Keri Smith, MSQM: BA '22
“Why did I pursue Business Analytics vs. Health Analytics, given my employment in a medical school? I still would not change my selection. I’ve grown leaps and bounds - whether it’s navigating organizations in industry/academic contexts, or efficiently applying analytics tools to research questions. Such a cross-functional experience has definitely enriched my outlook moving forward.”
Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics
UNC School of Medicine

MSQM: Business Analytics

Class of 2022
Biomedical Sciences

Prior Education:

University of Georgia
PhD Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, 2009
Montego Bay, Jamaica


COVID-19 and unfortunate staff attrition meant my research program slowed. It occurred to me fairly quickly that I needed to diversify my skillset with computational know-how to stave off further productivity losses. Despite being in academia with an appointment in a medical school, this program appealed to me since I had never taken a business course in all my training. Zero! Yet, I have strong entrepreneurial tendencies, bootstrapped a non-profit organization, and ran it for 10 years. Therefore, pursuing this program meant that I would gain two areas that had previously been unknown to me – analytics + formal business training/acumen. I felt that this would be most valuable.

Before Fuqua

I am an academic scientist whose research focuses on our DNA and its products – how they support normal cell functions and what goes awry in disease states, by mapping molecular interactions and analyzing thousands of biomolecules. I also founded a multinational 501(c)3 organization, the Society for Scientific Advancement, which serves geographically-diverse, underserved, and underrepresented students in STEM fields.

After Fuqua

Through the MSQM program, I’ve become proficient in computer languages –already pertinent for my work, where I have applied coursework learnings to biological datasets. Additionally, I am entrepreneurial in nature. Because my research findings may have applications in personalized medicine, I have an eye towards technology commercialization based on my findings and/or experiences.

My Advice to Prospective Students

Be open to different modes of work, and to absorb how complementary skillsets and differing cognitive styles deepen the Fuqua experience. You can quickly benefit if you can figure out how coursework can be translated or leveraged for your next career steps. Also, since our time to interact in person is limited, I would recommend finding tools/ways to build out your Fuqua network.