Ségolène Le Roi Prescott ’20 had a strong foundation in marketing and finance from her undergraduate education and various internships with major brands. When it came to her graduate education, she chose the master’s degree program in business analytics at Saint Rose, where she rounded out her business education with data analysis.
Not afraid to step out of her comfort zone by taking computer science courses as a graduate student, the native of Lyon, France, graduated this year and is starting a full-time job as a master data analyst at Beech-Nut Nutrition Company in Amsterdam, New York.
Where are you from originally?
I come from France. I was born in Lyon, France, in the Alps region, and I lived in France for 20 years.
Where are you living and working now?
I currently live in Niskayuna, New York, and I am starting a full-time job at Beech-Nut Nutrition Company, in Amsterdam, New York.
What is your undergraduate degree in and where did you earn it?
I graduated with a Bachelor of International Business, from Kedge Business School in Marseille, France. I studied abroad for one and a half years during my four-year program. My junior year was at the University of Vienna in Austria, and one of my senior semesters was spent at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
Were you working prior to starting your graduate program? If so, can you tell us a little bit about that.
My work experience prior to starting my graduate program was acquired over two years of internships. Six months were during sophomore year, six months during my senior year, and there were two separate six-month internships after I graduated with my bachelor’s.
A full year of internship was required to graduate from my bachelor program at Kedge.
The internships were to build my resume, figure out what I like to do for work, and get experiences with large and small companies.
Four separate internships (five when you look at my graduate program internship) might be a lot of internships in the U.S., but in France, it is pretty usual to have this many internships before taking a full-time job. The internships directly after my bachelor’s program were in the pharmaceutical industry and the beauty industry. I worked for Johnson & Johnson and worked with brands such as Neutrogena and Listerine. Then I worked in trade marketing for Burberry beauty and fragrances at Coty, Inc.
What drew you to the business analytics program at Saint Rose?
While completing my internships, I felt I was lacking knowledge to analyze data, which is what companies today expect their younger professionals to excel at. I also realized that I enjoyed the work of analyzing data, transforming data into visuals that made sense, making data-driven decisions, etc. Every business needs data analysis. For example, as I worked in sales, I was working with sales analysis every day. In marketing, I worked on analyzing market shares. Data analytics is a growing field where you can find a job in any department of a company today. So, I decided to enroll in a data analytics graduate program.
I chose Saint Rose for the following reasons:
I wanted to be situated in the Capital Region. I fell in love with the lakes and the ski resorts in the area, and Albany is ideally central between Montreal, New York City, and Boston.
I saw the BDA program online, and it was new at the time, and I was attracted by the programming language courses and the “computer science” path I could take, as I had a lot of marketing and finance courses in undergrad.
Finally, the program cost was going to be in adequation with what I was willing to spend.
What did you find most helpful about the courses?
Having the classes at the end of afternoon and night gave me the opportunity to continue growing my experience and my resume.
Starting with an advanced statistic course gives you a good reminder that hard work is expected, and it prepares you for the mindset you will need for the rest of the program. The same can be said for the first programming class with python.
I loved that we were able to choose our own path, either you chose a business and marketing research direction, or you chose a data science/data analytics one. Coming from a business background, I chose to get out of my comfort zone and take as many computer science/analytics related courses as possible with my electives. It was challenging, and I loved it!
What was your internship like?
I completed a full-year internship at GE in Schenectady. I did my internship in HR, assisting with implementation of a new payroll system for seven months, and then worked on an even larger project of implementing a new ERP system. My knowledge of data analysis with SQL and Excel, especially the skills I acquired during the first year of my graduate program, was one of the reasons why I was chosen for this opportunity.
People at GE are very welcoming and very organized. I was happy to be able to learn and apply lean practices during my internship. I also enhanced my problem-solving skills and learned how to functionally use ERP systems and implement them.
Tell us about your job now, and what do you enjoy about the field?
My first job is as a master data analyst for Beech-Nut Nutrition Company in Amsterdam New York. As part of the IT team, my role is to maintain and control the master data of the company, analyze it, find discrepancies if any, solve issues and work on requests from the business.
Master data is not to be confounded with transactional data and is the source data which is used to make transactions, such has a client database, locations, and ingredients for food composition, SKUs of products. Transactional data examples include specific sales and purchases.
I am very excited about my job as I will get to work with many different parts of the business (R&D, commercial, finance, supply chain) with data from various sources.
Security and accuracy of a company’s data is so crucial, and I love that I am at the heart of the process.
What are your career goals?
Shorter term, I plan challenging myself and learning nonstop to ensure I can add value to my new organization. I may pursue some certifications. Longer term, I still need to discover if leadership is a path I would like to take, either in IT or in another department (supply chain, commercial, or marketing). It is important for me to feel that I am still learning and evolving.