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        Senior in Business Analytics presented with Auburn University President's Award

        April 12, 2021 By Joe McAdory

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        “The Business Analytics program does a great job of presenting opportunities for internships and full-time positions, and my program champion has done an amazing job jump-starting analytics students on their careers.” — Matthew Russell

        The Harbert College is committed to providing relevant, forward-looking, and engaging curricula, instruction and high-impact experiential learning opportunities.

        Matthew Russell’s college experience is unlike most others. The senior in Business Analytics from Hoover, Alabama, leads the Data Initiatives at the Auburn RFID Lab, where he manages a team of software engineers and analysts to create an automated process to analyze inbound, in-store, and outbound accuracies on a variety of products for some of the world’s largest brands and retailers via inventory RFID tags.

        russellRussell works closely with the likes of Nike, Hanes, Walmart, Kohl’s, and Lowe’s to help these industry giants improve efficiency and reduce costs through inventory management.

        “To know that the work my team is doing could have a direct impact on the operations of these massive companies is humbling and has given me a unique insight into the operations of so many different organizations,” he said. “The opportunity to dive into the implementation of emerging technologies, work directly with real-world partners, lead meetings, and present at industry conferences has given me a unique skillset and level of comfort in professional settings that has prepared me for whatever career I pursue.”

        Russell, who found the real-world application of data analysis fascinating, committed to the Business Analytics program early on and will graduate this May. He was presented the prestigious Auburn University President’s Award for his work in the classroom and at the RFID Lab.

        “Receiving the President’s Award represents a summation of all the hard work I’ve put in during my time at Auburn,” said Russell, who has maintained a 4.0 GPA while working 20-plus hours per week at the RFID Lab. “I sacrificed a lot of time that could have been spent with friends or elsewhere, and the recognition of those sacrifices and hard work means a lot. This serves as a reminder that we get what we give – as undergraduate students we must make sacrifices and put in the work to prepare ourselves for our futures.”

        Ironically, Russell worked alongside Allan Gulley, the 2019 President’s Award recipient, at the RFID Lab, and both were immersed in the CHIP Project, an initiative to exchange serialized data over blockchain between five brands and retailers. “The exploration of these emergent technologies and their real-world implementations has given me unique experiences and a knowledge set that other undergraduate students would likely never receive,” said Russell. “It has certainly given me a jump start on a career path in these fields.”

        Russell credits Harbert College for preparing him for his career and encourages others to consider the college’s Business Analytics program.

        “I’ve been very impressed by how well Harbert College, and particularly the Business Analytics program, has focused on real-world applications of the concepts we learn,” he said. “We emphasize the importance of learning languages, frameworks, and applications such as Python, SQL, and Tableau, and these are all skills that have had a huge impact in the work I have done with the industry and use almost daily. The program also does a great job presenting opportunities for internships and full-time positions, and my program champion has done an amazing job jumpstarting analytics students on their careers.”

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