As a business analyst, you synthesize data for organizations for the purpose of pinpointing areas of improved efficiency and/or potential avenues of revenue. Business analysts may work as a consulting team or as independent contractors. They may concentrate their work in specific industries, such as healthcare, or areas of business, like corporate structures.

Number of jobs, 2022: 987,600

Projected job growth, 2022-2032: 10%
For more information, visit this career’s summary on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

EDWARD SANTILLI ’14

BUSINESS CONTINUITY ANALYST, CVS HEALTH

BS ACCOUNTING

How does your background in finance relate to your daily job responsibilities?

Our goal as business analysts is to identify risk within critical areas of the business. We do this by analyzing financial and non-financial aspects of a business unit. We then look to increase the resiliency of the business by developing business resumption plans.

My background in finance has allowed me to understand and question the business units during risk assessments. Having that understanding allows me to not only identify the financial risks but also help the business better mitigate that exposure. My finance background has also given me the opportunity to participate in other roles here at CVS Health outside of my day-to-day responsibilities. CVS Health sponsors various colleague resource groups (CRGs), and my degree has allowed me to become the Budget & Forecasting Lead for Driven, one of these sponsored CRGs. This has allowed me greater learning opportunities and a chance to develop skills not necessarily attributed to my everyday job duties.

Describe how your JWU experience prepared you for success.

Without a doubt the absolute most important part of the experience was the staff. Many of my professors were coming from the “real world.” These individuals worked by day in the roles I aspired to be in. The advice I received from them was priceless; each professor was able to bring their own path and experiences to share.

I think the curriculum in general was also a great contributor. A good portion of my job revolves around communicating and collaborating with not only my team but also other groups around the country. The various projects that I’ve had to do over the years were no doubt a tremendous influence on how I’m able to do my job today as they taught me group work and forced me to do the dreaded “presentation.” If I was to change one thing about my studies it would be that I had started at JWU when I was first accepted back in 1996!

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to pursue a career as a business analyst?

The first thing is to learn business. Understand how an organization makes money and what they do with that money. The company’s Annual Report can be a great source of information in this regard. Technical skills are also important, for instance, Excel and Access. Even something as simple as Outlook, being able to schedule and adjust meetings quickly can be a huge timesaver.

In addition, learn to be a “people person” – some people associate an analyst with just plugging away on a spreadsheet, but there are actually numerous meetings and interactions with colleagues. Also, expand your horizons! Classes outside your concentration allow you to learn more than just your major, which in turn allows you to speak intelligently with somebody about nearly anything, giving you a huge advantage and a greater likelihood that you will be remembered. Finally don’t be afraid to dress well – look professional and you will be treated like a professional.

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