On March 10th, 2021 Farmingdale’s School of Business held a virtual Business Management Forum that consisted of three guest speakers. Matthew Karban, Theresa Locklear, and Surbi Parakh took the time to offer their expertise as to how to navigate and succeed in the world of marketing and business analytics. 

Matthew Karban, who works in search engine optimization at a local marketing and web development company, spoke about his role and how he is able to help his clients’ businesses grow through reading and interpreting data. Karban is well versed in Google Analytics and that is his main resource in helping his clients succeed. His job is to ensure that his clients stand out and land on the first pages of a Google search when a user makes a search query. From his analysis, he creates strategies and recommendations for his clients. Karban passionately expressed that he enjoys the work he does especially when he sees results or his clients. 

Karban discussed the importance of becoming Google Analytics certified. He stressed that Google’s free certifications can really boost your resume. If someone wants to get involved in the field of business analytics he communicated that “search analytics is very difficult but it can give you a leg up over the competition.” Taking the time to seek out these certifications can also show genuine interest in the field and show great initiative to a future hiring manager. 

Theresa Locklear, who is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Farmingdale shared her experience with the audience in working in marketing and analytics. Locklear has 18 years of experience in the marketing and analytics field, working with major companies such as IBM, Adobe, the NFL, and MTV. 

Her experience of working in many different environments has helped her improve her skills over the years. Locklear had the responsibilities of keeping up with business trends and informing her employer and employees about said trends. Locklear has worked in teams in the past to gather information and to put that information into easy-to-read visuals. 

This allows the company to help improve in areas they might be lacking or to identify what they are doing well. The use of embedded analytics, which is taking gathered data and being able to incorporate it into everyday business. Locklears’ ability to take these pieces of data and interpret them has made her a valuable asset to the companies she has worked for. Locklear encourages students to always keep learning and to never give up especially in a field like this which can be an overwhelming amount of information that needs to be worked with.

Last, but certainly not least, Surbi Parakh who is the director of analytics at Better.com which is one of the fastest-growing mortgage companies currently. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Business Management at FSC and she shared some of her experiences in the field with the audience. 

Parakh has been working in the analytics field for about 15 years and has worked for major companies such as Citi Group, Barclays, AIG, and Publishers Clearing House. After spending this amount of time in the field of analytics she had a desire to teach and to give back to students. She jumped at the chance to share her vast amount of knowledge. 

Parakh explained the importance of taking the raw data and turning it into vital information that a company can use to improve their current situation and to help make smarter business decisions. She discussed that this can be a combination of reporting on the past data, analyzing the data that you have currently, and using this information to predict or influence future trends. Furthermore, she commented that it takes a skilled eye to weed out the important information that can become lost in a sea of data, and possessing this ability will help you succeed in this field. Parakh also emphasized that students should hone their technical and problem-solving skills. In order to properly present the data they collect. 

In the Q&A portion of the event, the group discussed how to get started in this field. All three of the presenters had very insightful answers. 

Karban and Locklear both stressed the importance of becoming Google Analytics certified simply because it is the most used search engine in the world and employers like to see prospective candidates take the initiative to better themselves they added. Parakh agreed that this was important but also mentioned that taking free online classes about analytics was a great first step because it helps you get an idea if you like this field or not. It also allows you to become more knowledgeable about the field if it truly is an area of interest. 

All three of the presenters in this forum offered unique and insightful perspectives in the field of marketing and business analytics respectively. The ability to gain insight from people of various backgrounds and work environments is certainly useful for students who are trying to get a head start in their careers in the business world. These presentations certainly offered the information and background to do just that.