Master’s in Business Analytics: Guilherme (Gui) Plentz de Liz, University of Rochester (Simon)

Student Name: Guilherme (Gui) Plentz de Liz

Graduate Business School: University of Rochester, Simon Business School

Describe Yourself In 15 Words: Someone who loves to learn new things in this complex and unpredictable world.

Master’s Graduation Class: 2020.

Undergraduate School and Major: Roberts Wesleyan College, Business Administration and Psychology.

Current Employer and Job Title: Ernst & Young (EY), Technology Consulting in Digital Emerging Technologies (ServiceNow).

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I’m proud of my work as a technology consultant serving Fortune 500 clients. However, I don’t see it as my most significant accomplishment. I would say leaving home and building a new life in a new country has been the biggest accomplishment I have made. It has reverberated in all other areas of my life, and it keeps taking me in a direction I never expected.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as a graduate student: As a graduate student, I stayed involved and participated in many different activities, professionally and for fun. I believe that was my biggest accomplishment. I did not do only one thing. I went to school, was part of the master’s advisory committee, was an ambassador helping recruit the new class, participated in case study competitions, and went to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, something I love doing. I sometimes partied, too! 

What was the key factor that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The main reason was the focus on a STEM education. Simon is the first business school in the country to offer a STEM educational focus for all business degrees. It is known for its technical acumen. I wanted to be part of that group. I don’t want to just “talk business,” I wanted to solve real-world problems. 

What led you to choose a Master’s in Business Analytics over an MBA? Throughout college and after graduation, I worked as a business intelligence assistant for The Pike Company. There, I realized that I had good communication and social skills, but I needed to invest more on my technical skills to go to the next level. An MS in Business Analytics from Simon was just that; it provided me with the soft/professional skills needed and gave me a technical foundation to solve problems pragmatically. Companies are looking more and more for people that can tackle issues and add value. 

What has been your favorite course and how has it helped you in your career? It was Predictive and Causal Analytics.  I believe that class brought out my psychology side. From the causal side, it focused a lot on experiments and A/B testing, which is trying to understand the world around us and asking the questions: what are the omitted variables? How does this variable affect another? I believe that is a beautiful opportunity, as it brings clarity into our world. If you think about life, it’s just an infinite equation, and the more data we have, the more we understand and conclude.  

What role did your school play in helping you to land your first job out of the program? Simon Business School opened the doors to my first job. Having a degree from our school gave me the credibility and sense of trust necessary to engage and connect with people in the industry. Simon also gave me a large network to connect with alumni who have been where we were and are where we want to go.

How did your classmates enhance the value of your business school experience? Being part of a program and having classmates, in my opinion, is one of the most significant advantages of going to school. You get to meet people who are in a similar position to you. You become very close, learn from each other. You motivate them, and they encourage you.  

Who was your favorite faculty member and how did this person enrich your learning? Avery Haviv was a great professor, and as I mentioned above, his class was great! He explicitly showed how passionate he was for experimenting and data. Young Sun Lee’s communication class was also fantastic. She gave us incredible insights into how to be a good presenter, and at the same time, I felt she cared about us and wanted to connect on a personal level.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s graduate Master’s program? I believe the most important thing is communicating your story in the right way. At the end of the day everyone has the grades and the internships. What separates you from the rest is showing the sides that enlighten you. For example, I always built my story around business and psychology, the curiosity aspect, and the chance to understand the world we live in. I drew on my experience playing college tennis and completely failed, won, was a bad leader, was a good leader, but was on this journey to keep trying to evolve to my best self helped me gain admission. Tell your unique story!

What was your best memory from your Master’s program? Everything was very magical. But for me, the most memorable time was the career event we had in New York City. It was actually where I first engaged with EY, as we visited the office on Times Square. We had a presentation with one of their leaders on AI. It was awesome, super enlightening content, and the surroundings were breathtaking as we were overlooking Manhattan from our conference room. I still cannot believe that is where I live now.


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