“I started out on the operations management side of my department,” recalls Emma Jopson, a graduating senior in Isenberg’s Department of Operations and Information Management. That included two internships devoted to cost improvement in operations. “But I switched to information management because I was passionate about data analytics.” In June, Jopson will join MassMutual in Springfield as a data engineer. “They’ll be onboarding me remotely,” she remarks. “I’ll be working in a team of five, doing data mining and developing systems to go with it. Much of the work will focus on customers.”
Jopson is evangelical about data analytics. “It allows you to get a handle on almost everything,” she says. That includes fleshing out underlying relationships and telling stories that illustrate your findings and point of view. It is ultimately a craft, she continues, that calls for considerable creativity. “False stereotypes about data analytics overlook that. Everyone can learn machine learning. Data analytics is empowering.”
Four years ago, as a senior at Belchertown High, Jopson secured a full-tuition, four-year scholarship to study at Isenberg. Her benefactor, Chuck McQuaid ’74, reserved the award for an outstanding student from or near his hometown of Ware. “I worked hard to graduate with a 4.0 and get into Isenberg,” Jopson recalls. “Mr. McQuaid’s scholarship made UMass and Isenberg affordable for my family.
“After graduation, I plan to help Isenberg students just as alumni have helped me,” she affirms. In the meantime, Jopson has devoted considerable energy to community work, including her participation in the Isenberg initiative, Citizens First. Each year, Isenberg students spend two weeks in South Africa, much of it in service to rural towns and villages. That, says Jopson, includes sourcing and configuring computers and teaching computer basics in schools. “I’ve been back three times; that’s allowed me to build long-lasting relationships and to see our work come to fruition.” It all goes to show, Jopson insists—“To gain, you have to give.”