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Great Way to Get to The INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research

I am very much looking forward to attending this year’s INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research (formally the INFORMS Practice Conference).  I am a judge for the Edelmans, so I will be spending Monday watching the presentations and asking tough questions (“Wow, did you really save $200 million?  That’s so cool!”).  I’ll also be attending some of the Technology Workshops on Sunday, and will attend other presentations on Tuesday.

Over the last few years, I have scrabbled together some funds to support sending some of the Tepper MBA students to the conference (thanks Tepper Administration for all of your support!), and they always come back raving about the conference and the field.  I expect this year to be no different:  we’ll have four students in our business analytics track (at least!) at the conference.

Two of the students will be attending the Professional Colloquium, a day-long program for Masters and PhD students who are transitioning into real-world careers.   I always worry when I suggest this to MBAs since the professional skills and insight into organizations that the day provides are the same skills an MBA provides (and which are more commonly lacking in normal masters programs in operations research).  Will they get enough out of the day? But every MBA who has attended the Colloquium has loved it:  the speakers provide insights into success from the perspective of operations research/business analytics professionals.  For many of the students who have attended, this is a life-changing experience.  I see that one of my students from a couple of years ago thinks enough of this to be part of this year’s organizing committee!

Whether you are a business analytics-oriented MBA, a Masters of OR or IE, or a Doctoral student (or a recent graduate in any of these areas), I can’t recommend the program highly enough.  And, while the registration fee of $375 might not seem cheap, it really is a steal, since it includes participation in the full conference as well as the Colloquium.  There are some limited support funds from the Colloquium committee, but this is the sort of activity that your school really should be supporting (and even if not, this is a great investment in your career).

Applications are due March 25, so get going if you want to be part of this!