Creating a Career
From Your Interests
For Zain Ijaz, a combined interest in data analytics and economic research has allowed him to carve out a career that marries both fields. Through his course work at Macalester College, UpTurnships training in the Summer of 2019, and multiple informative work experiences, he has managed to launch a promising career. In January, he accepted a position at the Brattle Group as an Analyst.
During his time at UpTurnships, Zain worked as an intern conducting market research and data insights at Thrivent. During undergrad, he also worked with a professor at Macalester as a research assistant to analyze college outcomes. After earning a BA in economics in 2021, he accepted a research opportunity with the Securities Litigation Analytics team at Stanford. In his current position with the Brattle Group, Zain describes his work as, “A mix of quantitative analysis, qualitative research, and communicating results and findings to my team members.”
While recruiting for jobs, Zain says the two things he looked for from employers was a willingness to invest in his overall growth, and a collaborative work environment. “I am fortunate that my company checked both those boxes,” he says of the Brattle Group. Zain appreciates that the position provided extensive work-related training and opportunities to collaborate with friendly and knowledgeable co-workers.
In his career, Zain aspires to give back to his home in Pakistan. He hopes to one day start and operate a startup that caters to the general population of the country. To work towards this goal, he plans on attending graduate school to earn an MBA.
Zain’s advice to students interested in data analytics and economics is to be a self-starter because, “Companies in economics and data analytics want someone who can take initiative when faced with complex novel problems.” He describes his time at UpTurnships as being beneficial for many reasons. Particularly, he feels the soft skills the program teaches give UpTurns an edge when applying for jobs and helps them stand out from other applicants.