Jon Worthey

GSAL

As an undergraduate in human resource management and business education, Jon Worthey was fairly certain he would pursue a career as an employment law attorney. However, during an independent study in college, he was introduced to the power of applying analytics to human resources data. From his position now, as Manager, Global Planning and Analytics - Americas at Mondelēz International, he pinpoints that experience as the moment his vision for the future sharply changed.

“It was really an eye-opening experience for me,” Jon says. “The idea that you could apply statistical concepts to employee data as though they were any other widget was never anything I had previously considered. It completely changed the whole space of HR for me. Of course,” he carefully notes, “these sorts of analyses require a human touch, since people certainly aren’t pieces of chocolate. But the insight to be derived from the approach, once you take that into account, is extremely powerful. It completely reoriented my focus and ignited my passion for balancing the art and science of analytics, ultimately leading me to the Graham School’s GSAL [Graudate Student-at-Large] program and now to the MScA [Master of Science in Analytics] program.

In fact, already during his independent study as an undergrad, Jon discovered applicable research by University of Chicago professors and came to see the University as the intersection of intellectual curiosity and rigorous inquiry where he could deepen his analytical knowledge. He approached the Graham School to help him decide whether the MScA or Master in Business Administration (MBA) would better serve his career aspirations and, after taking classes geared towards either degree, Jon realized the MScA suited his passion for insights and analytics.

“Today, there are high expectations across many industries to bolster the analytical rigor behind must-win company initiatives,” Jon says, “but that frequently ends up being a little aspirational without the proper rigor. While the skills are out there, they are not very common nor do many professionals have them at the level required to meet the growing demand for such expertise. For me, learning more about the MScA program while I was taking classes through the GSAL program was an invaluable experience. What I’ll learn there will sync up with my passion for analytics and position me for broader career mobility. I’m truly grateful for the GSAL program, as it played a critical role in ultimately deciding to pursue my MScA.”