How graduate took the wheel of his success

Graduate Brandon Arino shares his ride through school at W. P. Carey and what he gave up to hold out for his perfect job.

It’s like taking a drink from a fire hydrant — that’s what it’s like to understand the amount of data being created in the world every day.

But Brandon Arino (BS Supply Chain Management ’13, MS-BA ’16) isn’t intimidated. In fact, he’s intrigued.

“The data volumes are exploding,” he says, “and more data has been created in the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race,” according to a statistic quoted by writer Bernard Marr in the article “Big Data: 20 Mind-Boggling Facts Everyone Must Read” from the September 2015 issue of Forbes magazine.

That quote threw Arino for a loop. He was introduced to the concept during his Master of Science in Business Analytics (MS-BA) program at W. P. Carey. Although the statistic is two years old, it is still true today — maybe even more so, Arino says.

“There are so many devices in the world that generate millions of data points every second of every day, and there is a shortage of people who know how to work with this data,” he says. “We are just entering the world of big data, and it will be very interesting to see where this world takes us.”

Pit stops on the way to achievement

Shortly after Arino completed his graduate degree, he landed a business intelligence developer job with Carvana, the only online used car dealership where shoppers can buy a car on the internet and have it delivered to their home.

While the Carvana position began as an internship, Arino turned down two full-time job offers to hold out for a full-time position with the virtual dealership. He knew it would be the perfect fit for him because his path on the way to Carvana included pit stops in roles that weren’t right.

After earning his undergraduate degree, Arino took a turn in restaurant management and realized it wasn’t for him. He then joined a logistics company as an accounts receivable analyst and focused on process improvement, working to automate some manual, repetitive processes and learned he had a knack for it. Most of the processes he improved centered around pulling data together to find insights or to perform actions with other systems.

“I’m always looking for better and more efficient ways to accomplish tasks,” Arino says.

When he began to look for another job that would help him develop this skill, Arino knew education was the answer. He returned to W. P. Carey for the nine-month MS-BA program and says it was one of the best decisions he’s ever made.

Driving success in grad school

In the program’s orientation, Arino and other new students were told to have a hacker’s mentality, Arino says. He’s learning there’s some truth to that statement in the world of information systems management.

“You have to be able to think outside the box and understand that there are many different ways to accomplish something,” he says. “You have to understand how to use many different tools, know what each tool is good for, and be able to pivot if necessary.”

Arino was intent on getting the most out of the program. He didn’t work during the intense schedule of classes and focused all of his energy and effort on his education. If a concept piqued his interest in a class, he studied it outside of school.

He enjoyed the classes and going back to school rekindled his love of learning. His hobbies now focus on learning new technologies, such as website building, design, and development.

Fulfilled on the high-tech road

It’s no surprise that Arino’s career has landed in the technology field. His father worked at IBM as a sales manager for 30 years, and there were many tech talks around their Texas dinner table.

“I’m not sure if it is hereditary, but the topics of computers and technology have always been a central component of conversation and interest between us,” he says.

At Carvana, Arino is thoroughly enjoying the fire hydrant of data and opportunity. The Carvana concept is exploding in popularity, he says. “It’s the answer for car shoppers who don’t like the traditional dealership experience.” The company started in 2013 with one market and now has 40 across the country. “The record time someone has bought a car is 10 minutes,” Arino says. “It’s a really cool experience.”

On the product analytics team, he extracts, transforms, and loads data, as well as performs database structuring, visualization, reporting, and analysis. “I’m loving every minute of it. It’s exactly what I hoped I would find when I started the MS-BA program,” he says.