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Business Analytics Leadership Council


The Business Analytics Leadership Council (BALC) is dedicated to improving and growing the reputation of the MS Business Analytics program at the UT Dallas Jindal School of Management locally, regionally and globally; and committed to protecting and supporting student concerns and working tirelessly with the program leadership to improve the collegiate experience of all students, both inside and outside the classroom.

The council promotes business analytics-related activities. BALC’s primary goal is to help business analytics students:

BALC also works with the Jindal School’s Career Management Center to organize networking and recruiting events and career workshops. The Leadership Council plans and hosts events that help new students be successful, such as boot camps and mentoring events/mixers. Our Internship Panel Event educates students on the process and experiences of obtaining an internship. Our Graduation Mixers celebrate the success of our students as they move from campus to the workplace.

Meet Our Council Members

Vithika Agrawal

Vithika Agrawal

Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, India – Starting Term 2019, Spring

Hi All, I am Vithika, a graduate student in the business analytics program. I completed my undergraduate degree in Statistics from University of Delhi, India. I have more than two years of work experience in the field of analytics. I have always been passionate about numbers and after completing my honours degree in statistics, I decided to make my career in the field of data science. The highly reputed Business Analytics program, with its many disciplines, has given me an excellent platform to understand data in a business perspective. I am a team player and always like to get myself involved in societies and events. Having 6 years degree in Indian classical music and performing with other musicians, I have learnt the importance of teamwork and discipline from a young age which I incorporate in my life daily. I believe in leading by example and taking initiatives to complete all my tasks. Please feel free to reach out to me, if you have any queries.

Erick Castaneda

Erick Castaneda

Chico, California – Starting Term 2020, Spring
Hobbies: MMA, Soccer, Riding motorcycles, Travelling, Discovering good music

Hello Everyone! I completed my B.S. in Economics at UT Dallas where I developed a passion for government policy and business statistics. My time after, working for Bank of America revolved around ensuring the completion of projects from compliance to business acquisition, and networking with industry professionals from project management to data analysis. My knowledge of financial metrics as well as the leadership objectives of our market drove my pursuit into data acquisition.

The Business Analytics program at JSOM has profoundly supported my interest into the science behind data analysis. There are many industry tools, practices, and pathways to choose from as well as resources at UTD to help you make promising career choices. I would enjoy being able to help you experience the most that our program has to offer and answer any questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you!

Lucia Cha

Lucia Cha

Dallas, TX – Starting Term 2020, Spring

Hi! I’ve always been fascinated by numbers. I’m the type of person who loves to use quantitative information to better understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of a problem. My love for data led me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in sociology and minor in mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin. The intersection of the two allowed me to turn large amounts of data into actionable information that could be used to identify the needs and services for the benefit of the people in our society today. My interest in better understanding the impact data has in a business setting led me to pursue my MS in Business Analytics at The University of Texas at Dallas. I enjoy what I am learning now and excited to see what is to come!

Akshata Bodhankar

Akshata Bodhankar

Hyderabad, Telangana, India – Starting Term 2020, Spring

Although born and brought up in Hyderabad, I’m a Maharashtrian who worked in Bangalore for 3 years as a decision scientist in Mu Sigma.

I did my undergrad in electronics and communication engineering in 2016 but landed a job in analytics immediately and worked there with commitment for 3 years, during which period, I worked with analytics teams of pharma companies, understood how important my work was and started loving it. As my interest grew stronger, I decided to pursue masters.

I was an active volunteer for socio-cultural events under Seva Bharati and Youth for Seva and now a member of Hindu Yuva at UT Dallas. I do yoga regularly and always love a good read. Being a member of the Tableau community, I help answer questions on the platform at my leisure. Having been tremendously helped by the BALC members, when I joined UTD, being reachable to fellow students is my way of giving back to the university. You may always reach out to me for any help or guidance.

Brian Nguyen

Brian Nguyen

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Hobbies: Graphic design, grand strategy games, FIFA, soccer

Well hello there! I am Brian Nguyen (pronounced “WYNN”) and I come from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I completed my Bachelor in Neuroscience and Psychology from UTD in Spring 2020. During my time as an undergrad, I worked at the Center for Advanced Pain Studies as a lab assistant. My everyday tasks were to collect and analyze data of chronic migraine treatments on rodents. Doing scientific research has taught me a lot – patience, a wide range of analytical skills (statistics and research design), and most importantly, my love for finding new insights from data. As a result, I am pursuing a dual master’s in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience (specialize in Computational modeling & Intelligent systems) and Business Analytics. The two disciplines have a lot more in common than I could ever imagine, and I look forward to taking a deep dive into all thing analytics. I also founded a startup called VertasNews.com with two friends in 2018 and had a blast with it too. Let’s talk if you have any questions, are considering a career pivot, or just want to connect (don’t we all just need more of that now)!

Neel Gandhi

Neel Gandhi

Roselle Park, NJ

Hi all, my name is Neel Gandhi. Before starting my Master’s in Business Analytics, I completed my undergrad degree in Management Information Systems from Rutgers University in New Jersey. During my time at Rutgers, while taking classes like Data Mining and Warehousing, I was introduced to the data science world. After graduating from Rutgers, I worked at Infosys Limited in Hartford, CT as an Associate Analyst. As an Associate Analyst at Infosys, I analyzed call volume data for a healthcare client. During this project, I discover my passion for data science, which lead me to join the Business Analytics program at UT Dallas. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or if you just want to chat.

Vinita Talreja

Vinita Talreja

Roselle Park, NJ – Starting Term 2020, Spring

Hi there, my name is Vinita! Prior to joining UTD, I worked as a Software Development Engineer with a semi-conductor company for about 5 years. With a vision to build a career in data science, and a dream to experience a foreign culture, I embarked upon my graduate school journey here. Despite all odds (read covid19 pandemic), I must say, that my experience has been enriching. I am excited to be a part of BALC and look forward to helping you in any way possible. I am open to sharing my stories as well as listening to yours, so please feel free to reach out to me and I will be happy to connect with you. Stay safe, comets!

Amritha Rekha

Amritha Rekha

Kerala, India – Starting Term 2019, Spring
Hobbies: Drawing, Cooking, Learning new things, Travelling

Hey, Comets! I am from the popularly known God’s own country Kerala. I have completed my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Amrita University. On completing bachelor’s, I worked for more than 3 years as Software Engineer in UST Global. I had a passion for topics like business intelligence and data mining right from my undergrad studies. I should say these are the driving force which aligned me with pursuing more knowledge in the Business Analytics field. The Masters in Business Analytics program at UTD is very diverse and could help you to align with the concentration on your interest perfectly. I am also part of other organizations like FOMAA UTD and Infinity Lions. We BALC members are here to help you out with any concerns related to your program. I will be happy to assist both prospective and current students in solving their queries related to the MSBA program or student life in UTD.

Sai Nikhilesh Kasturi

Sai Nikhilesh Kasturi

Hyderabad, India – Starting Term 2019, Spring

Hey Hi!!! My name is Sai Nikhilesh Kasturi, a graduate student in the Business Analytics program. On completing my Bachelors in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, I worked for three years in the field of predictive analytics at the Cognizant Technology Solutions. I developed my passion for data analytics during my Cognizant days. I was very intrigued to know that most of the global solutions provided are based on analytics, which led me to take up a Master’s degree in Business Analytics from this prestigious school. The Business Analytics program at UTD has provided me with a solid understanding of programming and business analytics which helped me well prepare for my future professional career. Apart from this, I love to play cricket and tutor young kids. I was previously a course Instructor in CSOutreach program in UTD. I also love to write articles on various trending machine learning stuff. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me in case of questions.

Sameer Ranjan

Sameer Ranjan

Bhilai, India – Starting Term 2019, Spring
Hobbies – Slam Poetry, Blogging, Photography, Swimming

Hey All, I did my bachelor’s in mining engineering from National Institute of Technology, Raipur and earned silver medal for outstanding academic records. I have worked with consultancy giant McKinsey and Company for the first Automation Project in any mines of India by Vedanta Resources Ltd (Udaipur, Rajasthan). I have worked on Marketing Model development for startups and I run NGO named “Project Siksha” for educating under-privileged students in the central part of India. I love exploring new horizons and business mathematics which made me pursue Business Analytics here. I am an avid reader and quite an active blogger. Feel free to be in touch with me, I will be glad to share my knowledge on the subject matter and help you out in any way possible.

Sandhya Subramani

Sandhya Subramani

Bengaluru, India – Starting Term 2019, Fall

I joined the MSBA program in Fall ’19 and have been specializing in the Data Science and Operational Analytics tracks of the program. I previously worked for 3 years as an AI Engineer at the Applied AI Research Wing of Fidelity Investments in Bangalore. My core expertise is in Natural Language Modelling, and I’ve particular interest in exploring Reinforcement Learning for improved text prediction. If you’re also passionate about exploring the analytics domain, feel free to connect with me and we’ll discuss the wackiest ideas out there.

Additionally, I’m a Senator at the Graduate and International Affairs Council of the UTD Student Government, and also hold a bunch of leadership positions at a couple other UTD student clubs. So if you have a range of interests and want to find your “happy-place”, we’ll figure something out :)

On a personal front, I grew in Bangalore in Karnataka, India, but my roots can be traced to Trichy (in Tamilnadu, India). I therefore consider myself a weird hybrid of Tamil and Kannada. I enjoy listening to good music, binge-watching Seinfeld, and travelling to new places during the weekends. When my head isn’t buried in a novel, I can be most often be spotted playing tennis at the Student Union. If however, you prefer a more conventional means of reaching out, I’d recommend sending out an email.

Minglu Wang

Minglu Wang

Qingdao, China – Starting Term 2019, Fall

What’s up, it’s Minglu! I received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in 2016. After working at an AI start-up company I decided to return to school and study Business Analytics. I received a warm welcome from BALC when I first arrived, and this inspired me to pass on the spirit and contribute in positively influencing others. I am open to all students who have questions and are seeking help. If you are one of them, just shoot me an email and I will try my best to assist!

Khushboo Bhatia

Khushboo Bhatia

Kanpur, India – Starting Term 2019, Fall

Hi, I’m Khushboo Bhatia, a graduate student in the Business Analytics program at The University of Texas at Dallas. Prior to joining MSBA, I have completed my undergrad in Computer Science and Engineering from Kanpur, India. I have 8 years of experience in working in Information Technology with Amdocs and Ericsson, where I worked with global clients such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and U-Mobile Malaysia in client-facing roles. I am passionate about unraveling the amazing narratives hidden in data and making tactical decisions out of it. I really love the curriculum that UTD offers for the MSBA program with a wide variety of courses and different tracks to choose from. I would be happy to share my experience and help you with your queries about the program and life in UTD.

Vicky Tian

Vicky Tian

Anqing, China – Starting Term 2019, Fall
Hobbies – Sommelier, Ceramic, Papercutting, Pencil Drawing, Piano.

Hi all, my name is Vicky Tian! I am a Purdue alumna with a B.A. in Hospitality and Tourism Management and currently a graduate student at UTD studying Business Analytics. I have three years of work experience in the hospitality industry, including time as Leadership Trainee at Ritz-Carlton in California, as a pre-opening restaurant supervisor at an InterContinental hotel in Shanghai, and as a revenue analyst at a Ritz-Carlton hotel in Shanghai. Additionally, after solving a puzzle in multiple ways instead of a single way as the company advertised, I became a puzzle tester for the KubiyaGames. My work experience and a natural curiosity in problem-solving drove me to Business Analytics. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and I would love to share my experience with you.

Aman Vakharia

Aman Vakharia

Murphy, Texas – Starting Term 2019, Fall
Hobbies – Playing Classical Music, Photography, Football, Racquetball, All Things Cars!

Hi Everyone! My name is Aman Vakharia and I’m a Dallas native studying Business Analytics here at UT Dallas! For my bachelors, I completed 2 degrees in Finance and Information Technology Systems at UT Dallas as well. When I started school as an undergrad at UTD, finance was my focus; I want to go into investments and work for a large financial company. As I started taking classes in both Finance and IT, however, I quickly realized that I had an aptitude geared towards business intelligence. I loved working with large amounts of data, and moreover, I liked applying the insights I got from the data to see how it impacted the business. As a result, my first job was as a business analyst at Ally Bank. There, I quickly developed savvy data analysis skills and got to learn a lot of data visualization methods as well. It only seemed natural then that for my higher education I decided to return to UT Dallas to get my Masters of Science in Business Analytics. I am very excited to be a part of the Business Analytics Leadership Council, as it puts me at the forefront of like-minded individuals who want to help all of you in the program in any way possible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me! I look forward to hearing from you!

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