Posted on October 10, 2023 by Rebekah Alegria

Meet Juan Pablo Olazaba , a graduate student from Jalisco, Mexico earning his Master of Science in Statistics and Data Science at the Carlos Alvarez College of Business!

Juan Olazaba in plane cockpit Expected Graduation: Spring 2024

Favorite class, professor, or topic you’ve learned about this year?

Math Statistics II led by Keying Ye. This class taught me how math and statistics play a role in new modern statistical methods used in data science and machine learning. Being involved in that course has given me a strong foundation for the programs we will be implementing in the professional world.

What hobbies or interests do you have outside of school?

I enjoy being active in nature, spending time with family and friends catching up on life, grabbing coffee and trying new food spots around town. I also love learning how things work, specifically cars and airplanes.

What is the most memorable experience you have had at UTSA so far?

Being a part of so many networking events around campus with employers and with student organizations has been some of my fondest memories at UTSA. Meeting extremely intelligent people in different fields has also motivated me to continue to grow and learn more.

What challenges have you faced in your academic journey, and how did you overcome them?

Mathematical theory has definitely been challenging. The first year in the M.S. in Statistics and Data Science program was the hardest, but it was rewarding. You learn so much information, as well as techniques on how to approach certain mathematical statistical problems. I overcame the first year by having a study schedule and collaborating with my classmates constantly. In addition, regularly attending my professor’s office hours helped a lot.

You had the amazing opportunity to intern for Southwest Airlines. Tell us about it! Juan Pablo Olazaba pictured with three fellow interns at Southwest

I heard about the Southwest Airlines internship through a recruiting session they held for UTSA students. I interned as a co-brand marketing intern and was responsible for acquiring new Rapid Rewards credit card members and growing our large portfolio through strategic acquisition and spend campaigns.

I worked in a fast-paced environment focused on large goals and partner relationship management. My capstone project consisted of working with Southwest’s digital gift card product, where I had the chance to collaborate with fellow technology interns.

I highly enjoyed this experience, and it has honed my communication and time management skills. It also granted me exposure to senior leadership meetings where I got to listen in as well as work on tangible projects that allowed me to practice ownership and accountability.

Do you have any upcoming internships or job offers you are proud of?

I am currently interviewing with several companies as it is recruiting season for them, and I graduate soon. I will keep you guys updated!

What do you hope to achieve in your future career?

I hope to work on projects I am passionate about while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I enjoy numbers and people, so a role that combines both of those elements is ideal. Specific industries that pique my interest are the oil & gas (energy) industry, aerospace and aeronautics and technology. There is a lot of exciting stuff happening in those fields that I would like to be a part of!

— Rebekah Alegria