Student Spotlights

Henry Gent

Eyeing a wave of innovation in Portland

MPS in Analytics, College of Professional Studies

In week one of his “Intro to Analytics” class, Henry Gent says he got a satisfying taste of the practical, industry-focused skills-building that drew him to study analytics through the Roux Institute. His task was to plow through a large dataset and identify the most important information, then prepare an executive report.

He saw the point immediately. In past work for a Washington, D.C. consulting firm, creating slide decks was routine, the way to deliver key findings to C-suite clients.

“For me, it seems better to hone a practical body of skills and build a portfolio than to just learn an underlying base of knowledge,” says Gent, who has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago.

In Roux, Gent saw a chance to return home to Cape Elizabeth. He can hike, ski, and surf while studying—for now, full time—for the Master of Professional Studies in Analytics degree. (A scholarship iced the cake, he adds.)

“Economics is about understanding how people operate. That’s what data analytics is about, too,” he says. “Companies need data to make better decisions, based on consumers’ choices.”

Gent says he was drawn to Roux’s position as a “pioneer” that will help open up new jobs and industries. He already sees himself on co-op with a small company, riding a wave of innovation.

“It instantly made sense,” he says. “Why would I not do this?”