"Never give credit to anyone who wants it"

Credit Karma Hosts First of Student-Led MSBA Meetups

We recently had a chance to connect with leaders from one of the hottest tech startups at the forefront of business analytics.

As student leaders in the inaugural class of the UC Davis Master of Science in Business Analytics program, we’re working closely with the Graduate School of Management’s leadership to help expand on what we’re learning in the classroom and see first-hand how it’s implemented in top companies. Within a few weeks of starting the MSBA program, we launched our Business Analytics at UC Davis (BAx) Meetups.

This networking series goes hand-in-hand with the MSBA core curriculum, which augments in-class learning with real-world experiences through industry projects, such as the 10-month practicum.

The strategic location of the MSBA program in San Francisco is the perfect environment, with many opportunities to tap trailblazing business analytics professionals and thought leaders.

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Great Karma at Credit Karma

The first BAx meetup on October 17 was a huge success. Credit Karma, a leading startup in the personal credit and loan business, hosted the event at their downtown San Francisco headquarters. Founded in 2007 and now valued at $3.5 billion, Credit Karma has revolutionized the finance industry with their products, which are now used by over 60 million customers.

“It was awesome that we had the opportunity to visit Credit Karma’s offices and mingle with recruiters, analysts, data scientists and data architects,” said MSBA student Rae Huang.

Several speakers from Credit Karma presented on industry trends and their responsibilities to move the company forward.

As the senior director of product analytics, Karthik Ramkumar spoke about how analytics has influenced the consumer lending and finance space over the last 20 years. A leader in financial technology for consumers, Ramkumar showed the students what it takes to become a proficient analytics professional. He has worked for such global financial giants as Capital One and ZestFinance. He spoke on a range of topics, from developing product strategy and credit policy to big data analysis and portfolio management agendas.

“It was awesome that we had the opportunity to visit Credit Karma’s offices and mingle with recruiters, analysts, data scientists and data architects.”

UC Davis alumnus Zack Loebel-Begelman, a senior software engineer, steers Credit Karma’s data and analytics pipeline. He talked about leveraging new technology for high throughput data processing and explained how the startup has evolved its backend development for greater performance. His work has allowed the company to provide tailored recommendations for each member’s specific financial situation.

“This was a very fruitful event,” said MSBA student Kemal Yilmaz. “Not only was it helpful in terms of understanding analytics in business life, but it was also great to see the business environment in San Francisco, literally.”

We thank the entire Credit Karma team and especially Julia Fu, who is their head of business intelligence and a lecturer on data management in the UC Davis MSBA program.

Business Analytics at UC Davis (BAx) Meetups for Fall quarter


Location: Clever, 1263 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Darin Laframboise, Senior Data Engineer, Atlassian

Laframboise will talk about marketing analytics and business strategy. Laframboise is a leader in analytics, focusing on goal setting, forecasting and providing business direction for leading global tech giants in their business and digital marketing channels.

Laframboise earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from UC Davis. He previously worked with One Kings Lane, an online home decor company, and Facebook as the lead for analytics for the global business marketing division.  He is now working with Atlassian, heading the ecosystem analytics department, where he is currently building out a new team and working with other engineers to standardize data across the company.

RSVP on meetup.com


Location:UC Hastings College of the Law

Pete Mohanty

Mohanty is analyzing the 2016 U.S. presidential election using his R package, which augments Kernel Regularized Least Squares (KRLS). Mohanty shows how KRLS can easily generate highly nuanced analytics that challenge simplistic narratives about the election. Mohanty was recently appointed a fellow of science, engineering and education in the Department of Statistics at Stanford University.

RSVP on meetup.com


Location: NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View

Vivek Wadhwa

Wadhwa will likely talk about disruptive technology and entrepreneurship. He is an American technology entrepreneur, academic and currently a distinguished fellow at Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering. 

Wadhwa has held appointments at Duke University, Stanford Law School, Harvard Law School and Emory University and is a faculty member at Singularity University, a Silicon Valley think-tank. He is also a distinguished LinkedIn influencer, columnist for the Washington Post and co-founder of Startup Chile, which is the leading accelerator in Latin America.

RSVP on meetup.com