Alumni Highlight – Liudmyla Ostafiichuk
Pacific Lutheran University is fortunate to have diverse and exceptional alumni all over the world. One such alumni has recently returned to our own backyard. Liudmyla Ostafiichuk graduated from the MSMA program before its renaming and has moved back to Seattle to continue her research career for Facebook. We were able to ask her a few questions about her degree, career post-PLU, and reflections on the program. We are proud of the many MSMA alumni making a difference in the research and analytics world and are excited to offer this glimpse into how this degree has affected them.
How did the [MSMA] program prepare you for your future career?
[MSMA] program helped me gain a foundational knowledge of consumer behavior, analytical methods, and research techniques that are necessary for my everyday work.
What has your career looked like post-graduation? Where have you worked and what did that work look like?
After graduation, I worked as a Consumer Insights Manager at T-Mobile’s Brand, Consumer, and Market Insights department where I led early tenure Customer Health and Experience program. I conducted research and analysis to answer questions such as What brings customers to T-Mobile? What are their needs? What are the drivers of customer satisfaction and loyalty? After a couple of years at T-Mobile, I transitioned to Facebook in Menlo Park, California to join the Consumer Insights team in Marketing Science. With my passion for commerce, a year ago I decided to join the Marketplace & Commerce Ecosystem team as a Quantitative Researcher and was glad to be back to Seattle again. I now lead two international tracking studies across consumer-to-consumer purchasing and eCommerce with the goal to understand the needs of Facebook Marketplace users and prospects and the ecosystem in which they’re making choices.
How has a masters degree changed the trajectory of your career?
The first five years of my career I worked in business development and category management. How consumers are making decisions and what motivations stand behind their choices were questions I put in front of myself and the reasons why I was motivated to pursue a program dedicated to Market Research. Earning the [MSMA] degree not only helped me accumulate an important knowledge but also was a starting point of my research career in the US.
What advice would you give to a current MSMA student or someone thinking about joining?
At school, you are not going to learn everything you would ever need in real life. But it’s crucial to know in which area you should be digging deeper. The [MSMA] program is presenting a great opportunity to learn a solid foundation and empower you with resources. Take great notes so you know where to search when you deal with questions at work. Become a lifetime learner and focus your efforts on understanding the algorithms behind research/analytics techniques.