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Real-World Career Guidance for Practice-Oriented Early-Career Professionals

The Early Career Professionals’ Network (ECPN) is a group designed to help recent graduates, soon to be graduates, or anyone newly entering the field of analytics/O.R. to build their professional networks and learn the practicalities of working in the field from experienced practitioners. The ECPN Workshop was created to reflect the fact that analytics work in the real world is challenging in ways that aren’t always taught in analytics and O.R. degree programs. The Workshop is held annually at the INFORMS Business Analytics Conference with a carefully selected cohort of attendees. Highlights from the program include how to land your first job, a panel of analytics executives giving perspective on their career and the marketplace, and a role-playing exercise working with “clients.”

All participants will be eligible to request a modest stipend to assist with travel and attendance costs. The actual amount will vary based on sponsorships and amount listed as needed on nomination form but in the past, it has been as much as a few hundred dollars.

We encourage everyone to also submit to present a poster at the conference. This is a great way to participate and network at the conference. Poster participants will also receive the presenter rate for attending the conference.

When

Reception
Saturday, April 15

Workshop
Sunday, April 16

Where

Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center
6700 North Gaylord Blvd
Aurora, CO

Eligibility:

  • Participants must be enrolled in or have graduated from a graduate degree program in analytics, operations research, management science, or a related field.
  • The event is geared to Master’s, Ph.D. students and recent graduates working in the analytics/OR field.
  • Participants must be nominated by their university program/department or a representative from their employer.
  • A department or employer may nominate multiple students or employees. When nominating multiple students or employees, the department or employer should indicate a rank-order preference of nominees in the event that total nominations exceed the event’s attendance limit.
  • Important to note:
    • A maximum of 2 participants from each nominating university and employer will be chosen to participate
    • Previous attendees of the IPC, ECC or ECPN are not eligible to attend

Nomination Deadline:

Tuesday, February 21, 2023 11:59PM EDT

Notification Date: March 8, 2023

Nomination Package: This should be completed and uploaded by the department chair, program director, or supervisor. Packages are due by 11:59pm ET on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 and must include the following information about the intended participant (nominee) in the format specified:

  • Letter of recommendation from the department chair, program director, or supervisor.
  • Statement of purpose from the nominee including description of career and research interests.
  • Resume or CV.
  • Nominee’s name, mailing address, email address and phone number.
  • Other required information to include in the submission: nominee’s major field of study, expected degree (M.S., PhD, MBA, etc.), expected date of graduation, thesis/dissertation title (or area of concentration if nominee’s program does not require a thesis), and current employer and position.
  • Estimate of financial aid requested.
    Note: Award amounts will be determined after sponsorships have been confirmed and will be need-based. If this request is not included in the nomination package, no consideration will be given for financial aid. Amount of aid provided will not exceed amount listed in nomination form as left to be paid by participant.
2022 conference attendees
Early_Career_Professionals_Network_2022_a
Early_Career_Professionals_Network_2022_b

Sample Agenda from a previous ECPN event:

Note: This is just an example of what we have done in the past and is not the actual 2023 ECPN event agenda.

Time Event
7–7:30am Meeting Check-in & Coffee
7:30–8:15am Session 1: Introductions of Participants and Program Committee Members
8:15–9am Session 2: Data Revolution
9–9:45am Session 3: Perspectives on the Practice of O.R. & Analytics
9:45–10am Break
10–11:30am Session 4: Role Playing: Develop an AI/ML/DS based product and GTM Strategy or an Enhancement to a Current Product for B2B or B2C
11:30am–12:30pm Lunch
12:30–1:30pm Session 5: Executives Panel
1:30–1:45pm Break
1:45–2:30pm Session 6: Networking as an Early Career Professional
2:30–2:45pm Closing Remarks
2:45–3pm Refresh and go to Career Fair

Testimonials from Previous Attendees

Real-World Career Guidance for Practice-Oriented Early-Career Professionals

Jose Eduardo Oros, M.S.

Pandora

The INFORMS Professional Colloquium is an all-around analytics experience. You are provided with the opportunity to interact with highly regarded experts in diverse fields of analytics, from groundbreaking research to managerial experts. Furthermore, the small size of the colloquium group gives you the chance to closely interact with speakers, and have one-to-one sessions with a senior mentor, assigned based on your interest and experience. It provides a unique chance to meet and network with peers from the best analytics programs in the country and exchange ideas, questions and contacts.
Real-World Career Guidance for Practice-Oriented Early-Career Professionals

Vijaya Priya Rama Vijayasarathy, B.E.

Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University

The INFORMS Analytics Conference in Las Vegas (2017) was my first conference during my graduate education. I was deeply interested in connecting with young professionals from interdisciplinary backgrounds with an interest in analytics, operations research, and management science. The Early Career Professionals’ Network (previously referred to as the INFORMS Professional Colloquium or IPC) was a perfect platform that brought together 20 exceptionally talented students (graduate & PhD) with similar interests from across the U.S. & Canada. In addition to the exceptionally talented peers, the panelists were amazing, and the Career Fair was extremely useful. Most of all, the professional network at INFORMS IPC is one of the best I’ve ever experienced. I am still in touch with my cohort of IPC attendees. IPC has transformed my learning experience and inspired me to learn more through fun learning experiences. Thank you, INFORMS. I strongly recommend IPC to any career-driven, analytically inclined, and ambitious young professional. Good luck!
Real-World Career Guidance for Practice-Oriented Early-Career Professionals

Yulia Vorotyntseva, M.S.

The University of Texas at Dallas

I went to the IPC 2017 because I had too little exposure to the industry during my PhD program, and I wanted to learn about possibilities of research collaboration and career opportunities that industry provides. My colleagues who had participated in this colloquium in the past, highly recommended it to me, and I am happy that I took their advice. In just one day my perspective on the practice of analytics broadened tremendously. Most importantly, thanks to the comfortable networking environment, I met influential industry practitioners and enjoyed time with my peers. I strongly believe that participating in IPC is simply a good idea for everyone who is considering a career in a field related to business analytics.
Real-World Career Guidance for Practice-Oriented Early-Career Professionals

Nitish Ghosal

Data Scientist, Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation

I had the opportunity to be part of the ECPN colloquium last year and attend the INFORMS Analytics conference. The event provided me with an opportunity to not only connect with peers from the top analytics programs in the country but also a chance to gain insights & perspectives from highly distinguished panelists which included Edelman laureates, Analytics practice leaders from Fortune 500 companies & eminent analytics practitioners & academicians. Not only this, I also got to attend the Career Fair & Edelman Gala and listen to the track sessions which were hosted by industry experts from top organizations on the most cutting edge topics. Overall, I would highly recommend this event to anyone who is starting their career in analytics and looking to build a strong & influential professional network.

The co-chairs of the ECPN event are Heather Moe, Esri and Qinglin Duan, Bayer Crop Science.

For more information, email ecpn@mail.informs.org.