Digital Marketing Experiment 4: Driving site traffic with Adwords

In an effort to drive traffic to bcgradtechclub.net and ultimately increase current- and future-MBAs’ user engagement with the site, we’ve begun pioneering our Google AdWords marketing campaign. While the campaign is still in its infancy, we’ve seen moderate success with the keywords we’ve chosen and returned today to reexamine the campaign.

We initially aimed to purchase keyword tags that drive the most traffic, and postulated that the most relevant ones would be related to “BC” and “tech”. Originally, our list of keywords included:

  • BC Tech
  • BCVC
  • Boston College Tech
  • CSOM
  • BC MBA
  • Boston College alumni
  • BC Tech Alumni
  • Tech MBA
  • Carroll School of Management

We found that the keywords driving the most traffic were “BCVC” (highest click-through rate), and “BC Tech”/”Boston College Tech” (tied for highest # of clicks). We also found that certain keywords, like “CSOM” and “Carroll School of Management,” had very low engagement, and Google even warned us that they were rarely shown due to low quality scores. Since an ad’s Quality Score is determined by its cost-per-click multiplied by its click-through-rate, we figured that we were getting beaten out by other CSOM advertisements and decided to eliminate those keywords.

adwords

We also realized that it’s approaching the time of year that potential MBA students might be Googling MBA programs and Tech Clubs to get a better idea of the tech scene at different graduate schools. So, this week, we added keywords we thought MBA hopefuls would search– like “MBA blog,” “Business School Blog,” and “MBA life”. We’re excited to see whether these keywords increase engagement with our site during the rest of our AdWords Campaign.

Feel free to let us know if you have any AdWords suggestions! We hope to keep up the progress in the future.
-Arev Doursounian is a Sophomore math major at Boston College and an honorary member of the Grad Tech Club

Catching Up with the Product Team: Wireframes, Requirements, and MVPs…Oh My!

When last we saw the Product Team, we were in the midst of testing various concepts to determine the right product direction.  Since that time, we have made a lot of progress and we are excited to report that we are on track for an April release!

Choosing a Concept

After testing a few different concepts and determining market viability, we were left with three that we felt were worth pursuing.  At this point, we weighed the various choices against the criteria of indication of interest, ease of implementation, requirements for outside help, time to impact, and cost.  This helped us to determine which of the concepts made the most sense to pursue.  The one that won out was a crowd-sourced and curated resource about sharing economy opportunities.  The win was driven primarily by the fact that it would need little development effort as it could be done with WordPress and the majority of the effort was in content generation.  However, since our primary purpose is learning and we like a challenge, we decided to go after our second choice concept instead.  The ForgetMeNot concept is an app that uses RFID chips to track your items so you don’t leave without them.  It will be the most complicated and require the most outside help to pull off but hey, we are nothing if not ambitious!  As it received the highest score on market interest, we also felt we were justified in our efforts.

weight

Feature Definition (and Bloat)

Once we had decided on the concept we wanted to pursue, we began writing use cases and creating a MoSCoW list of Must Haves, Should Haves, Could Haves, and Won’t Haves.  Before long, the list became pretty lengthy and we still lacked developer talent…yikes!  Realizing that we were getting carried away, we reoriented ourselves to a Minimum Viable Product approach instead.  Asking the question, what is the absolute smallest amount of effort and features we can create to make something that works well enough to start testing?  Once we had that, we could see how users respond and adapt our roadmap from there.  This produced a much smaller (and more manageable) list and we began writing requirements docs for the MVP and creating wireframes using myBalsamiq.  For most of our members, this was their first exposure to wireframing, reinforcing our raison d’etre, to gain hands on skills and experience in product management!

wireframes

Finding Development Talent

While many of us spend our Friday afternoons learning Python, we have not yet developed the coding chops to build this on our own.  Operating on a shoestring budget, none of which can be used for direct compensation, we knew we had to find talent aligned with or primary goal of learning through experience.  Using contacts made through a number of cohosted events with the undergrad tech groups we put out the word and received a few responses from some super impressive undergrad programmers.  Luck was with us as the three students we have working with us each have a different core competency spanning Python, Java, and Objective C.  These just happen to cover servers, Android, and iOS, giving us flexibility in what we can develop and release!  More importantly, our new collaborators bring an excitement and great attitude that has provided a new spark of energy to our whole team!  We cannot wait to get moving and get something awesome out there ASAP!

Next Steps

As I write, we are working on getting our MVP planned and built so we can start testing with real users.  One complication we ran into was sourcing the RFID strips.  With a myriad of options, we are tapping expert resources to determine the right choice for our product.  Concurrently, we are testing non-functional prototypes to determine the right look and feel of the actual tags.  Exciting Stuff!

 

-David LoVerme is a 2nd Year MBA at Boston College and the President of the Grad Tech Club

BC Visits BU for TechConnect 2015!

techconnect-website

Big props to our friends at BU for putting on an awesome TechConnect Conference this year!  The theme was Digital Crossroads: Products and Ideas and featured an awesome array of speakers that really complemented each other and meshed with the conference theme.  It is a ton of work to pull something like this off so my hat is off to Jaymie and her team for a job well done!  A single post is not enough to do justice to the amazing amount I learned, but I’ll do my best to share a couple thoughts from each speaker I saw.

Bruce McCarthy-Effective Product Roadmapping

I have seen Bruce speak several times now at various Boston Product Management Association events and I am always struck by his enthusiasm and desire to help others.  It’s always a pleasure and I always learn something new.  In this case, Bruce emphasized the importance of your product road map telling a story about the value of the product.  He went into detail and shared a lot of knowledge but I will sum it all up by listing the Dirty (Bakers) Dozen common pitfalls of Product Roadmaps:

  1. Being Too Agile
  2. Planning Based on Your Gut
  3. Over or Under Estimating
  4. Not Having Strategic Goals
  5. Inside out Thinking
  6. Trying too Hard to Please
  7. Focusing on Features
  8. Not having a Buffer
  9. Playing Catch-Up (to competitors)
  10. Not Getting Buy-in
  11. Being too Secretive
  12. One Size Fits All
  13. Not having a Story

Want to hear more?  Check out Bruce at ProductPowers.com

Meghan Keaney Anderson-Product Launches

Like Bruce, I have met Meghan a few times before.  Not only is she Hubspot’s Director of Product Marketing, but she is also a BC Alum!  Meghan combined her deck on product launches with real examples from Hubspot to demonstrate her points in a highly effective and meaningful way.  She summarized the role of Product Marketing as coaxing the meaning out of the Product.  She shared with us her Golden Rule of Product Marketing: It’s never about the product, it’s about the person using the product.

Meghan

While I won’t share everything Meghan talked about, one of the biggest take home messages for me was how thorough and methodical an approach good product marketing requires.  Meghan follows a step by step process, ensuring that each necessary element is taken care of, tested, and resonates with customers.  She maintains a product marketing menu of all the different tasks, tactics, and channels they could use for a launch or activity and then selects which are the best for any given time.  Likewise, for a launch event, Meghan and her team actually have everything planned down to the minute or even the word of a keynote.  They maintain a command room at the event to facilitate a smooth launch!  All this effort and preparation can seem overwhelming, but it is crucial.  While there is certainly a lot there, according to Meghan, not all product marketing was created equal.  “The key is good positioning.  If you get that right, everything else is easy.”

C. Todd Lombardo-Ideas Lifecycle

C. Todd runs the InnoLoft at Constant Contact and had both an awesome presentation and a superbly aesthetically pleasing deck.  Most people are familiar with the concept of an MVP or Minimum Viable Product from the Lean Startup approach.  C. Todd suggested that before and MVP, you should pursue an MVC or Minimum Viable Concept.  Unlike an MVP, this doesnt even have to work, only to do a good enough job demonstrating the concept to get a sense of what it does.  He used IDEO’s Elmo Monster Maker prototype as an example. At this point you can test with 5 to 7 customers to get a sense of whether it is worth pursuing an MVP.  C. Todd suggested doing design sprints, or few day deep dives into a problem using the Define, Understand, Ideate, Build, Test cycle repeatedly.  He talked about the importance of being a “Designtist,” a creative designer that nonetheless approaches their design using the scientific method of testing hypotheses over and over to arrive at the right ends.  It’s a messy process and certainly not too straightforward.  C. Todd suggested that it is more like the design squiggle than a straight line.  “If it feels too linear, you are probably not doing it right!”

Ctodd

The other thing I really liked about C. Todd’s presentation was the concept of Job Stories.  We are all familiar with user stories and the amount of Jira tickets I have written stating “As a salesperson, I need to be able to…” could fill up more than a few Excel spreadsheets.  Job stories are different in that they lend context to the request and are thus more powerful.  They take the form “When (situation) happens, I want/need to (action), so I can (benefit).”  This format forces you to think about whether you are really addressing the pain point and makes it hard for anyone to misinterpret intent.

C. Todd left us with a few key take-aways that I will reproduce here:

  • Your opinion doesn’t matter
  • Talk to customers. Listen.
  • Check your assumptions. Again.
  • Think like a designtist.
  • It’s not failure if you learn.
  • F*** It, Test it.

Allen Murray-Agile Methodology

Allen is an SVP at Mobile Device Management company Apperian and his session was perhaps the most fun all day, not only because he is charismatic and approachable and I learned a ton about small aircraft flight, but also because we did the marshmallow challenge.  For those unfamiliar, it involves working in groups to form the tallest possible tower using spaghetti, tape, string, and a marshmallow on top.  MBAs typically perform terribly at this, while kindergartners do much better because the task lends itself well to trial and error and iteration and not advanced planning giving the time limits and lack of expertise in most participants (architects as the exception do quite well when planning).  Happily, we outperformed most MBAs and even kindergartners but learned that most of our assumptions were ill founded.  Allen used the activity as a jumping off point to talk about effective teams and Agile product development.

Marshmallow

Key Take-Aways from Allen’s Session:

  • Diversity in Teams matters, need leadership, facilitation, and specialization.
  • Incentives magnify outcomes.  With the right team, great things are possible but incentivizing a team without the right skills will only magnify the failure
  • The crowning moment in your professional career is when you see your customers truly satisfied with something you have given them.
  • If you can manage four things you will be successful using Agile:
    • Visibility
    • Adaptability
    • Business Value
    • Risk
  • Declaring work done is crucial to a successful scrum cycle.
  • You are not working on a technology, you are working on a business problem.
  • Must create dynamic on teams to want to improve.

Dan Cobb-Creating a Culture of Innovation

The final keynote of the day came from EMC SVP Dan Cobb who was slated to talk about creating a culture of innovation.  To be honest, to me his talk was a bit of a let down.  Dan spent the majority of the time educating the audience about EMC and essentially making a pitch for the company.  As a BC MBA, I am very familiar with EMC as they are a top recruiter on campus.  Nonetheless, Dan did hit on some points that I found very interesting.

Key Take-Aways:

  • Big companies must balance innovation and disruption
  • Innovate through internal R&D and aquisitions
  • When you aquihire you must empower the talent to stay on.  EMC does this by involving its acquisitions in future M&A decisions.
  • 3 Major Keys to Innovating Successfully:
    • Develop a brutally candid view of the world.
    • Align innovation agenda with strategy
    • Institutionalize feedback loops and then step back to listen, partner, engage, and measure.
  • EMC is “absolutely, positively, the most paranoid place in the world” and that is a good thing.
  • Innovation is a strategic means to an end.

-David LoVerme is a 2nd Year MBA at Boston College and the President of the Grad Tech Club

Two Hours at Highland Capital

Anyway you slice it, getting a meeting with a leading VC is tough, and getting to spend an hour plus is almost impossible. Yet as members of the BC Grad Tech Club and the overall BC Community, we have had the great fortune of having it become almost commonplace.  Only a few weeks ago, we were able to spend an hour with Spark Capital’s Bijan Sabet, and a number of our student entrepreneurs recently discussed business ideas 1:1 with Highland General Partner and BC Alum Peter Bell.

Last Friday was no exception as a group of us were fortunate enough to spend almost two hours in Highland’s Cambridge office on the top floor of One Broadway.  BC Alumni Dan Nova and Chris Protasewich hosted us, answered our questions, and dropped some serious knowledge.  While my notebook contains several pages of scrawled notes, I’ll do my best to distill it down to my impressions of a few key takeaways.  A huge thanks to Dan and Chris as well as the whole Highland team for being such staunch supporters of the school and our programs!

highland

Key Take-Aways

On what type of companies they look for and fund:

  • Highland is looking for revolutionary companies that seek to reshape an entire industry such as Uber with transportation, HourlyNerd with Consulting, and Rent the Runway with high end fashion.
  • This requires founders with big ambitions who are a little bit crazy.  In often cases, these are people with goals to start a movement or reinvent the future.  For successful entrepreneurs, opportunities to make a few million by selling early can be hard to say “no” to but can also hamper the potential of a company.

On Highland’s People First Approach

  • Highland evaluates opportunities with a People, Market, Product, and Deal Terms approach-in that order.  They sees themselves as selling a relationship based on trust and value-add and therefore the most important element is people.
  • Highland looks for solid, smart, and hard-working people.  They believe that if they find the right people, they will be able to adjust successfully to the changing market.
  • Of more than a thousand meetings each year, Highland will only fund about 15-20 companies after a great degree of due diligence on the people.  As Dan says, “There is no substitute for time when you are investing in a relationship.”
  • They look for people who can communicate well and honestly even when its bad news.  In Dan’s words, “We make a living dealing with bad news.”  Highland has a lot of experience and can often recognize patterns that allow them to provide sage advice as long as the founder comes to them honestly and in time to take action.

On Corporate Venture Funds

  • Dan is not personally a fan because there is often a disconnect in alignment between them and companies like Highland.
  • Corporate Venture groups move less slowly and they usually have a strategic interest that can alter the natural course of business development.

On Continued Investment

  • Highland recognizes that companies often require more than one infusion of cash, as a result they set aside a dollar for every dollar they invest initially to be used for further investment.  This allows the company to continue to support its portfolio companies as needed.

On the Future

  • “We are in the Golden Years of Major Marketplace Shifts.”  Transport, Housing, Fashion, Consulting, are all being rocked at the core and Dan believes this will continue to take place.  There are a lot of entrenched but ridiculously inefficient industries out there and the market and technology is now prime for disruption.  We can expect to see a lot more of this.
  • Immersive 3D Virtual Reality is here and will be huge.  Dan believes that the moment is here though he admits he is awfully bullish on it and my may be a bit early
  • VCs do not know all.  In an admirable moment of self honesty, Dan also admitted that VCs have a lot of experience and insight but certainly do not know all.  He asked about what are the most popular technologies on BC’s campus and was surprised to hear the anonymous social app Yik Yak was among the leaders.  He admitted he isn’t big on the anonymous thing, calling it “…the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen,” but appending his statement with “but I said that about Twitter…”

-David LoVerme is a 2nd Year MBA at Boston College and the President of the Grad Tech Club

A science experiment for the BC Graduate Tech Club (and my wallet)

I’ve been an Uber driver for about a month now. I’ve logged a total of 7.5 hours on the road, chauffeuring people around Boston and the burbs. About a quarter of the people I’ve driven around have asked me how I became an Uber driver and why I’m doing it. I tell them it’s for two reasons. The first reason is to help pad the wallet a bit while I readjust to living without an income. The second is for BC.

Jacqueline Oullet, BC MBA ’16

I was lucky enough to be accepted to go on this year’s Tech Trek West, a field study to visit tech firms in Seattle and Silicon Valley (more to come on that experience in my next blog post.) One of the firms we’re visiting is Uber. I figured some inside insight wouldn’t hurt when we have the chance to talk to BC alumni during our time meeting with the company. I was also incredibly interested in how Uber got so popular, why it works the way it does, and some rider and driver pain points.

Arguably the biggest pain point for riders is surge pricing. As an Economics major (BC ’09!), I immediately liked the concept of surge pricing. Not that I’m willing to spend the money for 4x the normal fare, but it makes perfect economic sense. If you’re willing to pay for it, you should be able to get a ride across the city, even if you are paying top dollar. Many riders hate this, feeling as though they are being taken advantage of when they need a ride the most. Well as it turns out, Uber drivers are real people, too, and also would prefer to go out to dinner on a Friday night or be sleeping at 2 AM when the bars close. Surge pricing gets more drivers on the road when more people need rides. Simple economics, hence the appeal.

On the driver side, my biggest frustration is that I’m not able to choose an area within which to drive. All drivers are at the whim of the riders – drivers aren’t actually shown the destination of the rider until the rider gets in the car and the driver swipes “start trip” or asks the rider, “where to?” This means if things go poorly, as a driver I could potentially end up in New Hampshire towards the end of the night, an hour or more away from home with no guarantee a request will come through for a ride back to Chestnut Hill.

While there are a couple possible improvements in logistics, the ease of use is top-notch. The driver app, like the rider app, is incredibly intuitive and easy to use. Uber certainly makes it easy for drivers to know how much money they’re making and how they compare against the top drivers out there. As you can see in the screenshot below, I’m making better money per hour than the top drivers (because I only drive during times of surge pricing), but I’m working fewer hours and taking many fewer trips. This dashboard makes it easy to see how I’m stacking up against other drivers and definitely provides an incentive to stay on top and keep driving.

Uber Driver Review

The screenshot below makes it easy for me to see when the busiest hours are and when I’m most likely to see surge pricing. This is mostly intuitive, but it’s nice to have a visual. It also makes me wonder why 4 AM Monday – Thursday is one of their busiest hours.

Being involved with the company on a new level like this really got me spending a lot of time thinking about small tweaks they could make to the app to help alleviate rider and driver pain points. As I’m also involved with fundraising for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, it also made me wonder about opportunities to drive for charity. I’m sure there’s a segment of the population out there that has limited funds to donate to charities they’re passionate about, but has a car and time and would be willing to drive people around knowing the money earned would go directly to their favorite charity.

All in all, it’s been a good experience so far. I’ve picked up other MBAs from both BU and Harvard and have even been able to do a bit of networking while driving people around. If nothing else, it’s great practice talking about any topic under the sun with a stranger. More to come on this in my next post!

Reposted from the Carroll School Admissions Blog.

Jackie Oullet is a first year MBA and member of the Grad Tech Product Team.

Chartbeat: Real Time Analytics for the Publishing World

photo 1While Boston was getting pounded by snow, I had the opportunity to head a little ways south where I got to visit NYC analytics startup Chartbeat.  My hosts were Account Executive and BC Alum Andrew Oddo and Head of Talent Cat Hernandez.  The company itself creates sleek dashboards and monitoring tools that help publishing companies visualize in real time what stories, topics, and key words are performing best at any given moment.  The immediacy of the information and insights allows its customers to act upon it in real time to tweak headlines or social stories and see real time results.  The companies tools also help to build a social strategy and the company is constantly evolving to find new ways to help its customers.  I had the opportunity to tour the offices and to see some of the dashboards in action.  Not only were they useful and intuitive, but the design was super sleek and eye friendly…just seeing them made me want to buy the product!  It is no wonder that even though the company is still a relatively young startup, it boasts a customer base that includes many of the biggest names in publishing including Time, NBC Universal, and Forbes.

photo 4

Even cooler than the products themselves, however, is the company’s culture.  Like most startups, the company is young and positive on the whole, it has the obligatory games and kitchen, and of course its people are entrepreneurial.  What really struck me, however, was the description of the company as having a Learning culture.  Just about every company wants employees to learn of course, but these guys really live and breathe that mantra.  They try to move people into new positions outside their comfort zones, and encourage the pursuit of interests even if they are outside of the person’s normal functional role.  When it comes to learning, Chartbeat puts its money where its mouth is, or at least where its office is.  Located directly above the Strand Bookstore, employees are just an elevator ride away from 18 miles of books where they can spend the $30/month the company gives them specifically for reading material.

It’s always great to meet fellow Eagles doing cool things in the Tech space and I am grateful to Andrew and Cat for hosting me at Chartbeat.  Check them out http://www.chartbeat.com.  Not only do they do really cool stuff but they are growing like crazy!

-David LoVerme is a 2nd Year MBA at Boston College and the President of the Grad Tech Club

Lessons from a VC and a Founder

Meeting with a Tech recruiter in NYC last week, I was given the advice to monitor where VCs were investing in looking for potential employers.  I was reminded that one of the world’s leading VCs, Spark Capital co-Founder Bijan Sabet resides right in my backyard.  It’s moments like those that remind me how lucky I am to be at BC, because today I had the opportunity to spend an hour with Bijan and Runkeeper founder and CEO Jason Jacobs as they visited the Undergrad TechTrek Class.  As with Rent the Runway and Bain Capital at Cyberposium, it was fascinating to hear the story of the initial Runkeeper investment from both the Entrepreneur and VC perspectives.  As I have come to expect from anything Professor John Gallaugher organizes, the event was a veritable firehose of knowledge.  Jason shared his experiences in starting a company without a Technical cofounder, scaling a business, and the ups and downs of running a consumer startup in Boston.  Bijan talked about what he looks for in founders, Bitcoin and the TV industry, and how to approach reunions.  While I highly recommend any opportunity to hear these guys speak, I have included some of the key takeaways I found most interesting below.  Please note, however, that these come from my notes and are not direct quotes.

Runkeeper

Runkeeper’s Jason Jacobs

  • On Consumer Products: The key is to remove the friction and add some magic.
  • The biggest blessing of running a startup is also the biggest curse.  In a normal company you can work like an owner, do twice as much as anyone else, and maybe get 10% more.  A startup is a neverending firehouse of knowledge and opportunity.  The rewards are there but the more you do, the more things need addressing.
  • On Culture and Scaling Up:
    • Runkeeper might actually have waited too long to define values.  As the company scales, the stresses increase and you need to keep reinventing the leadership team.  Some people will be scared of bringing in new members but the key is to keep the focus on growing the company and keep people who prioritize that.
    • We are in the middle of a business school case.  The first half is already written and there are two possible endings.  We have to do everything we can to choose the right one.
  • On starting a company without a Technical Co-Founder: When you are dropped into foreign territory, the rulebook goes out the window and its all about survival.  Jason was singularly focused on product evangelism.  Ideas aren’t the key, its the execution.  You have to do anything and everything you can to make it work, tell everybody and force accountability on yourself.  Jason even ran the Boston Marathon dressed as an iPhone.  As Bijan put it, he “willed Runkeeper to happen!”

IMG_20150203_171753939_HDR

Spark Capital’s Bijan Sabet

  • On what impresses him:
    • We are drawn to areas where traditional gatekeepers are no longer needed.  We look for disruptive technologies that draw us to the edges.
    • At the earliest stages, its less about growing the user base and more about compacting it and making a small subset really happy.
    • The thing we look for is the “why.”  Why is the founder starting this company?
    • I value Founder, Product, and Mission more than I value Market, Model, and Team.
    • I ask myself, “would I want to work for this company?”
  • On Venture Capital Firms:
    • Imagine running a company with five CEOs, sounds dysfunctional, but its intentional dysfunction.  We don’t make a move unless everyone is excited.
    • I’m more “on demand” than “push”.  My job is to help my entrepreneurs find true north, not to prescribe a step by step approach.
  • On Bitcoin: As an alternative currency it probably isn’t capturing its full value but as a protocol for facilitating payment, that’s what we are excited about.
  • On TV industry: TV Ads are an $80B/yr industry but half of US households own a dvr and we know social engagement peaks during prime time.  People aren’t paying attention to ads and something is going to break.
  • On scaling a company: Every company hits some turbulence during scaling, its normal.  If you go through adolescence without getting a pimple, that’s weird.
  • On college reunions: I was a computer geek who married a cheerleader, I make sure I go to every reunion!

 

-David LoVerme is a 2nd Year MBA at Boston College and the President of the Grad Tech Club

A Zillion Things Home (And the Data Behind It)

Last week, I was lucky enough to join BC’s Grad Tech Club on their visit to Wayfair. I was excited for the office visit for a few reasons. First, it was due to Wayfair’s unanimous rank as one of the best places to work for. Because of that, I have been keeping a keen eye on their job board for any potentially openings. I wanted to get a good sense for the culture and work environment before submitting an application. Prior to BC, I worked in a very early stage startup in San Francisco’s SOMA district at a shared workspace with several other startups. After working in an environment like that, it’s hard to me to think about going back to a strictly corporate office environment. Wayfair, although now a public company with thousands of employees, they have somehow managed to maintain the vibe of a startup. It was incredible walking around. They have maintained the culture and environment of their early days while growing into a billion dollar company. After our visit and seeing what they were about and what really drives them, I’m 100% going to apply for a job at Wayfair and would be thrilled at the opportunity to work there.

Taking a tour of Wayfair's offices with other members of the GgradTech Club.

Taking a tour of Wayfair’s offices with other members of the GradTech Club.

At first glance, I wasn’t sure what to think of Wayfair. I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a home furnishings enthusiast, so was weary at the thought of working behind a product or business that I wasn’t sure I could get 100% behind. But we had a chance to sit down with BC alum David Aaron and his colleague Chris Roe who really broke down the business intelligence and data science that really gives them a competitive advantage. I saw, firsthand, that the passion David and Chris have is not necessarily for home furnishings, but rather for understanding and predicting user needs and behavior. They are 100% behind their work and their enthusiasm was obvious. Combined with their talent and that of the rest of the Wayfair crew, this passion for data is clearly what has driven Wayfair to be at the forefront of ecommerce analytics, giving them a clear competitive advantage.

I’m thankful to Grad Tech for not only allowing me a sneak peek into working at such an awesome company, but also for giving a rare peak under the hood of a thriving company. It’s a unique experience that we MBAs have access to, and I encourage others to take advantage of future BC Tech Club outings.

-Emmett Shipman is a 2nd Year MBA at Boston College and a member of the Grad Tech Club

MARIN ROWE

Marin

Key Stats

  • Grad Year: 2016
  • Concentration: Product & Brand Management/ Marketing & Information Analytics
  • Undergrad: University of Utah, 2011
  • Target Role: Marketing Internship in Tech, Summer 2015
  • Key Skills: MS Office, Google AdWords & Analytics
  • Fun Fact: Marin avidly follows her beloved Utah Utes in the NCAA. She was in the MUSS (Mighty Utah Student Section) every football season of her undergraduate career (with the exception of Fall 2008 when she was studying abroad in London and the Utes went undefeated, beating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl- tough season to miss).

Marin is a first-year MBA student studying Marketing & Brand Management and Marketing Analytics. Marin has a background in digital marketing- specifically lead acquisition and media buying. Prior to BC, she spent 3 ½ years on the marketing team at Alliance Health Networks, LLC- a healthcare/technology company. Marin is seeking to stay within the technology (and possibly healthcare) realm as she seeks an internship for the coming summer. Marin’s biggest pre-requisite for a future position is that she never wants to be bored. She thrives in fast-paced, high-stakes environments. This year at BC, Marin had the great privilege of attending the Graduate Tech Trek in January of 2015. She is also a graduate assistant for one of the university’s marketing professors. She is actively involved in her church and is currently serving as a youth mentor to teenage girls in the Boston community.

Renato Douek

Renato

 

Key Stats

  • Concentration: Entrepreneurship and Leadership Management.
  • Grad Year: 2015
  • Previous Employer: Rendimento Bank (Brazil), Marketing Manager; peerTransfer(Boston) International Payments Associate
  • Undergrad: FAAP – Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (Sao Paulo- Brazil) Advertising/Communications
  • Target Role: Marketing
  • Fun Fact: Renato used his free time to acquire a certificate of the Brazilian Academy of magical arts and also became an expert in hypnosis.

Renato is a Brazilian management leader with expertise in marketing management in the Finance Industry. Skilled in collaborating with members of an organization to achieve business and marketing objectives. Instrumental in streamlining and improving processes, enhancing productivity, and implementing technology solutions. Highly effective team builder and trainer of personnel skilled in leading a team to solve problems and exceed company expectations. Renato also loves technology and is fluent in English and Portuguese.

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/renatodouek