Saxon Alvarez '23 is a biology major with minors in chemistry and psychology. Saxon is a talented athlete who...
Major in Economics
What have you been doing since graduating from Knox? What do you do professionally?
I work at a start-up called Association Analytics that provides business intelligence software to the association market. I lead our product team and am responsible for both the development and management of our products. Before joining this company, I worked in various applied analytics roles at Feeding America. I transitioned into working in data & analytics after I earned my Master's of Science in international and development economics from the University of San Francisco in 2015. Immediately after graduating from Knox and up until I went to graduate school, I worked as a commercial banker at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Describe your marketing and business experience.
Working in data and analytics, I’ve found that I need to have a general understanding of many business areas. Especially in my current line of work, developing business intelligence software, I need to know the business questions our end users are asking on a daily basis. This means I need to understand the basics of finance, sales, operations, marketing, etc. My background in banking helps with this as from early on in my career I was exposed to many different types of businesses. So while I may be a specialist in product management/development and data and analytics, I am a generalist in many different business areas.
You've been one of the alumni participants in Knox's annual Business Intensive Seminar. Thank you! Can you describe that experience?
I gave a presentation [in 2019] called “Data-Informed Success: The Importance of Becoming an Effective Data Analyst (No Matter Your Job).” The presentation focused on how data is being used to inform decisions across all types of industries and businesses and why it is important to be data literate and feel comfortable using data, no matter what your job title is. I shared some best practices around how to be an effective consumer and user of data and how a basic understanding of business acumen fits in. Finally, I spoke about how my Knox experience has made me successful in the various roles I’ve held since graduating.
Has your work been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, how?
The pandemic has put a spotlight on data and analytics. Companies of all sizes and across all industries are seeing the importance of being able to make data-informed decisions using trusted, real-time data and are building in-house analytics teams or investing in analytics products like the one my company provides. While I wish it were under better circumstances, I am excited by the attention data and analytics are receiving.
Why is Knox important to you?
I really value that my Knox education instilled in me a lifelong curiosity and the ability to think critically, and confidently. These skills have been really valuable in my post-Knox career.