Suman Roy

VP, Solution Architecture Lead, Citi

Meeting and networking with professionals has definitely added to my perspective about my work. Some are close friends now, and almost everyone is willing to help.

Tell us about your professional background: What was happening in your career (or life) that made you decide to get a Business Analytics certificate?

I am an IT professional with over 15 years’ experience in several industries, including life sciences, manufacturing, state government and financial investment banking. I designed ETL data strategy and led ITIL-compliant enterprise systems migration for two major pharmaceutical companies. I chose the Business Analytics program for my continuous growth and learning.

Tell us about your classmates. What sort of relationships have you been able to build as an online learner?

I met classmates from a variety of experiences and career paths. Many have similar backgrounds like I do. Meeting and networking with professionals has definitely added to my perspective about my work. Some are close friends now, and almost everyone is willing to help.

What was your experience with faculty?

I think all the faculty are outstanding. Being able to learn from Harvard professors is an opportunity of its own.

What has been your experience collaborating with classmates in an online environment?

Slack and Zoom have been great and have allowed us to engage in continuous discussion around the globe with the entire cohort. These discussions have helped us get to know each other. We’ve learned a great deal outside the classroom by sharing interesting news, presentations, and our knowledge and lessons learned. We’ve created a welcoming environment of supportive collaboration and mutual respect. We’ve also worked on shared documents using the Google apps. I have enjoyed using the learning tools and collaboration technology to guide the discussions in positive directions and helping create a collegial atmosphere where we can all learn from each other.

You are an HBAP Pitch Competition winner. Can you tell us about that experience?

I always wanted to learn what goes on behind the scenes when one has to open a business—what challenges and opportunities I will have to face when I start to work on my business idea. The Pitch Competition is a great opportunity to bring these thoughts to the world. With all the learnings from this program, it makes total sense now why and how a business is likely to succeed.

My pitch idea was on building a community of parents of young children (0-5 years old) and early education contributors. I am currently at the ideation stage and working on bringing this to life very soon.

I think all the faculty are outstanding. Being able to learn from Harvard professors is an opportunity of its own.

What would you say is the value of the Pitch Competition? Why would you encourage others to participate?

The Pitch Competition gives a practice ground for all the learnings from HBAP. Brainstorming with a group of friends helps us understand why any business can succeed and what the future path will look like. The Pitch Competition is the initial platform where you experience different points of view from your peers and judges. It provides you the ability to think critically about any business model.

What would you tell prospective students who are considering applying to the program?

This program has really good course structure and the course materials have a lot of depth of knowledge. This knowledge is going to help anyone in the long term. Willingness to learn and deep dive through some of these course materials will [make it] a great experience. You also get to learn a lot from other professionals in this program to know where you stand in the crowd and what can help you in your career going forward.

Meeting and networking with professionals has definitely added to my perspective about my work. Some are close friends now, and almost everyone is willing to help.