easier answer is because this is my favorite place ever and I don’t want to leave! But the more logical answer is because this program enables me to take courses and make connections within the School of Business. Wake had already prepared me professionally with my major work and time spent working with career coaches, but the MSBA really allows me to hone in on that overlap between education and professional knowledge.

Jennifer Ontiveros-OlivasJennifer Ontiveros-Olivas

Hometown: High Point, NC
UG School: University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Major/Minor: Business Administration, Management

Why Wake: I chose to pursue the MSBA at Wake Forest for several reasons: it’s a reputable institution, its values align with mine, and it offers a 10-month program. I calculated my return on investment and determined it was worth every sacrifice. After completing my undergraduate degree, I felt something was missing. I was confident Wake Forest would challenge me and contribute to my personal growth by pushing me beyond my known limits.

Nico PanosNico Panos

Hometown: Loveland, OH
UG School: Wake Forest University
Major/Minor: Statistics, Communication

Why Wake: The MSBA seemed like the perfect blend of my undergraduate majors of Statistics and Communication, plus the opportunity to increase my business skills and knowledge. The MSBA program helps students learn to use data analysis to help businesses pursue their goals, and with my interest in marketing analytics, the art of data storytelling is a skill that I certainly need great experience in.

Yuchen “Rita” QinYuchen “Rita” Qin

Hometown: Changchun, Jilin, China
UG School: Huaqiao University
Major/Minor: English

Why Wake: I chose Wake due to its rich history and exceptional academic offerings. My experience in the Management program was enjoyable, providing me with valuable insights into business management and consulting methodologies. After researching careers in consulting, particularly in the realm of data analytics, I made the decision to pursue a Master of Science in Business Analytics program at Wake as part of the International Leaders Program. My choice was driven by the program’s high rankings and rigorous curriculum. So far, the program has fully equipped me with the necessary tools to embark on a successful career in data analytics consulting.

Cole RitcheyCole Ritchey

Hometown: Atlanta, GA
UG School: Indiana University
Major/Minor:  Informatics / Business, Entrepreneurship

Why Wake: The main reason I chose to pursue an MSBA at Wake Forest was to learn valuable skills that will help me excel in my future career while also opening up better job opportunities.

Michelle SaikaliMichelle Saikali

Hometown: Morehead City, NC
UG School: University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Major/Minor: Business Administration with a concentration in Data Analytics

Why Wake: I chose to pursue the MSBA program at Wake Forest because I felt like I didn’t know all that there was to know about data analytics just from my time in undergrad. I knew Wake Forest had an amazing program that would take me from the educational to professional workforce and make me industry ready. I immediately felt at home during my interview process and with all of the connections I made during that time. I am beyond happy with where I ended up, as I feel very included here!

Anoush ShahAnoush Shah

Hometown: Marietta, GA
UG School: University of South Carolina
Major/Minor: Finance & Supply Chain / Business Analytics

Why Wake: I chose to pursue the MSBA at Wake Forest because of its outstanding reputation in the field and the comprehensive curriculum it offers. The program’s emphasis on real-world applications of analytics align perfectly with my career goals. Also, the strong sense of community of a smaller school and the opportunities for networking were major draws for me.

Shanay SonawalaShanay Sonawala

Hometown: Mumbai, India
UG School: Wake Forest University
Major/Minor: Engineering / Mathematics

Why Wake: Being from an engineering background, I did not have a lot of business and analytical skills but more problem solving skills. I thought this program would help enhance my problem solving skills and work toward a career in the world of business and analytics.

Mary TroiseMary Troise

Hometown: Lexington, VA
UG School: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Major/Minor: Economics / Data Science

Why Wake: I chose to pursue the MSBA at Wake Forest because of the opportunities to gain real-world experience and enhance my technical skills while working alongside like-minded individuals. Wake Forest stood out to me during my graduate school application process because of their commitment to students, both in and outside the classroom. I believe with the MSBA program, you get out of the program what you put in, and any professor or advisor would be happy to speak with you as long as you’re willing to ask. This support and the many resources made Wake stand out against the other analytical programs as they build leaders and storytellers, not just technical analysts.

Jash VachhaniJash Vachhani

Hometown: Rajkot, Gujarat, India
UG School: University at Buffalo
Major/Minor: Business Administration, Management with concentrations in Management Information Systems & International Business
Why Wake: I chose Wake because of the MSBA program’s strong reputation in the market. As a private school, it offers smaller class sizes, which allows more one-on-one connections with the faculty and staff.

Michael VejsiriMichael Vejsiri

Hometown: Fort Worth, TX
UG School: University of Oklahoma
Major/Minor: Economics / Finance

Why Wake: I came to the MSBA program because the business practicum piqued my interest. I made the mistake of not completing any internships during my undergrad and wanted to find a way to substitute this. After learning about the practicum the program offered and all of its corporate sponsors, I knew I wanted to join the program to get a unique experience that many graduate programs do not offer.

Natalie WeinerNatalie Weiner

Hometown: Rye, NY
UG School: University of California, Berkeley
Major/Minor: Business Administration

Why Wake: The MSBA program at Wake Forest teaches students valuable skills, such as computer programming and data visualization. Wake Forest MSBA also values real world business experience. With this, they give students the opportunity to work with a team to help support a business’s needs. Moreover, Winston Salem is a wonderful, safe place to live with beautiful local trails and delicious restaurants.

Patrick WelmakerPatrick Welmaker

Hometown: Asheville, NC
UG School: Wofford College
Major/Minor: Business Economics / Government

Why Wake: I chose to pursue the MSBA program at Wake Forest because I wanted to better develop my professional and analytical skills within a smaller school setting that allowed me to build meaningful connections.

Kyle WiblishauserKyle Wiblishauser

Hometown: Dix Hills, NY
UG School: University of Richmond
Major/Minor: Computer Science, Cognitive Science / Data Science, Linguistics
Why Wake: I chose the MSBA program at Wake Forest because I liked doing data science in undergrad. The program allows me to continue working on my data skills while also learning how to apply them in a business setting. I particularly like that we work on a practicum project with a real client, applying our skills to business challenges and learning to communicate with clients.

Kayla WilliamsKayla Williams

Hometown: Fort Washington, MD
UG School: Hawaii Pacific University
Major/Minor: Computer Science

Why Wake: Choosing Wake Forest was the hardest but most rewarding decision I’ve ever made. I had to choose between an Honors Internship with the FBI and starting the MSBA program. Ultimately, I chose Wake Forest because this school is a beacon for learning, personal and developmental growth, a network of people who will support and guide you, and a family that I will always be connected to. Wake Forest is a place where you feel proud to be a part of because you know you are a part of something big.

Xiyue "Shae" YuXiyue “Shae” Yu

Hometown: Xi’an, Shaanxi, China
UG School: University of Shanghai for Science & Technology
Major/Minor: International Business

Why Wake: I want to do something to change the world, and Wake Forest happens to have this great program to help me realize my dream.


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