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2017
CJ Ward

Photo of CJ Ward

A proud native of suburban Cleveland, CJ attended the Ohio State University. He earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the university’s Accounting Honors program and graduated summa cum laude along with minors in Mathematics (with honors) and Economics. During his undergraduate studies he co-authored two research papers that were published in peer reviewed accounting journals.

Eager to make his mark on the business world, CJ moved to Chicago and joined Ernst & Young’s Financial Services Office as a Staff Auditor. In this role he was responsible for executing audit procedures on a variety of clients including prominent Chicago broker dealers, private equity firms, mutual funds, and proprietary trading firms. The mix of clients meant there was always an opportunity to learn about business operations and finance, as well as to hone his risk detection and analysis skills. After two years he was promoted to senior auditor and was selected as the lead senior on the audit of one of the ten largest broker dealers in the country. Additionally, the new role made him a leader on his teams, both through frequent communication with client CFOs and controllers, and through managing as many as five staff auditors below him. He excelled in this position and consistently received recognition awards for work quality and on-the-job coaching of junior team members.

CJ chose to change his career path and enter the MSiA program at Northwestern University because it has distinguished itself as the foremost graduate program in analytics through its integration of rigorous academics, leading-edge software, and business ingenuity. He is eager to learn the programming languages and data analysis software packages used by analytics professionals and to collaborate with the best analytics students in the country. He will integrate what he learns inside and outside of the classroom with the business acumen gained during his experiences as an auditor to help companies and organizations unlock the potential of their data and achieve previously unattainable insights.